Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Census Bureau report shows Bush economic policies not working

Yesterdays' report from the U.S. Census Bureau leaves little doubt that, despite Republican dismissal of such concerns as "class warfare", President Bush's economic policies are mainly benefitting the wealthiest of Americans, while leaving the middle class squeezed and the lower class slipping into deep poverty.

Median Real Household Income increased a paltry 1.1 percent, the first increase since President Bush took office, owing mainly to older Americans whose incomes increased due to investments and Social Security benefits. Meanwhile, the under-65 crowd saw yet another decrease in their median wages, as inflation continues to outstrip wage increases for most working Americans. Median income for under-65 Americans is now $2,000 lower than it was four years ago, during the 2001 recession, after adjusting for inflation.

The poverty rate, at 12.6 percent, and number of uninsured Americans, at 46.6 million, are also worse then they were during the 2001 recession. These numbers show that robust economic growth does not by itself help all Americans if there are not government policies in place to ensure that the benefits of such growth are widely distrubited. Economic growth does little good if the benefits of it mainly accrue to the wealthy and to big businesses.

Of course, since the Republicans are vassals of the wealthy and big business, benefits will continue to accure to them as long as they are in power. The question is, how long will it take Americans to figure out that the Republicans are using "wedge issues" such as abortion and gay marriage to distract them while they do the bidding of the wealthy and powerful?

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