Bush: Economics Supergenius

At today's presser, George reminded everyone how stupid he really is. Proud of his status as a C student, he had this to say about his mad economy skillz:
QUESTION: Do you think there’s a risk of a recession? How do you rate that?

BUSH: You know, you need to talk to economists. I think I got a B in Econ 101. I got an A, however, in keeping taxes low and being fiscally responsible with the people’s money.
Let's take a look at how his fiscal responsibility has panned out so far.

As we all know, the biggest expense we have going right now is this never ending shit going on in the Middle East. Back in July, the Congressional Research Service released a report of current and projected expenses for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to the DOD paying out about $12 billion a month, the report has some sobering news about what costs could reach in a few years:
Additional war costs for the next 10 years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.
OK, so money is flying out the window at an exponential rate. Big deal. We can just borrow some cash to help offset some of this, right?
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Congress on Wednesday that the U.S. government will hit the current debt ceiling on Oct. 1.

He urged quick action to increase the limit, saying it was essential to protect the "full faith and credit" of the United States, especially at a time of financial market turmoil.

The current debt limit is $8.965 trillion (€6.42 trillion). Unless Congress votes to raise that ceiling, it means that the country would be unable to borrow more money to keep the government operating and to pay debt obligations coming due.
Alright, so forget that idea. How about we use some of the cash we're getting from all those goods we're exporting everywhere? Well, that won't work either because that would assume a trade surplus, not a trade deficit, and according to this government report, the deficit appears to be at its worst level in years (approximately $760 billion). And with that, falls the final domino: a weak Dollar.
The US dollar hit a new record low against the euro as investors sold the currency after the Federal Reserve's hefty interest rate cut.

The greenback dropped below the psychologically-key $1.40 level against the euro, deepening recent losses.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar reached one-to-one parity with the US currency for the first time in 31 years. [...] The fundamental problem is the growing US trade deficit - now more than $700bn - as the US economy has imported far more goods than it has exported.
That's what B in Econ 101 got us. Whoops:
President Bush as an undergraduate at Yale did not in fact receive a grade of B in his economics course. Bush received a grade that would correspond with a C-.

A copy of Bush's Yale transcript posted at the humorous website GeorgeWBush.org states that the president received grades of 71 and 72 in Economics. The president took the course during successive semesters of his sophomore year, 1965-66.
Yea, just as I thought. After I read that BBC article, I had to check and see what the current exchange rates were with my own eyes. Sure enough, we really are toe-to-toe with Canada. The Euro is now about $1.40. I still remember when we were even! And now, the British Pound is officially worth twice as much as the Dollar (good thing we're going to southern Ireland next year!). Go to Oanda and see for yourself.

For me, it always comes back to this dumbass war. Scroll back up for a second to take a look at how much we're forking out for it (it's ok, I'll wait). It would take another post (with a HUGE open wide section) to come up with the full list of domestic items, to which all of those funds could be allocated. And yet, we're still pissing it all away, and will be for the foreseeable future, while continuing to adversely affect our economy. Cut off funding? Bet your damn ass we should, and quick.

But that's not something a C student in Economics can grasp, is it?

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