WARNING: Economic Downturn Threatens Dems '06 Victory

The polls are in our favor: they all say the electorate is sick of war, the country's general direction and Republicans in general.  The Lamont campaign scared the GOP establishment to death because it demonstrated a clearly an anti-incumbent mood.  However, assuming everything goes well and the Democrats win a majority in the House and Senate, it will be a short-lived victory.  Within 6 months of attaining majority status, the Democrats will have an economy is shambles thanks to 6 years of Republican mismanagement. 

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Complete Refutation of New GOP Economic Talking Points

Raw Story is claiming it has obtained a copy of the GOP election playbook. All of the points made therein are crap -- as in pure crap.  Assuming this is the true playbook, here are the basic rebuttals to the economic claims made therein.  This information is free to all to use.  

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2Q GDP Stinks; Growth, Savings Down; Inflation Up; Stagflation Lite?

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis press release:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2006, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the first quarter, real GDP increased 5.6 percent.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter primarily reflected downturns in PCE for durable goods and in equipment and software, decelerations in exports and in PCE for nondurable goods, a downturn in federal government spending, and a larger decrease in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports, an acceleration in PCE for services, and an upturn in private inventory investment.

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Economic Talking Points for Dem Leaders, pt. 2

To: Dem Leadership

From: Bonddad

Re: Economic Talking Points

Dear Dem "Leaders" (and I use that term very liberally)

According to a recent NPR poll,the economy is the second most important issue in competitive districts. Only that little thing in Iraq is more important.  So - maybe you should start talking about the incredibly poor performance of Bush's economic policies for everybody except the top 10% of income earners in the country? Last week, I gave you three points to make over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.  I even backed up all of my assertions with those silly things called facts - which are optional in Republican economic discourse.  In case you forget them, here they are:




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College Graduates' Wages Drop 5.2% Since 2000

Wage stagnation, long the bane of blue-collar workers, is now hitting people with bachelor's degrees for the first time in 30 years. Earnings for workers with four-year degrees fell 5.2 percent between 2000 and 2004 when adjusted for inflation, according to White House economists.

It is a setback for workers, and it may explain why surveys show that many Americans think President Bush has not managed the economy well.

Not since the 1970s have workers with bachelor's degrees seen a prolonged slump. These workers did well during the last period of growth, with average wages rising 12 percent from 1995 to 2000, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

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The 5 Major Flaws of Bush's Economy

Several people have commented on my continuing bearishness or "gloom and doom" regarding the US economy.  I want to encourage this response. There is no point in having an interactive blog if a dissenting voice is silenced.  In addition, dissent forces someone writing to defend his position.  I liken this to defending a thesis in front of an academic panel.  An idea that cannot withstand critical analysis does not deserve a place in public discourse.

As the points below illustrate there are serious flaws with the US economy.  These are not minor points that can be rationalized away with a phrase akin to "nothing is perfect." Instead, the flaws below are fundamental problems which threaten the strength of the US economy.

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Attacking Iran/Syria Would Crash the US Economy

Among other bad things--Chris

I had the extreme displeasure of listening to a few minutes of the Sean Hannity radio show yesterday.  All of his guests were pushing for an attack on Iran, Syria or both.  These opinions join the chorus of other rightwing pundits who are pushing for an escalation of military activities.  No one is looking at the possible economic implications of increased military conflict.  What I will clearly demonstrate is the US economy cannot withstand an escalation of military activities and such a course will in fact crash the US into a recession at best or depression at worst.

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Economic Talking Points For Democratic Leaders

To: Dem Leadership

From: Bonddad

Re: Economic Talking Points

Dear Dem Leaders,

You guys don't know how to talk about the economy.  Not at all.  In fact, you guys absolutely suck when it some to talking about the economy.

The American people want you to talk about the economy. According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, 61% of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is handling the economy.  That means they aren't happy and would really like some leadership. (Look that word up in your dictionary - it's been awhile since you've actually done it.)

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Stagnant Wages Starting to Tick-Off Employees

The average workerhasn't seen a meaningful pay increase in three years despite the economy's rebound, according to U.S. Labor Department data.

That may explain the findings of a national survey to be released Monday reporting a sharp jump in the number of employees who feel underpaid.

Nearly 40 percent of employees think their companies pay less-than-market-rate salaries, compared with 28 percent last year, according to an annual survey of workplace attitudes by staffing agency Randstad USA with Harris Interactive Inc.

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Cost Keeps 600,000/Year From 4-Year College

The Campaign for America's Future, a Washington-based policy group, estimates that some 200,000 Americans are being priced out of college education annually. Tuition at four-year colleges alone has climbed 40 percent since 2001.

``One in five students say student debt impacts their job choice,'' says Tamara Draut, author of ``Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead.'' ``It's an economic competitiveness argument. We need to continue to make progress on higher education.''

Instead of making a direct investment in human capital, Congress chose to cut student aid in the most recent federal budget by $12 billion while interest charged on student loans climbed 2 percentage points July 1 -- the largest increase in history.

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