The Bush Economic Summit: What the Cheerleaders Won’t Tell You
President Bush is scheduled to conduct an economic summit this week to highlight some of his economic priorities for his next term. Among the topics to be discussed are the state of the economy, taxes, and social security.
While we suspect that the conference will be little more than an exercise in cheerleading for some of the president’s initiatives, we thought we would remind President Bush that not everyone agrees with his assessments of our economic situation or what the solutions are to our nation’s challenges.
During the president’s first term, he drove us from record surpluses to massive deficits in record time. The tax changes of 2001 and 2003 have shifted the tax share away from wealth and high income individuals; and onto work and the middle class. This comes at a time when domestic priorities are not being met, and we have additional need for revenue to finance military operations and to prepare for the coming retirement of the baby boom generation. In short, we are headed in the wrong direction on tax and budget policy.
- Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Discipline by John S. Irons, December 3, 2004
- An Analysis of the Recent Deterioration in the Fiscal Condition of the U.S. Government by Scott Lilly, October 4, 2004
- What America is Saying … About the Deficit November 12, 2004
- Budget Failures by John S. Irons, October 22, 2004
- Why the Right’s Wrong on Taxes by Matthew Miller, April 14 2004
- Tax Day: Average Americans Lose Out with Bush Tax Cuts by Cassandra Butts and Christian Weller, April 14, 2004
Even the administration’s own figures show that Social Security is not facing a crisis. Social Security can pay full benefits until 2042 if you believe the Social Security Administration or until 2053 if you believe the Congressional Budget Office. Yet, President Bush wants to radically change the face of this insurance program that has protected working families for almost 70 years. His "solution" to a non-existent crisis requires large benefit cuts and massive new deficits to establish individual accounts.
- Let Us Count the Ways: The Costs of Social Security Privatization are in the Details by Christian Weller and Jeffrey Wenger, November 18, 2004
- Social Security: Questions and Answers June 27, 2004
- Strengthening Social Security by Christian E. Weller, June 15, 2004
- What America is Saying … About Social Security Privatization October 29, 2004
- The Hazards and Vicissitudes of Social Security Privatization by Michele Landis Dauber, September 3, 2004
- Privatization Worsens Outlook for Medicare and Social Security by Terri Shaw and Christian Weller, March 22 2004
The president spoke during the campaign on "turning the corner" on the economy. Yet the job-loss recovery has left many people behind, despite the president’s promises that his massive tax cuts would help create millions of new jobs in 2004 alone. The job market continues to under-perform. President Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover with a net job loss during his term. This weak labor market has meant that incomes for the middle class have fallen—the average real income for those in the middle 20% of the income distribution fell by over $1,500 from 2000 to 2003. And for all of 2004, wages have not kept pace with inflation.
We are also faced with growing trade deficits that threaten the long-term prosperity of the nation, and that risk a sudden, harmful correction, especially in light of large budget deficits. The dollar has suffered, and foreign investors are nervous about this administration’s ability to get our fiscal house in order.
- Labor Market Challenges by Christian E. Weller and Radha Chaurushiya, November 5, 2004
- Economy Muddling Along; Some Weaknesses Remain by John S. Irons, October 29, 2004
- How Big Is this Soft Patch, Mr. Greenspan? by Christian Weller, September 9 2004
- Don’t Lose (the) Heart (of the Economy) by Christian Weller, September 17 2004
- ‘Upside-Down’ Economy Takes a Bite out of Middle Class Wallets by Christian E. Weller and Radha Chaurushiya, May 28 2004
- Business Investment Too Narrow by John S. Irons and Christian E. Weller, October 28, 2004
- The Effects of Higher Interest Rates by Christian Weller and Radha Chaurushiya, September 20, 2004
- Lagging Investment: The Cost of the Upside-Down Economy by Christian E. Weller, July 1, 2004
- Oil Prices Up, Dollar Down – Coincidence? by Christian E. Weller and Scott Lilly, November 30, 2004
- The Dollar’s Decline in Perspective by Christian E. Weller, November 23, 2004
- What America is Saying… About the Declining Dollar November 24, 2004