Goodness you guys are touchy! On the day of the inauguration, with the Federal Government completely in your thrall, and dominance of a majority of state legislatures, not to mention the all-important State of Kansas Education Board, and you still lash out at the odd Norwegian who just wants to talk. Given that the Norwegians are among the most firm supporters of the U.S. in ole’ Europe, could you perhaps be a little nicer?
The budget: We were showing a surplus because we were in an unchecked economic downturn which the last administration didn't really care to do anything about because they wanted to leave a mess for the next guy.
Well that makes no sense because Clinton/Gore were pretty confident that the next guy would be Gore. Anyway, it must be great to be a conservative because you never have to admit a mistake and never have to take responsibility for anything? It’s always the other guys fault, right? Even if he left office fours years ago, it’s still his fault!
The deficit is at this level because the Republicans in the White House and on Capitol hill do not care about deficits. As VP
Cheney said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”. In the Spring of 2001 the entire rationale for the enormous tax cuts was the US$ 8 trillion dollar surpluses staring us in the face. After 9/11 and the economic down turn, the administration could have cut spending and rolled back the tax cuts to prevent the deficit from spiraling into half-trillion dollar territory.
The administration didn’t do that. Partly they couldn’t, of course, the war in Iraq has been very expensive. The Bush Administration had promised a War in Iraq and a post-war reconstruction that would pay for itself, but no one believed that. When White House economic Lawence Lindsay suggested that the war would instead cost US$100 – 200 billion, he was promptly sacked. Of course the bill for Iraq will be far above even the high end of that estimate.
But mostly the administration had no interest in cutting the deficit. Rolling back the tax increases would alienate supporters, cutting spending would alienate supporters (remember, that the average Bush state gets more back in federal spending than it provides in tax revenue), and the Bush administration was using the power of incumbency for some old fashioned Keynesian pump-priming to drive up economic growth (no doubt Milton Friedman would have been rolling in his grave, if he wasn’t actually still living).
Don't forget your US Constitution though, the Senate makes the Budget and has final approval.
Well, I think that you have forgotten your US Constitution, because budget bills always originate in the House of Representatives, U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, Paragraph 1. http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm
Of course, the HOR
has been in the hands of the Republicans since Jan 1995.
Unemployment: Economists say 95% is full employment. Using your figures right now we are at 94.3% employment.. That isn't bad.
No you can’t subtract the unemployment rate from 100% and arrive at the degree of employment. You have to admit that’s just plain disingenuous on your part—you know better. The unemployment rate excludes whole categories of workers who are not employed not counted as unemployed (e.g., discouraged workers). Using the Department of Labor’s Household survey (the Bush Administration’s favored measurement of employment activity), the rate of labor force participation was well below 94.3%, in fact in December ’04 it was 66% http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
Indeed we are well behind on were we should be in the number of jobs created, and even the Bush administration has to acknowledge that. The Bush Administration promised less two years ago that its policies would bring non-farm payrolls to 138 million in 2004. As Thom@s notes, here on Jan. 20 we are seven million jobs short of that. (See “Economic Report of the President, 2002” , pages 41-49 for the President's purported job-growing policies, and see page 53 for the 138MM figure, the report is available here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy03/pdf/2002_erp.pdf
To repeat a long broken record, this is the first administration since Herbert Hoover, that will ends a four year presidential terms with fewer jobs than when it began.
I am sorry about the luck of the unskilled workers but instead of coming home every night from their 8hrs on the line at GM And cracking open a Bud maybe they should have been taking night classes at the local community college.
Wow, cultural elitism from a Bush supporter. I’ve seen everything. The Republicans are as dependent on the GM
workers cracking open a Bud at the end of the day as the Democrats…going forward maybe even more so.