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The Big "R"

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By Richard E Walrath

The big ' R'  is fast closing in on us, so now we hear about plans for doing something about heading it off. 

Hillary Clinton is proposing a $70 Billion stimulus plan for those with lower incomes--that's called trickle up.

What I don't understand is why does it take seven years and $700 billion of trickle down to get us where we are?  Why not just skip the trickle down idea since we know it doesn't work?

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If we can head off the big 'R' with only $70 Billion, just think of what we could do with $700 Billion!

People are way over their heads in debt, and have no way out except bankruptcy, which the Republicans have made more difficult and more costly to protect their business interests, but bankruptcies are on the rise.

People on the bottom half just can't make it any more on their incomes.  The median household income is below $50,000.  Food, housing, health care and energy are consuming more and more of their incomes.

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Add a debt burden that has been steadily growing to this picture, and you see the Big 'R' fast approaching.

What the bottom half needs is an increase in income--not just a short-time, one-time stimulus.  Wages have been suppressed and depressed for years.  The minimum wage stayed at $5.15 an hour for almost ten years! 

When you have to stop going out to McDonald's, you know things are getting bad.

Starbuck's sales are dropping.  People who used to spend $3 for a cup of coffee aren't going to do that anymore.   Applebee's has been having problems for some time and Wendy's is even worse off.

Even more telling are McDonald's sales which have fallen.  People aren't eating out so much--even to buy a hamburger.  When you have to stop going out to McDonald's, you know things are getting bad.  Next thing people will have to do is learn to boil water and make soup.

Meanwhile, debt in the bottom half has soared.  Add to this grim picture growing unemployment and the financial crisis due to the subprime mortgage mess, and you can understand the situation we are in. 

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Richard E Walrath is a former budget analyst and co-owner of the Articles and Answers News and Information sites:  Articles and Answers  Articles and Answers 2007 and the Alternative Augumenta blog.


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Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson are co-owners of the Articles and Answers News and Information sites.

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