The White House says that Bush was signaling to us Americans last week that he was focused on our economic woes, even though he was departing on a week-long junket to Europe. Apparently, the signal came when he said that he would stress “our nation’s commitment to a strong dollar” during his trip to such glamour spots as Rome, Paris, and London – using your tax dollars, by the way, for his European vacation, while most Americans can’t afford the gas for a summer drive to the lake.
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I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t strike me as much of a signal. First, not many of America’s working stiffs are sitting around their kitchen tables wringing their hands over the dollar’s decline in international currency markets. The dollar’s decline at the supermarket, yes; the miserly number of dollars in our paychecks, yes; the huge number of dollars it takes to make a balloon payment on home mortgages, yes. But a president doesn’t need to dine with prime ministers and European royalty to learn about these downhome realities. Maybe George should visit folks in Rome, New York, Paris, Texas, or London, Kentucky instead .
Second, Bush can talk about his “commitment to a strong dollar” till his tongue gets a charley horse – but the fact is that he and his economic team of Wall Street elites have done absolutely zero to shore up the dollar as it has steadily plummeted in value on their seven-year watch. Third, they’re still not proposing any actual action. Bush, just before boarding Air Force One for his summer getaway, solemnly pledged that the White House would be “monitoring the situation.”
These laissez-faire ideologues have been “monitoring” for years. As a former economic advisor to Ronald Reagan says of Bush’s ineptness: “The key thing here is that you can only talk so much. At some point you have to take some actions.”
“Bush Talks Up Dollar As He Heads To Europe,” The New York Times, June 10, 2008.
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