President George W. Bush and presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain claim the American economy is robust and healthy.
Try telling that to the thousands of employees of the Bennigans restaurant chain who reported to work this week to find the doors locked and their jobs gone without notice, severance pay or benefits.
The same fate awaited those who worked for Steak & Ale, another "theme" restaurant chain owned by the same company, which filed for Chapter 7 liquidation without notice.
In Arizona, John McCain’s home state, 43,000 people have lost jobs due to the trade deficit with China. In Pennsylvania, a key battleground state in the upcoming Presidential election, 85,100 manufacturing jobs have been lost to China since 2001.
Home foreclosure rates are up 60 to 100 percent, depending on what area of the country you call home. Too many Americans ran through their unemployment benefits. The lives they had are gone.
Besides Bennigans and Steak & Ale, the list of closed businesses reads like a who’s who:
- Starbucks: Closing 600 stores nationwide.
- Sharper Image: Chapter 7 liquidation.
- Mervyn’s Department Stores: Chapter 11 reorganization.
- Linens ‘n Things: Closed. Chapter 7.
Some 25 towns, counties and cities have filed for some form of bankruptcy protection. Police Departments park their cars because they can’t afford the gas to go on patrol. More banks have failed in the last month than in the last five years.
So tell us Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain: Where is this robust and healthy economy that you claim exists here in America?
Next year’s federal deficit is expected to be a record $490 billion: Almost a half a trillion bucks. The Iraq war continues to eat into what little is left of the American economy and all the Republicans can do is talk about how good we have it.
That same Iraq war was supposed to drive the cost of oil down. That’s one of the many false claims the Bush administration made in a long list of lies used to justify invading a nation that posed no threat to the United States.
Instead, gas prices zoomed past three dollars a gallon faster than a NASCAR racer and topped four dollars a gallon before dropping, slightly, back down. But some analysts say $5.00 a gallon gas is in our future.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Congress passed a "housing relief" plan that provides bail out funds for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and provides mortgage relief to some but does nothing to help the millions out of work or the millions who have already lost their homes.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama goes to Iraq, blows off a visit with wounded troops, tries to be the new JFK in Germany and comes home to court big buck fundraisers and tell them he is now the frontrunner. Some polls say he is, some say he is not.
In 1992, Bill Clinton rode a tide of voter discontent into office by claiming "it’s the economy, stupid."
Today, 16 years later, it’s still the economy.
And our choices are a slate of candidates who are still too stupid to deal with the number issue facing this nation.