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?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Rasmussen: Strickland ahead by 25

The Rasmussen poll released the results of its statewide polling for Ohio's governor and senator races on August 27th, and the results do not bode well for the Blackwell campaign. According to the poll, Congressman Strickland has increased his lead in the gubenatorial race to 25 points. This tracks with a SurveyUSA poll which shows Strickland's lead at 22 points, and with the Columbus Dispatch poll which showed Strickland with a 20 point lead. According to the Rasmussen results, 57% of likely voters contacted by the survey stated they plan to vote for Congressman Strickland, while 32% state they plan to vote for Secretary Blackwell, with the remaining 11% either supporting third-party candidates or undecided. The three month rolling average, which is supposed to eliminate statistical noise, has had Strickland with a 13-16 point lead for the last five months.

Meanwhile, the more competitive race between Congressman Sherrod Brown and incumbent Senator Mike DeWine continues to be very close. The latest Rasmussen result had Brown with a razor thin 3 point lead, as compared to the 2 point lead from last month's poll. The three month rolling average now shows the race as a tie, and has shown no candidate with a lead larger than two points for the last four months. This is truly going to be a bruising battle to the finish, with both candidates already trotting out attack ads. With the coming of Labor Day and the two-month mark til Election Day, expect the attacks to get more and more vicious.