Tuesday, July 15, 2008

As the World Turns

The news on the economy seems to get worse and worse of late. Between the troubles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the dose of reality the stock market has faced since April, $4 gas, soaring national debt, mortgage foreclosures, and the beginning signs of inflation not seen since the 70's we are facing a pretty bad storm of economic trouble.

Folks, we have an economy brought to you by the Republican Party. The tax cuts we received back in 2001 were nice, but what did they do for the economy? Would you rather have the lower tax rates or the days when gas was $1.82, your house was increasing in value, the stock market was healthy, your local community wasn't laying off teachers and China did not hold the bank note on our economy?

I'll hand the tax cuts back.

While it is easy to say it's not the Republican Party's fault, it is hard to argue otherwise. When Bush came into office the price of a barrel of oil was $24. We also had a budget surplus and were paying down the national debt. An oil man would know how to deal with the Middle East was the argument that swept GWB into office. While they are struggling in the Middle East to come up with who can build the biggest skyscraper built with American quarters, our government has left a major US city to sit in ruins 4 years after a hurricane.

For all the talk that John McCain is a good man, we should avoid this guy like the plague. He is so committed to dropping taxes that will bring us even further in debt. Raising taxes across the board is not the solution, the middle class that is seeing their wages shrink while their bills soar would break their backs. A progressive tax that ensures that those reaping the benefits of society are sharing in the burden of it's survival.

Back in 1970 the average CEO made 20x the average worker in their company. That ratio is now over 400x. Recently I was reading of a CEO that was being praised for outsourcing 2 departments to India while laying off 150 workers saving his company $16 mil in expenses. His salary rose that year from $11 million to $32 million. That's great. 150 families no longer have a regular paycheck in a tough economy but he can buy himself a small island. I don't begrudge him a fair and rewarding pay, but $11 million salary doesn't strike me as unfairly low. This is a fairly typical example of corporate America. I don't mind him paying a much higher tax rate.

I must admit, I am doing pretty well in a tough economy. I may be less secure in my job due to a tough market, but I am employed and doing well. I should be paying more taxes. Hurts to say but the fact is that the strength of the economy would mean my company is more stable and my job more safe, a small price to pay for my tax dollars. Nobody wins unless everybody wins.

Unfortunately the ownership society that Bush and the Republican Party has brought us couldn't pay the bank note and the regulatory agencies were asleep at the wheel. We can ill afford 4 more years of these policies continued never mind another war that these guys are frothing to fight. Forget for a moment that John McCain claims to not know much about the economy, but look at those he surrounds himself with. Phil Grahmm is John McCain's chief economic adviser and he thinks we are a nation of whiners and the recession is all in our head. That is because he surrounds himself with the masters of the universe CEO like mentioned above.

Enough is enough. I like Obama but at this point any available Democrat get my vote over McCain. I can't think of a single Democrat I wouldn't vote for over McCain right now.

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