Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Deficits Scarier than Terrorism to Business

USA Today is reporting that



The budget deficit has overtaken terrorism as the greatest short-term risk
to the U.S. economy, and concern about the current gap is rising, a survey of
U.S. businesses shows.
That's the Blockbuster result of a Survey done by the National Association for Business Economics. The survey also found that only 9% felt that social security was in crisis and support for private accounts was far less than other fixes. 89% said Medicare was a far bigger problem than Social Security and the most popular fix was making some of the highest income elderly help pay for their own care.

That sound you just heard was the Chickens coming home to roost. The Republican's drunken sailor way sare beginning to alienate a crucial part of their base, the part with money.
This is a huge opportunity for the Dems to exploit. Handled correctly, we can use this issue not only to wedge the current Republican congress, but to peel away support and money from the Right as we prepare for the `06 re-taking of Congress

What makes these findings so significant is that the NABE is also not some liberal lefty college academic think tank. Instead it is a trade association of working business economist and it tends to lean heavily to the right. In fact, according to the Web site The Nebbish of Darkness himself, Alan Greenspan, is a past president of the organization.

And even more importantly Terrorism is not an abstract fear for business. 9/11 had a seismic impact on the national economy. I worked for SBA in the aftermath and saw 9/11 listed as the cause of business failure on literally hundreds of bad loans. The GOA estimates for New York alone were over 200 billion in losses. I suspect the over all impact to the country may well have been an order of magnitude more.

Now however these business have something far scarier to contemplate. Bush&Co's reckless spending ways are causing economic havoc. As the High Priest of Capitalism himself, Warren Buffet says:
"

The evidence grows that our trade policies will put unremitting pressure on the
dollar for many years to come," Buffett writes. "The decline in its value has
already been substantial, but it is nevertheless likely to continue. Without
policy changes, currency markets could even become disorderly and generate
spillover effects, both political and financial." That's careful language, but
what Buffett is saying is that America is risking a financial crash -- a
bursting bubble -- if political leaders don't do something about the trade
deficit.



Suddenly the unholy alliance underpinning Bush's administration has developed a serious schism. The Repuliban will keep supporting Bush as long as Terry Schiavo is breathing, but the business community is getting restless. Everything may appear fine and dandy inside the Bush Bubble; but business are forced to live in the real world. Cold hard numbers, and corporate bottom lines are extremely "reality based" (with the exception of Enron, Global Crossing, HealthSouth, Worldcom, and AOL) and they are not good and getting worse.

This Ladies and Gentleman is both our challenge (to save the American Economy) and our opportunity (to break the iron grip of the republicans on business)

Its not going to be enough to simply sit back and carp. The Republican disinformation campaign has successfully painted democrats as fiscally irresponsible for years, and in the minds of most business owners that label has stuck. So however disenchanted they are with W, they are not going to turn blue unless we give them a good reason to. It time to start flogging this issue for all its worth. We need to remind folks how much better things were when we were in charge (remember the surpluses?) .

I think we should also lead the charge to revive Gramm-Rudman (after all wasn't it a Bipartisan bill? Are the Republicans now backing away from fiscal discipline in our time of need? And for that matter why not start calling for a balanced budget amendment once in a while ?(why should Republicans have a monopoly on proposing impassable symbolic amendments?) After all wasn't that in the very Contract on America, most of these frauds swept to power with?
Bottom line is for America and for our party we need to make this moment where we stand up and make a huge ruckus about the Budget.

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