Monday, May 12, 2008   |   Posted by Jim Hightower
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George W’s mouth just can’t seem to say the R-word. Rrr…rrr…rrr, he begins, but the word “recession” simply will not escape his lips. One wonders if it’s even in his vocabulary.

As the workaday majority of Americans continue to be squeezed by stagnant wages and relentlessly rising prices for everything from gasoline to milk, Bush finds soft euphemisms to describe the economic pain folks are experiencing. “Period of uncertainty,” he calls it. “A slowdown,” is another of his genteel phrases for the smackdown of the middle class under his rule. Also, employing one of his favorite big words, the economist-in-chief has admitted that the economy is not as “robust” as people would like.

This is the guy who said he was surprised to learn last month that gasoline is headed to four dollars a gallon. And even as wages are not keeping up with inflation, as unemployment rises, as more and more Americans are reduced to part-time employment, President Clueless has trotted out his PR flack, Tony Fratto, to deny that the R-word can be applied to the Bush economy. Technically, declared Fratto with a straight face, the numbers are “not in recessionary territory.”

Of course, Fratto is making about $140,000 a year, has full health-care coverage paid for by us taxpayers, and has a government chauffer taking care of his commute to the office – so what the hell does he know about economic reality? Americans are not waiting breathlessly for numbercrunchers to declare an “official” recession – folks are looking at their own real-life indicators of falling income and rising prices.

Meanwhile, George is not lifting a finger to help American hard-hit families. What a shame that those families aren’t oil corporations or Wall Street banks – then Bush would be rushing to the rescue quicker than Carrie Nation.

“’Rough’ ‘Tough’ Times, But Still no ‘Recession’”, The New York Times, May 3, 2008

"2007 White House Office Staff List – Salary," www.washingtonpost.com , July 27, 2007

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