Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Answer to the $64,000 Question

The mailman brought my water bill today and I almost fainted when I saw the total, but then I remembered I wasn't the only one with problems. Last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called the disconnect between the Bush administration's upbeat economic news and the public's downbeat attitude "the sixty-four thousand dollar question." He couldn't understand why consumer confidence was down.

Hmmm...(finger tapping...tap...tap...tap), maybe, just maybe, Clinton's former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, has the answer:
[...] median annual household incomes have dropped, in real terms, from about $46,000 in the year 2000 to $45,000 today. Yet if American households had been sharing in the growing economy the Administration is so eager to tout, median household income today would be on the way to $64,000. Rarely before in history has the American economy grown so nicely without most Americans sharing in the growth. Corporate profits are fatter than they've been in years. What corporations aren't using for investment they're awarding to their top executives or distributing to their shareholders. [...]

Supply-side economics, meaning big tax cuts for the very wealthy, used to be called trickle-down economics on the assumption that some of the gains would be felt by average people. But in this economy nothing has been trickling down. The real sixty-four thousand dollar question is why the White House is puzzled that most Americans are so downbeat. [emphasis mine]
Leave it to a Democrat to come up with the answer!


abi said...

What a great response. I wish Reich had had more influence in the Clinton administration.

mikevotes said...

That's why they keep losing elections. The Dems deal in realities, and realistic solutions are ugly and nuanced and don't market well.

As you know, I'm pulling for them and a return to rationalism. But it's hard to sell a multipronged approach to anything. Bring'em on is so much cleaner.