Wednesday, September 07, 2005

CHINA TO THE RESCUE

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Bush was supposed to be visited by Uncle Hu, one of China's top rulers. They were supposed to parade around DC together with Bush announcing that Hu is our best buddy and a good friend too. Then Hurricane Katrina destroyed a major port. We are literally on our knees, begging. The Japanese, assaulted by several typhoons with America ignoring it all, is so miffed, they sent us only $200,000. But China opened their purse. It comes with a very hefty price tag.
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The Chinese are sending us $5 million in aid. When typhoon after typhoon hit China, we sent them little. Basically, we ignored it. But this token aid is merely photo op time for the Chinese rulers. They flashed many pictures all over the world, showing them saving America. This has been a big political boon for them! As our empire flounders in the sea of red ink caused by Bush's tax cuts and wars, China sails merrily past us and tosses us a few life savers. Maybe they will give us a life boat and oars too.

From Associated Press:
Cost estimates for relief and recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina are running as high as $150 billion, making it clear that a federal budget deficit picture that only weeks ago seemed to be brightening has now gotten considerably worse.

In July, with great fanfare, the White House announced a $94 billion improvement in the deficit outlook for the current budget year and promised that President Bush would easily fulfill his pledge to cut last's year's record deficit in half by the time he leaves office.
Typical Bush. A triumph is to be twice as bad as Clinton! But like his dad, it only gets worse and worse. The present deficit of "only" $333 was a disaster to begin with, just compared to more than half a trillion last year made this look "good".
The White House budget office in July was predicting that the deficit for the budget year ending Sept. 30 would drop to $333 billion, $79 billion below last year's record, and that next year's deficit would be $341 billion. Now, both figures are rising fast as the government spends about $2 billion a day on the Katrina relief effort, all of which adds directly to the deficit.
Note that these bastards were planning on having a bigger deficit next year! This is progress? And $2 billion a day for Katrina is more than the $2 billion a week we are wasting in Iraq.
At this point, the government is spending whatever it takes. Even the most severe spending hawks say there is no other course.

"Yes, it will cost an extraordinary amount of money ... and yes, it will obviously increase the deficit significantly in the short term," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
What on earth is "short term" to these clowns? The poor people scattered hither and yon are going to cost a lot for a long time!
The White House is sticking by its prediction that the deficit can still be cut in half from the $521 billion deficit once projected for last year to $260 billion by 2009. That presumes the costs of Katrina are largely absorbed in the next couple of years and don't weigh on the deficit over the long term.
Only bleeding $250+ billion a year? My god.

Bush has been told by Hu that we haven't reached our spending limit on the open ended loans China is granting us. So the Bush team and Cheney will spend like drunken sailors. Everyone will rejoice because the housing bubble will continue to swell even as part of it was brutally chopped off. To prevent mortgage defaults, Uncle Hu Sam will give everyone cheap loans on top of the mortgages and we can all toil to pay it back only we never will for we want to live as if we are a first world country, not a client state of the communist Chinese.

From Prison Planet

Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury on New Orleans: "Americans Are Being Brainwashed"
Mentality is "like that of the brown shirts that followed Hitler"

Steve Watson/Alex Jones | September 6 2005

Paul Craig Roberts has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Regan administration.

Roberts followed up his commentary Impeach Bush Now, Before More Die with an interview on The Alex Jones show on Monday 5th September 2005. The former Assistant Secretary had noted of the New Orleans disaster "If terrorists had achieved this result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in history." and went on to spell out how the disaster was left to happen. He succeeded these comments on Monday by laying out the facts again and asserting that the Federal government has been criminally negligent and should be held up to accountability.
The far right wing is now in full alarm. Yesterday, to massage the south western states absorbing the flood of humanity from New Orleans, Bush declared a state of emergency in 8 states....concerning Mexico's borders and the flood of economic refugees from there. Many wonder why the borders aren't patrolled better, sort of like back in 1900, for example.

It is simple. We buy a lot of oil from Mexico. So we can't push them around. Mexico, like China, is sending military troops here to help us because our troops are in Iraq. Worse, many of our own troops have been recruited in Mexico because we don't want to die in Iraq! So the state of emergency isn't really aimed at the borders, it is aimed at the people pouring out of Louisiana. Namely, the states in the executive order are all states accepting these sad people.

From the NYT:
THE old work-force compact is in shreds. Paychecks that rose with productivity gains through the middle decades of the 20th century no longer do so. Since the early 1970's, national product per person has grown more than 75 percent, but the median wage of male workers has risen barely two cents, adjusted for inflation, from $15.24 in 1973 to just $15.26 last year. Family incomes are up only because wives have gone into paid work and everyone's putting in more hours. Job loss often means loss of health insurance and a tax-advantaged pension.

Oil shocks, hurricanes and housing bubbles aside, consumers who are worried about their jobs and wages will be reluctant to buy goods and services, thereby dampening any recovery. But the new insecurity is undermining our national interest in other, less predictable ways by setting off political resistance to economic change, with negative repercussions that ripple beyond the economy.

Forty years ago, free-trade agreements passed Congress with broad backing because legislators recognized that they helped American consumers and promoted global stability. But as job and wage insecurity have grown, public support for free trade has declined. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which passed by 34 votes in 1993, was a hard sale for the Clinton administration. But the recent Central American Free Trade Agreement, embracing a far smaller and less populous area, was an even harder sale for President Bush. Despite Republican control of Congress, the trade deal cleared the House in July by just two votes, and then only after heavy White House pressure.

The increasing insecurity of ordinary workers also imperils our national defense by handcuffing the Pentagon. It can't shift the defense budget to fighting terrorism because of local fears that well-paying jobs will be lost. Contrast this with the comparative ease by which the Pentagon downshifted from fighting World War II to the cold war, more than 50 years ago. Its recent base-closing recommendations ignited a political firestorm, causing even the apolitical Base Closure and Realignment Commission to retreat. The commission's chairman justified its decision to save the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, for example, by noting that the base "is the second-largest employer in western New York."
According to Kennedy's famous book, "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers", all empires end up as military/industrial complexes that get stretched ever thinner as the empire swells in size and all corners have to be defended equally which leaves the center destitute as well as devastated because the troops are far away when disaster hits as it always does eventually. One of the hilarious chapters of this book is how Spain was fighting the Netherlands while going to Antwerp for loans. Guess who won that struggle for power?

From the BBC:
Phone equipment manufacturer Ericsson said it plans to invest $1bn (£544m) in China over the next five years.
The money will fund research and development, as well as expanding manufacturing facilities to meet the increase in demand for phone services.

Ericsson said that it would focus on 3G systems, which allow users to download larger amounts of data more quickly and access services such as music videos.

Ericsson also plans to use the money to finance "significant local purchasing".
So, this is the end of Ericcson building plants all over the place. They ain't spending a billion in America. We lag the entire world in putting people on cell phones. The Chinese, unlike the Japanese, have a gigantic internal market to sell. Namely, a billion potential customers. America has barely a quarter that! The money invested in China will mostly stay there, at least, this is the intention. The Chinese government, worried about unrest, are anxious to start spreading the wealth. They need to spend money on themselves but are willing to spend money saving America as it sinks, only to drown us in the end, when the time is ripe.

If we lose any more major cities, that time will be swift in coming. Think this can't happen?

California. Earthquake.

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