Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, September 03, 2003  

Remember, now, it's George Bush's recovery. He didn't take credit for the recession--that was Clinton's doing--but he's all about how his economic strategy (transfering federal dollars to corporations and the wealthiest individuals) produced a recovery. In fact, with the kind of aplomb reserved only for the really great confidence men, Bush stood in front of an Ohio union (no doubt feeling the Kucinich threat) and recounted how the tax cuts had allowed Americans to bathe in money:

"The first quarter of 2001, we were in recession. But we acted to come out of that recession. We acted with tax relief. And it created big noise and big debate in Washington. But here's what I believe and here is what I know. When you've got more money in your pocket, it means you're going to spend or save and invest....

"We hadn't recovered from all the challenges, and so we passed tax relief again. I called upon Congress to pass the jobs and growth package, and we lowered taxes once again to create jobs. When you reduce taxes, people have more money."

Well, ain't everybody cheering. It seems those damned working poor are raining on the parade:

The number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by more than 1.3 million last year, even though the economy technically edged out of recession during the same period, a Census Bureau report shows.

It seems that if you happened not to be a titan of industry, times weren't so easy. But the President really does care about the American family (from the same speech):

"And I'm going to remind you of what we did. If you're a mom or a dad, we increased the child credit to $1,000 per child, and we put the checks in the mail -- $400 additional per child for American families, so you get to decide to do with the money. It's your choice. You see, after all, in Washington we don't spend the government's money; we spend your money."

Well, maybe he was just talking about some other family, because despite that largesse (I mean, if you can't pull yourself out of poverty on $400, you just aren't trying), it seems not everyone is better off:

The spike in economic hardship hit individuals and families alike. The report indicated that the total percentage of people in poverty increased to 12.4 percent from 12.1 percent in 2001 and totaled 34.8 million. At the same time, the number of families living in poverty went up by more than 300,000 in 2002 to 7 million from 6.6 million in 2001.

The number of children in poverty rose by more than 600,000 during the same period to 12.2 million. The rate of increase in children under age 5 jumped a full percentage point to 19.8 percent living below the poverty line from 18.8 percent a year earlier.

Yes, joblessness and poverty are bad, but only to those without money. For so many Americans, it is a time of plenty: the stock market's on the rise, the economy's growing, and the defense sector is really popping. Yes, except for the nay-saying poor, it really is a time of wonder in America.

"And so on Labor Day, a day in which we honor the worker, let us honor those who work to make our society and country a more compassionate place by helping a neighbor in need, by doing your job as a citizen of the country, by being a patriotic person, which means more than just putting your hand over your heart. It means serving your country in ways large and small, all aimed at lifting up this nation, all aimed at keeping us the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless America."

Amen, brother. Amen.

posted by Jeff | 10:37 AM |
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