Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yo, John, Whose Economic Fundamentals Are You Calling Strong?!?!?

***Note: Some of the links originally included in this post weren't working properly. They should work just fine now.***
I'm sure that the "fundamentals" of John McCain's & George Bush's own personal economies are just as sound as ever. Probably even sounder than that. They won't have to worry about what happens if they miss a paycheck or two, like the rest of us would. I'm sure McCain's royalties on Blackberry sales alone will keep him from having to touch his wife's beer money for a while!

So, as a Public Service for voters who might need a little reminding of what Bush/McCain economics hath wrought us these past 7+ years, a few facts & figures to confirm that low down feeling you've been having deep in your wallets.

U.S. Unemployment Rate

In January, 2001, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 4.2%. In the most recent U.S. unemployment report, August, 2008, that number rose to 6.1%. That’s an increase of 1.9%.

U.S. Government Budget

For Fiscal Year 2000, President Clinton left office with a Budget Surplus (A BIG PLUS) of $128.236 BILLION. In 2007, the surplus was only a memory. Our country ended that Fiscal Year $410.047 BILLION in the hole (A BIG OLD MINUS). That’s a difference of over HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS down the proverbial rat hole! (YEP THAT’S A “T” FOR “TRILLION”)

U.S. Trade Deficit

In January 2001, the U.S. Trade Deficit (the value of all U.S. exports to the world vs. the value of all products imported into the U.S. from the rest of the world) stood at $35.3 billion. In July 2008?? Nearly $62.2 billion. That’s an increase of 76%!

Retail Gas Price (average for all grades)

The retail price of gasoline is monitored by the Department of Energy every week. On January 22, 2001, the average price of gas was about $1.51 per gallon. The latest price recorded by DOE as of September 15, 2008 was almost $3.89 per gallon. That’s an increase of nearly $2.38 per gallon (up over 157%).

U.S. Inflation Rate

In January 2001, inflation was running at about 3.7%. As of July 2008, it was up to 5.6%. Up nearly 1.9%.

Consumer Confidence

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) is the widely-accepted barometer of American consumer confidence in the U.S. economy (basically, it gives us a picture on how the everyday person feels about how the economy is going). The U of M has set December 1964 as the “standard” at 100. In January 2001, the index stood at 94.7. In the most recent report, the CSI had dropped to 63.0, down by nearly a third from when Bush took office.

So, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, when it's time to cast your sacred vote for President of the United States, ask yourself the same question Ronald Reagan asked the American people when he ran against Jimmy Carter in 1980: "Are you better off now than you were 4 [or 8] years ago?"

If you're among the 7 or 8 people left who don't know how they're going to vote, just let your wallet be your guide!


Maverick47 said...

Hmm... these numbers are much worse than they were 2 years ago... what happened 2 years ago that could have caused this...

...oh, that's right, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reed took over control of Congress (you know - that entity that actually controls these issues).

If the Republicans are so bad, then why have things gotten so much worse under the Democrats' control of Congress?

Mr. C said...

Truth is, that unless the Democrats have a filibuster-proof (60 votes or more) Senate, the Republicans can stall & kill any bills that the Democrats want to pass, and that's exactly what they've done. If we're really extra-special lucky this year, maybe we can fix that little problem. Not that I think it's likely, but it's possible. Gotta keep thinking good thoughts!! :-)

You also gotta remember that in Washington, it's not all about the Congress. There's the little matter of the other branch of government--the President. Even if the Congress could get past the foot-dragging Republicans in the Senate, any bills the Congress passed would just get vetoed by Dubya...which is why we need an even bigger change than the one we had in 2006. I'm hoping that 2006 was tip of the Democratic iceberg!

Got my fingers crossed & my hope all nice shined up that we'll get to send the political pachyderms packing & so we can start the long path to cleaning up after their mess & then bring real change & real progress to a country in deep need of both!

Can't be soon enough for me!