A really good song from...The Band.
Part One of a Blog Series on why Republican control of Congress is BAD.
Part One: Republican Economy Policies: Good for Richest Americans, Bad for Everyone else:
Over the past several years the rich have gotten richer, and the poor have gotten poor. But don't take my word for it, sit back, put on The Weight, and read... then try to vote to persuade yourself you can vote GOP while maintaining a facade of integrity:
2002: For the first time since 1993, national poverty, as measured by the Census Bureau, is on the increase, rising by 1.3 million people to 11.7% of the population. The only group for which income actually rose in 2001 is the wealthiest 5% of those living in the US. Lack of health care coverage is also increasing, with 41.2 million (14.6% of the population) having no insurance, up 1.4 million people from 2000.
Forbes: After two years of declining values, the rich finally got richer. On this, FORBES' 21st annual edition of The Forbes 400, the aggregate net worth of the nation's wealthiest 400 citizens leapt 10% in the past year, to $955 billion--just one Bill Gates away from $1 trillion.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The number of Americans living in poverty jumped to 35.9 million last year, up by 1.3 million, while the number of those without health care insurance rose to 45 million from 43.6 million in 2002, the U.S. government said in a report Thursday. The percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose to 12.5 percent from 12.1 percent -- as the poverty rate among children jumped to its highest level in 10 years, the Census Bureau said in an annual report.
Forbes: The U.S. economy's recovery may be a little shaky, but you wouldn't know it from looking at this year's Forbes 400. The combined net worth of the nation's wealthiest climbed to $1 trillion, up $45 billion in 12 months. With a $750 million admission price, 9-digit fortunes are an endangered species here: 78% of the people on this year's list are billionaires.
BBC: US Povery Rate Continues to Rise: The number of people classed as poor in the US has increased - despite strong economic growth, say official figures. An extra 1.1 million Americans dropped below the poverty line last year, according to the US Census Bureau. There were 37 million people living in poverty in 2004, or 12.7% of the population, up from 12.5% in 2003.
Forbes: For the third consecutive year, the rich got richer. In this, the 24th annual edition of the Forbes 400, the collective net worth of the United States' wealthiest climbed $125 billion, to $1.13 trillion. Surging real estate and oil prices drove up several fortunes and helped pave the way for 33 new members (and nine retreads).
Census Bureau: There were 37 million people in poverty (12.6 percent) in 2005. Both the number and rate were statistically unchanged from 2004 and marked the end of four consecutive years of increases in the poverty rate (2001-2004). The number in poverty increased for seniors 65 and older – 3.6 million in 2005, up from 3.5 million in 2004. The percentage of people without health insurance coverage rose from 15.6 percent to 15.9 percent (46.6 million people).
Forbes: A nine-figure fortune won’t get you much mention these days, at least not here. This year, for the first time, everyone in The Forbes 400 has at least $1 billion. The collective net worth of the nation’s wealthiest climbed $120 billion, to $1.25 trillion.
I know what you are thinking. "I am a middle class white suburbanite. Poverty? Who cares! I have a bachelor's degree."
LA Times: 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% from 2000 to 2004 when adjusted for inflation, according to White House economists. It is a remarkable setback for workers who thought they were well-positioned to win some of the benefits of the nation's economic growth, and it may help explain why surveys show that many Americans think President Bush has not managed the economy well.
Remember how Republicans used to say it was bullshit that Bush's tax and economic policies benefited the rich disproportionately? Let's look at one more article from that Liberal Rage, Forbes Magazine, August 2005:
"There are indications that the U.S. working class may not be fully participating in the economic boom:
-- Profits as a share of GDP are at their highest level since 1969.
-- Hourly wages of production workers have fallen, relative to the same month the previous year, in 17 of the last 19 months.
-- Production workers, who are paid at the lower end of the wage scale, are seeing their incomes stagnate, while those at the higher end of the pay scale receive fatter pay increases.
President George Bush's tax cuts, which began in 2001, have helped shift the income balance in favor of wealthy citizens. Although nearly all Americans' taxes dropped in absolute terms, the cuts reduced the effective tax rates on the wealthiest Americans by more than the rest.
The gap between the rich and poor has risen in the United States over the past few years. This seems to have lowered overall consumer confidence and acted as a drag on the economy. A continued bifurcation of income distribution could have significant negative economic consequences."
The priorities of the Republican Party are geared toward the rich. They serve wealthy and corporate interests. They ignore how the rest of America is sinking into poverty, declining wages, health care crisis and near economic disaster. Let me conclude with a factual analysis, then my opinion:
Factual Analysis: Unless you are in the top 1-5% of the wealthiest Americans, voting for the Republican Party is stupid. Stupid Stupid Stupid. You have to literally be a moron if you are not a millionare, but continue to vote Republican.
Opinion Analysis: Even if you are wealthy its heartless to vote Republican because it shows you just don't care those who are suffering, you only care about helping the rich get richer. As for the so-called "Christian Conservatives" who vote on "Moral Values", I think most of you will probably burn in hell. Those who make Gay Marriage and Abortion their only issues, and ignore those who are suffering, who are in pain, children who are starving or cannot afford medicine, a vast rise in poverty, homelessness, people dying because they cant afford to go to a doctor. Children who live on the street. But you ignore them because you want a conservative supreme court justice that will overturn Roe v. Wade???? Next time I hear someone say they vote Republican because they are "Pro-Life" I'll correct them. You are Pro-Birth, Pro-Life would mean you care about the child after its born. You don't just let it die because it has no food, or cant afford a doctor. Thats not pro-life. In fact thats pretty sick.
I'm not sorry if this sounds harsh or judgmental.
And if you think that isnt happening, maybe you should wonder why the wealthiest nation on the planet has one of the highest child infant death rates of any advanced country. According to a 2006 report: