pacotelic (pacotelic) wrote in progressives,

It's Your Money

I recall in 2001, when Bush swept into office with a 50.01% "mandate", that one of hos first acts of largesse was the tax refund sweep. This cost the gov't several hundreds of billions of dollars, an amount that today seems routine, and then was little discussed. Hell, I don;t know the amount, but t was certainly above $100 bn.

2001: His refrain, his rousing phrase was, "Its your money"

In the following years, Bush's policies on creating insurgency in Iraq, recruiting for Al Quaeda, strengthening Iran, and giving our money to China drove the price of oil up fourfold over its 2000 price through increased instability and demand. Between the summers of 2002, 2003, and 2004 to pretty much all of the first three quarters of 2008, gas was more expensive than Americans had seen in a generation. The 1981 price was surpassed in 2005, and it only got worse in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Since America's way of life and landscape was founded on using their car to go everywhere and get everything, the cost of living went up precipitously.

Slowly, because of Bush's foreign policies and free trade attitude with anybody who'll sell it to us in bulk and on the cheap, we had less pocket money.

2002-2008 Bush let us keep our money, particularly the rich, but he made us spend it more on the cost of living

"It's Your Money"

Because big government republicans would prefer to borrow and spend rather than tax and spend, the value of the dollar began a slow slide towards devaluation. Only because China and Japan depended for the time on a vigorous export market to the US did they not switch to Euros or cash out all their trillions of dollars in bonds. The full faith and credit of the US became a lot less potent when we were borrowing so much to sustain our "way of life", but mostly just our wars and our roads. The value of the dollar sank almost twofold against the Euro, and for a time, a Canadian dollar was worth more than an American one. I dreamt of living in Buffalo and buying American books to smuggle across the border for resale.

2005-2008 Bush policies of big-government Republicanism and putting America into hock cause the currency to devalue nearly twofold. So he keeps taxes low, but he makes the currency cheaper, meaning that all of our hard-earned cash buys less.

The only saving grace in all this was the housing equity bubble. I am not going to place blame at Bush's feet for that one.

Fast-forward to 2008, when the wings come off the housing market and the investment and retail banking sector. All the protections put in 70 years ago to prevent overleverage had been removed by zealous republicans or circumvented by clever MBAs. And what does Bush (via his appointees Paulson and Bernanke) do? Starts shovelling cash to the banks in a desperate attempt to prop up their way of life. No strings attached , no documentation required. I'm sure the paperwork required to keep track of even ten billion dollars would make Sarbanes-Oxley blush, but having no accountability for that much money definitely plays to Bush constituency: "the haves and the have mores".

Now, because the economy's such a shambling wreck the price of oil is down, and the unitary dollar is less weak against the Euro and the Canadian dollar. But we've injected billions, perhaps a trillion dollars of M3 (virtual) debt into the system. The minute the economy improves, that cash s going to flood back into the market, driving inflation to levels not seen since Ford. Our weakly rising cash will be eaten by Inflation.

But hey, its your money.

What's even better is that Bush and Cheney have steadfastly defended the status quo when it comes to energy policy, instead of providing vision for a new way of living that requires less energy while creating communities and jobs. Maybe they don;t think that this is the government's place, but we are still living under the vision of the highway system, conceived in the 20's and consummated in the 50's. That America you're living in right now is an artifact of the notion that the only way to get anyone or anything anywhere in America is in a car, on an impervious and impeccably designed road. A "sewer for cars", if you will.

when peak oil hits in under a decade, the cost of living in America will double again.

"It's your money"
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