….so let's use the few months that we have left to the fullest! Here are a few facts from the latest issue of Harper's magazine that may entertain you:
- percentage of all income gains during the Bush Administration that went to the top 1% of earners: 75%
- Chance that a U.S. home is currently vacant: one in thirty five
- Percentage of U.S. homeowners who reported last year that they had bought a car using a home-equity loan: 27%
- Estimated amount by which the per gallon gas prices would change if the Bush plan to drill the Arctic wildlife refuge were to be carried out: minus four cents
In this week's issue of U.S. News and World Report, Ken Walsh's column is entitled "Bush finds the pool of goodwill has gone dry". Well, yes, I have noticed that he has not changed, but the world has. At the G8 summit, doubtless some of the European politicians were galled by his refusal to do or say anything on climate change, but they just looked at him and said nothing. What's the point in being rude, he will be gone soon. In some of his recent speeches, Bush's attitude has been, gee, I have been busy solving america's problems, but Congress just won't get on board. Where have you been the past 7 years dude? You had nothing to do with the tax breaks for large SUV's? You had nothing to do with the giveaways to the credit industry, and the pushing of no money down loans? You emasculated the SEC because it would have been so terrible to regulate Enron, but failed to take credit for the results. You cling to the fiction that unlimited free enterprise is the best thing for everyone, but in reality american business has become a cesspool of influence peddling and insider dealing. Then when the collapses loom, such as Bear Stearns or Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you had nothing to do with it. But you will let Bernanke and Paulson sop up the mess with tax dollars, because some corporations are just a bit too large to fail without taking everything else down with them.
In a masterful stroke of timing, Bush is setting up a small round of troop withdrawals from Iraq for the Fall election season in order to give an electoral assist to his heir apparent McCain. In reality, this is overdue because Afghanistan is falling apart due to our understrength army there, and we are now seeing more U.S. soldiers dying there every month than in Iraq. The soldiers are not going to come home, they are going to need to go to the place they should have been all along after a trillion dollar detour: Taliban country.
When I look at McCain, I do not see a kindler gentler and less stoopid face of american conservatism there. No, I see the inheritor of the Bush "legacy". George will be able to say that his spot in the history books is assured, as he kept the White House in Republican hands. McCain will actually admit that climate change is real, but we need to drill fro more oil now, and use less oil….. someday?! McCain's plan for tax reform will actually increase the earnings of the wealthiest 0.1 percent of americans by around 12% by 2012, while Obama's plan would cut their income by 5%. McCain's plan bothers me, aren't they rich enough yet? Obama's does not worry me; I do not play the lottery so there is no way for me to ever get to that tax bracket.
Please forgive my partisanship here. I have said that not all Republicans are pond scum, and I meant that. Republicans in general are nice people. It's simply that I do not wish to reward the lack of accomplishment of the Bush era. Not if I can help it.