Letter to the Editor

Your view: Smoke and mirrors

Friday, October 1, 2004

By their own admission, Republicans believed the tax cuts would create a short surge in the economy timed to kick in just before the presidential elections. They also knew the artificial spending spree was caused by refinancing homes because of lower interest rates. It's all smoke and mirrors.

To have a real recovery it needs to be based on something real. Borrowing money from future wages and spending it is not a real economic recovery. It's a game played by corporate interest and investors to sustain their illusion that everything is OK while they continue to raid the treasury. When statistics came out showing more jobs were created the stock market went down. This is the dilemma for Republicans. Loss of jobs equal more profits, but loss of jobs during an election year could mean defeat.

All legitimate economists are extremely concerned about the effect of the out of control deficit. Any president who presided over the longest, strongest peacetime economy in the history of our nation gets to take credit for it. Yes, the policies of past administrations have an effect on future administrations for a short while, but to imply it lasted for eight years is really stretching the truth.

The economic recovery is a staged event manipulated by lower interest rates that will be going up soon. Until now any recovery in consumer spending was financed through consumer debt. It has been no secret that the Bush administration wanted employment statistics to look rosy just before the election. They were concerned when their plan was delayed by many months. Many of the new jobs are workers, who out of desperation have taken lower paying jobs that do not meet their financial responsibilities. What is not mentioned in economic reports is the fact that consumer debt is at an al time high as are personal bankruptcies. It was also widely reported that the Saudis would help bring down the price of oil just before the elections. The Saudis have asked that the oil cartel lower prices "out of concern of damaging the world economy."

The cost of the war in Iraq, the rising national debt, the crumbling American infrastructure, the rising cost of healthcare, the financial crisis of individual states, the higher cost of living on reduced wages, the working poor, homelessness and unbelievable health insurance premiums are supposed to be overlooked because a piece of paper issued by a government with the biggest credibility gap in history says everything is OK because new jobs were added to the market. I often wonder what kind of world depression we would experience if all corporations were required to prove everything they have written on paper is true. My father always said the Republican answer to an economic recovery was to start a war. This war is taking all the money we need here at home and sending it to Iraq and to corporations friendly to Bush and company.

Marlene Stevens,