On July 28, White House Budget Director Jim Nussle announced that the expected deficit for Fiscal Year 2009 (it begins October 1, 2008) would be a whopping $482 billion. A record for red ink, the figure shatters the previous deficit of $413 billion set in 2004.
After President George W. Bush asked guests at a Republican fundraiser to turn off their cameras — which at least one person failed to do — he proceeded to blame Wall Street for the current financial and housing troubles: “Wall Street got drunk.... It got drunk and now it’s got a hangover. The question is how long will it [take to] sober up. And then we have the housing issue.”
Will we be seeing $10-$12/gallon gasoline and a lot more body bags before the end of the year? That depends on the answers to a couple other important questions, such as: will the Bush-Cheney war hawks launch a war against Iran before the November elections, as they have been aching to do for the past several years? Or will they encourage/sanction an attack on Iran by Israel that will end up drawing us into the fray? Either way, we certainly seem to be headed needlessly on that disastrous collision course.
It was a full year ago when the New York Times carried a small 220-word article claiming that rumors about construction of a massive new highway system from Mexico through the United States into Canada were the product of “urban legend.” But the July 31, 2007 article included a tiny 1x1.5-inch photo showing a map of the planned route that would, in effect, bisect Texas and gravely impact other states. Only a conceptual drawing of the road’s potential location, the photo had been released by NASCO, the North American SuperCorridor Coalition. If no substance to the rumors, why the NASCO map?
Many Americans today are understandably concerned about the state of the economy. The current recession is likely to be one of the worst in recent memory, and comes at a particularly difficult time for many Americans, just as many of the Baby Boom generation are planning to retire. American workers have come to expect stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and other investment opportunities to increase year after year, yet the stock market’s marginal performance over the past few years and the recent instability in the banking sector have made many wonder whether their retirement and savings accounts are safe.