For everyone who is going around praising Bush for the growing economy, there is a huge looming fiscal collapse around the corner that he is doing nothing about. I am not a "sky is falling" type of person, but we are in serious trouble here. Medicare/Medicaid is a problem bigger than SSI (even though SSI is a problem in its own right). As long as the cost of health care raise faster than the economy grows, we can never catch up.
The national debt is also out of control and the trade deficit hit an all time high last year. One third of the foreign trade debt is from importation of oil. Opening up ANWAR will on produce 1% of what we consume. We need to focus on alternative energy sources now. We need to focus on health care now.
As Bush goes around touting a private SSI plan that does absolutely nothing to fix the problem, he should be focusing on the real economic crisis at hand - health care and our debt spending.
Trade Deficit Hits Record $665.9B in 2004
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON - The United States deficit in the broadest measure of international trade soared to an all-time high of $665.9 billion in 2004, showing in stark terms the speed with which the country is becoming indebted to the rest of the world.
The Commerce Department (news - web sites) reported Wednesday that the shortfall in the current account was 25.5 percent higher than the previous record, the $530.7 billion deficit set in 2003. The department also noted that the deficit was worsening as the year ended with the shortfall in the fourth quarter hitting a record $187.9 billion, up 13.3 percent from the third quarter deficit.
The Bush administration contends the soaring trade deficits reflect a U.S. economy that is growing faster than the rest of the world, pushing up imports and dampening demand for U.S. exports. But private economists are worried that the huge level of resources being transferred into the hands of foreigners will eventually result in lower U.S. living standards.