The chart at the above is taken - month by month - from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis monthly press releases. These are just the numbers reported by the government. A copy and link to the most recent BEA press release is always at the bottom of the page.
This remains a track record of failed economic policies, which apparently are continuing unabated. If you compare these monthly articles you will find that the song remains the same month by month, year by year. The mountain of debt continues to grow at rates that are going to place real hardship on your children or grandchildren, possibly yourself.
The long term impact of the mountain of debt continues to grow as does the impact on your grandchildren.
The chart at the left shows the trade deficit excluding all petroleum products. So even without the purchase of a single drop of oil we would still have very high trade deficits.
When you hear politicians blaming our unacceptable international trade position on oil, just remember this chart. They are not being completely honest with you! Before political correctness such lack of honesty was called by more descriptive terms.
Last month we started tracking our trade with our NAFTA partners [sic]. In just January and February we have a trade deficit of just a hair under $23,000,000,000.00 or 23 Billion USD.
Note that NAFTA was passed by a very narrow margin in 1992 and supported by both Democratic President Bill Clinton, and the 1996 Republican Presidential nominee and then Senator Bob Dole. So NAFTA was brought to us by both the Republicans and Democrats.
In this years campaign Republican John McCain has been the most outspoken supporter of not only NAFTA but has voiced strong support for increasing the number of such agreements to include other countries in this American job sweepstakes. Both of the Democratic candidates have voiced support for the so-called free trade agreements but have used some campaign rhetoric suggesting that these agreements are OK as long as we add more government regulations for worker protection (read re-training benefits when your job is shipped to a foreign country) and environmental taxes.
It is hard to see where we benefit from a trade deficit of $23,000,000,000.00 with these two countries in just two months!
Possibly a truer statement would be that both Canada and Mexico have many thousands of families that now benefit from jobs that used to support families in our county.
The now empty and vacant facilities (and the ones that will become empty) that used to produce these products in our country do not employ very many people.
However in some foreign country, for NAFTA this would be Mexico or Canada, the story is different:
Regardless of the campaign rhetoric, the track record the last few decades speaks louder. We get rhetoric about our strong economy - but it is propped up by a growing mountain of debt! We get rhetoric about how strong the "dollar" is - as its value continues to fall against virtually every other currency in the world.
But the leading Democrats and Republicans get record levels of campaign contributions and are sent back election after election - so nothing changes.
Now a brief look at what the impact of year after year of our failed economic policies: Take a look at the chart on the right. This is a graph, using the governments own numbers of the long term total of our Trade Deficits since 1985.
That is a debt total of over $7,000,000,000,000.00 - 7 Trillion Dollars. That is $7 Trillion dollars of wealth accumulated not by you, your family or grandchildren, but by multi-national corporations and foreigners.
Is it any surprise that special interests are willing to invest millions of dollars in the campaigns of their chosen candidates?
Is this what you vote for on election day?
Whether the answer is yes or no, it is what you have been getting for the last few decades from BOTH the Republicans and Democrats.
How much debt in your grandchildren's name are you willing to accept? If you are OK with $7 Trillion, is $10 Trillion also OK? If so you will have it in another 4 years.
Think about that last statement.
How many members of your family or friends are going to sacrifice their jobs or financial stability to reach that dismal level of $10,000,000,000,000.00 of trade debt.
The various multi-national corporations will be happy, it is an ideal world for them. "Cheap labor" all the way around. Tax payer supplied transportation infrastructure. Tax payer supplied benefit for laid off employees. Slowly but surely, the wealth built up by our previous generations will be sucked into these corporations coffers.
In the meantime, all they have to do is funnel a couple percentage points of their profits into campaign accounts to keep their gravy train running.
They know that our political system is broken. They know that the virtual monopoly of a very limited two party system minimizes competition. They know that with minimal competition special interest money can prevail.
And so, month after month, year after year, election after election, nothing changes. Just take a minute and look at the chart at the top. Take a look at the chart on NAFTA.
If that concerns you, consider helping us get these subjects into today's political debate. Nothing will change until you - the citizens - decide that the time has come to make a change. Meanwhile the greedy and powerful will just continue profiteering off of your grandchildren's future.
If you are ready to begin demanding "sane" economic polices consider forwarding this page or previous months articles to other folks who you believe are also concerned. If this distribution list doubled every month, we could make a real difference in the 2010 elections and could cause a buzz in this years elections.
This is not the Republicans' country. This is not the Democrats' country. This is not the Southern Partys' country. It is your country, it will be your childrens' and grandchildrens' country.
Your country is run by the 492,000 elected officials that YOU elect. If you want better economic policies you are going to have to elect people who will represent you and not represent special interests. Or you will just continue getting more of the same.
made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
About the author:
Mike Crane the 2nd vice chairman of the Southern Party of Georgia was a candidate for the 51st Senate District in Georgia. Despite gathering over 7,000 petition signatures in 2004 and 2006 combined - he was denied ballot access both elections. While 70% of the Georgia State House districts and 56% of Georgia Senate districts had one candidate in November, Georgia tax dollars were used to prevent political competition.
Help the Southern Party's first TV commercial: http://spofga.org/build/2008/feb/real_choice.php