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Charles Cutter

Bush & Osama: Bankrupting America
By Charles Cutter (www.cuttersway.com)
Mar 18, 2005 - 12:10:00 AM

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When Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction failed to materialize, David Kay - George W. Bush’s hand-picked weapons inspector - said simply, "We were all wrong."

The Bush administration then drew a big freedom-loving happy face on the chaos and destruction they had produced.

The current death toll for American soldiers in Iraq is 1,519. The damage to Iraq’s citizens and its infrastructure is incalculable.

They were all wrong, but the damage continues.

It’s happened again.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, confronting a Senate committee, explained away his support for Mr. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts (you remember, where the wealthiest one percent of Americans enjoy one-third of the benefits). In Greenspan’s words, "We were confronted at the time with an almost universal expectation amongst experts that we were dealing with a very large surplus for which there seemed to be no end."

A little hard-edged fiscal realism was called for; instead, Greenspan went looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

"It turns out we were all wrong," Mr. Greenspan said.

Again, the damage continues.

The American economy is veering quickly toward disaster. In addition to a $413 billion dollar deficit in 2004, the Commerce Department has now reported that last year’s U.S. trade deficit increased by more than 25% to a record $665.9 billion dollars. According to an Associated Press article ("Trade Deficit at All-Time High," 3/17/05), "Forecasters said the 2005 deficit could be $100 billion higher…Analysts worry the deficits are now so high that foreigners could at some point lose their appetite for dollar-denominated investments. That could lead to a rush for the exits, plunging the value of the dollar and stock prices while causing interest rates to soar."

The article further noted that, "The United States ran up a $162 billion deficit in goods with China last year, the largest ever with any country."

In the face of these deficits, facing a weakened dollar and sluggish job growth, Mr. Greenspan supports even further assaults on America’s fiscal stability.

He endorses Mr. Bush’s disastrous plan to privatize Social Security, adding further trillions of dollars to our national debt. He also supports raising the retirement age, withholding benefits for additional years. "Increasing labor-force participation seems a natural response to population aging, as Americans are not only living longer but also generally living healthier."

Mr. Greenspan doesn’t explain where these additional jobs will be coming from to keep older citizens gainfully employed. But he does offer a timeframe for when these fundamental changes to Social Security should take place.

From Knight Ridder News Service, 3/16/05: "Greenspan also told the Senate Select Committee on Aging that lawmakers should give themselves a 2008 deadline to fix the system. That’s when the first wave of 76 million baby boomers begin to retire."

Not coincidentally, that also marks the end of George W. Bush’s current term in office.

No wonder Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has termed Alan Greenspan as one of Washington’s "biggest political hacks."

In the latest tape from Osama bin Laden (remember him?), he gloated "We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."

He has strong allies in George W. Bush and Alan Greenspan.

The issue of Social Security should wait until we have an administration that is dedicated to necessary revisions of the program, not its destruction. Everywhere George W. Bush has ventured he has left chaos in his wake and taxpayer money in the hands of his corporate sponsors. Bush & Co. perceive Social Security as they did Iraq - a resource-rich country primed for plunder.

If we follow Mr. Greenspan’s advice, Social Security will be yet another Bush battlefield - profitable for a few, but a bloody mess for those who have to live there.


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