Saluting with misty eyes
The army that the current administration claimed in their original campaign was in no shape to fight a war, and which endured years of internal assault before the current conflict from the "reordering of priorities" from secretary of Defense...
Mike, I apologize for going off topic, yet this needs to be addressed...
This is 100% a Bill Clinton act. From 1993 to 2000, the Army lost 6 entire divisions (that is an entire Army); The Navy was reduced by 166 ships; Air Force squadrons were reduced from 72 to 56... and that doesn't include the Marine Corps, which is the smallest of the services.While the military levels were being dropped to their lowesat since WWII, the missions and use of those troops were increasing, even as the pay was decreasing... the president inmplimented a pay freeze for those in the military service, which caused the number of requests for food stamps to sky-rocket, even as re-enlistment numbers plummeted. With military members adding to the welfare rolls, and losing financial stability wholesale, is it any wonder that the economy began to tank? (and, NO, I am no blaming that exclusively).
As for the VA... that was also a shamblesd LONG before Mr. Bush, Jr came into power... My father needed the services of the VA with a militarily-caused medical condition, and was handed a very substantial bill because he did not retire from the marine COrps, and had never done combat time...even though I grew up on Marine Bases around the world, and he had been awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star, 4 Purple Hearts, and an entire host of other ribbons and medals that are not available to those who do not feel the fire. When I discussed the matter with my local VA rep, his face turned a really pretty shade of purplpe, and her made the statement that he was sick and (expletive) tired of the VA doing that to his troops. Who could he be sick and tired of something that was not a common occurrance? The horrendous consitions at Johns Hopkins did not all occur on the current administrations watch... conditions do not happen that quickly... and yet this administration is forced to pay for it, further stretching the economy.
As for other reasons that the economy has tanked... ALL of the current candidates for the highest office in the land are screaming about how NAFTA has destroyed the economy and how it is sending jobs overseas and causing the poor American workers to lose everything, includinig their homes, their insurance, their self-respect,and all sorts of other things... hmmmmmm... I seem to recall the powers that were hailing this as the salvation of the American Economy in...let's see... 1993? 1994? That would be... BILLARY'S time in office wouldn't it? Then, there was GATT, whose latest round of "improvements was right around the same time... and was opposed by the right side of the house... and which created the WTO... which has screwed us over at every turn.. yet another SLick Willy Pet Project. Yet, the Republicans don't have the intestinal fortitude to tell the Democrats to stop screaming about it, and to stop telling the Americans that it wasn't their poster boy's doing. Ask any famerican worker who was responsible, and they will tell you that.. well,their labor unions say it was the Republicans who didn't control ANY of the three houses... yet the Republicans have ruined the economy?
As for other possible reasons that the economy has "tanked" in the 200's: during the Clinton years, personal bankrupsices increased dramatically, and personal savings dropped. Once the economic downturn started happening, the American population had nothing to fall back on, and personal spending slowed.
Let's talk about some economic factors during this presidency (last year's figures):
After-tax personal income has risen 9.6% during the last 6 years. During the 1990's it had grown only 6.7%.
7.2 million new jobs since August 2003.
Unemployment was 4.5% (as opposed to 4.1 during president Clinton's BEST year... not too far apart). This is also below the average for each of the last 4 decades.
Real income rose 1.7% faster than the average income increase during the 1990s.
Student Loan interest rates are at 6.8%, lower than all but 6 of the last 48 years.
Job creation increased almost 50 straight months.
Unemployment fell for all minority groups.
Worker lay offs were only 1.1%, down from 1.3% from the beginning of the current administration.
Annual wage growth was 1.7%... more than the average of .4% loss from the former administration.
Since the tax cuts went into effect, 7 million new jobs have been created.
US Productivity increased 2.5% in the last 5 years, up from a high of 2.2% during the 90's.
Real growth in manufacturing has increased more than the private sector over the same time period.
Home ownership has risen from around 67% to around 69% (a near record high) since 2001.
Minority home ownership is up.
Minority business ownereship is up.
Now, I will admit that the economy is not all roses and chocolates; however, the doom and gloom that the Democrats are screaming about at the top of their lungs might not be the actual facts. Actually, let's make this a little personal, and bring this into real numbers that affect real people:
The median income for a family of 4 for the county that I live in (Carbon County, Pa) is just over $52,000. My girlfriend and I combined, make just over $32,000. Out of that, we are paying the mortgage on her house, raising 5 kids in the household, and I am paying my child support for my daughter. Do we have money flowing out of our ears? Do we have all of the extras that our children would like? Do we have digital cable, the 10G internet modem, a brand new car, dance/music/acting/etc lessons for the kids, vacations every year, and eating out once a week? Not even close; however, we are making it without too many sweats. We have a used car and a used van that work well enough for us. We have the basics (basic cable, entry level cable modem, movies once a month or so, pizza once a month or so, rented movies every so often, etc.) and we get by with a few dollars at the end. My income has increased 25% in the past year (as a cook in a local small family restaurant). Our customer base has increased (according to the owners at the last employee meeting) 14% or so in the last year. We made enough to do a complete renovation of the restaurant, including a few new pieces of equipment, and a complete change in look inside and out, front and back of house. Usually, one of the first areas to suffer in a bad economy is the food service industry, because no one has the money to eat out... hmmmm... yet people in one of the areas in Pa with the highest rate of families on assistance, are still eatinig out in increasing numbers.
It's time people stop listening to all of the politicians who are saying and doing anything possible to gain/keep their jobs and start focusing on real people, and real (as opposed to partisan) numbers.
What would you attempt to do...if you knew you could not fail?.