Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, April 04, 2008

A Country With Nobody in Charge

The Bush era is closing on a downer. More than four out of five Americans, 81 percent, are unhappy with the way the country is going, the New York Times/CBS News mood poll tells us today, with the economy replacing terrorism and the war in Iraq at the top of their worry list.

They blame government for the housing crisis more than banks or home buyers and favor help for individuals rather than financial institutions.

But that's not what's happening in Washington. After the $29 billion bailout of Bear Stearns, the Senate is cobbling a $15 billion bill that provides tax breaks for home builders but leaves out a provision Bush threatened to veto that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to restructure mortgages to keep owners in their homes. They did include $100 million for counseling people facing foreclosure, presumably to help the newly homeless feel better about their situation.

The March decline of 80,000 jobs is the third in a row, signifying a real recession. For those who still have jobs, wage increases failed to match inflation, in effect giving them a pay cut.

As voters watch their Executive Branch and Congress fumble and stumble on the economy, they may also be depressed by the bottomless quagmire in Iraq that continues to consume lives and billions of dollars. The Petraeus-Ryan tap dancing team will bring very little convincing cheer from a country where the newly trained freedom fighters desert in droves when called into action.

Somebody should check on what the 19 percent of Americans who think the country is going in the right direction have been smoking.

1 comment:

Jay McDonough said...

from swimming freestyle:

Two disappointing and, undoubtedly, related statistics. And stinging indictments of a Bush Administration that is so ideologically bent on deregulation, they've given up any stewardship of the American economy. As a consequence, we continue to drift towards an economic downturn European analysts refer to as depression-like while Mr. Bernanke dances nervously in Congressional hearings afraid to say the "R" word and President Bush goes AWOL to a NATO conference. It will require some real Houdini like moves on the part of the Administration and their minions to squirm out of accountability for this gigantic mess.

Democrats need to loudly remind voters the consequences of leaders allowing outdated and disproven ideological considerations to interfere with the business of managing the government and the, now obvious, implications for the American people.

Loudly. Very loudly.