Click Here to Enlarge Color Cartoon and Download for Free Use
Click Here for Larger Color Cartoon and Download for Free Use
Click Here for Black & White Version and Download for Free Use
Bush boasts that the US economy has never been so robust with the Dow hitting over 13,000. This figure shouldn't be any surprise after he and his GOP cohorts pumped money into the top tier and the business sector via tax cuts, corporate grants and a war economy. Bush has been playing 'Republican Trickle Down', except there is little trickle down. The 13,000 Dow could be the boom before the bust. Many low and middle-income Americans are noticing that the Bush economy is not really doing so well. They see jobs disappearing, wages slipping and opportunities vanishing. They see folks living in cars and eating dog food. There are thirty-seven million struggling below the poverty line soon to be joined by millions more of marginal earners after they are hit with bad luck. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine reported that with a gain of over three million, the number of Americans living in extreme poverty has grown more than any other group since Bush took office in 2000. According to the US Conference of Mayors, many indigents asking for food hold jobs, but are paid so poorly they can't feed themselves. Yet, Republicans have consistently thwarted Democratic efforts in Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. The $5.15 wage has been stalled for nearly a decade and is now at its lowest level in real terms since 1956. Then, it was 50% of the average wage, but is now only 30%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics official unemployment count is 7.6 million. Add another 1.5 million who are no longer counted because they've haven't found work for a long time. Add another five to ten million who are underemployed and can only find part-time work or are doing jobs below their potential. It totals up to twenty million out of work or making sub-standard pay. Globalization is responsible for the lost jobs for Americans and the downward spiral for middle-class wages. With Bush's support, disloyal businessmen, eager to exploit the massive pool of cheap labor in third world countries, are dumping well-paid American workers and sending their jobs overseas as well as replacing them here with imported low-wage foreign workers. Furthermore, it isn't just blue collar manufacturing jobs being affected. 560,000 American high-tech jobs were sent abroad while more of the same number of low-wage high-tech foreign workers on H-1B and other temporary visas were brought in according to The American Engineering Association in 2003. As a result, enrollment in science and high-tech college courses started to decline, which provided an excuse for employers to lobby for further increases of the low paid foreign high-tech employees allowed to work in the US under H-1B visas. The Bush economy is ripe for a depression. Run-away spending for his tax cuts for the rich and his Iraq War has pushed the national debt up to $8.6 trillion. It is impossible for the United States to pay-off this mind numbing debt so instead China, Japan and the oil exporting countries are financing it. The US dollar is still afloat only because of frenzied consumer spending, which makes up 70% of the GNP, and the fact that 70% of the worlds oil is traded with the dollar forcing central banks to amass it in huge quantities. However, both of those underpinnings are beginning to crack. Huge American personal debt and -1% savings rate are putting a drag on consumer spending. And, American insolvency has induced some oil trading countries to reconsider their allegiance to the dollar as the main oil currency and to replace it with the Euro and other currencies. As these reverses implode, our creditors will stop financing us and the world's central banks will jettison their hoards of collapsed dollars back to us causing the Bush depression.