The chart 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.
The month of August, 2008 was the second highest August trade deficit in our country's history. Up until the day that the current "financial market crisis" exploded, your government officials were saying that the "economy" was showing a few weaknesses, but was still strong. But as all now know that was not true.
Sadly, the "financial market crisis" is just the tip of the iceberg. We, the people, have a mountain of debt moving toward us like a mud slide. Even as an enormous amount in excess of $700 Billion dollars ($700,000,000,000.00) of your money is being spent to prop up financial institutions with much hoopla, that much money flows out of our country every year!
Let's repeat that for emphasis. 'That much money flows out of our country every year!" The "financial markets crisis" is just the tip of the iceberg. Due to the lack of fiscal responsibility and "big government" failed economic policies of the Republican and Democratic parties this mountain of debt is moving towards us like a mud slide. --- Each crisis will be treated as a surprise, and you will pay the price for each, unless you the citizens made a fundamental change in our elected government.
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.
Tracking an Expensive Trade Agreement - NAFTA
In January this year - we started tracking our trade with our NAFTA partners [sic]. In just January through August we have a trade deficit over $101,432,000,000.00 or 101.4 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 - then Senator Bob Dole. So NAFTA was brought to us by both the Republicans and Democrats.
In this years Presidential campaign Republican John McCain was the most outspoken supporter of not only NAFTA but voiced strong support for increasing the number of such agreements to include other countries in this American job sweepstakes.
Our new President-Elect Barack Obama voiced support for the so-called free trade agreements but 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.
So nothing is going to change from this years Presidential election.
We lost the election before the first vote was cast!
It is hard to see where we benefit from a trade deficit of $101,432,000,000.00 with these two countries in just eight 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! For years as this debt grew all we got was rhetoric about how strong our economy was. Now the federal government, supported by both Republicans and Democrats commit billions of tax payer guaranteed dollars to bail out failing industries and banking institutions.
Now a brief look at 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 steady growth of foreign owned debt.
That is a debt total of over $12,400,000,000,000.00 - 12.4 Trillion Dollars. That is $12.4 Trillion dollars of wealth accumulated not by you, your family or grandchildren, but by foreigners, and that was in 2007. It has grown since!
Would we have a mortgage crisis if those trillions of dollars had been paid to Americans instead of foreigners?
Year after year, both the Republican and Democratic parties and their leadership have maintained policies that steadily move wealth to foreign countries - then act surprised when we have a crisis caused by the mounting debt.
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.
With all of the talk and rhetoric about "National Security" how do you as a citizen feel about foreign countries steadily increasing their financial influence over our country? Do you pay taxes so that leading Democrats and Republicans can squander your grandchildren's future for campaign contributions?
Oh how the Doubting Thomases will rant and rave at that factual statement. But don't take our word for it, listen to the US Controller General"
Just for the Doubting Thomases - lets look at the numbers, these are just FACTS.
The unacceptable and month by month of wealth outflow due to the trade deficit is allowing foreign countries and entities to buy increasing assets in our country. One of the most talked about measures of our country's debt are the US Treasury Bonds, commonly called the "National Debt."
Since 1986 the foreign owned portion of Treasury Bonds has grown from 15% to 46%. In dollar amounts it has grown from 0.2 Trillion USD to 2.4 Trillion USD.
Still a doubting Thomas?
I urge you to take some time and read the information on Grandfather Economic Reports
To quote from this report concerning the irresponsible accumulation of debt:
"Debt is like drugs - - one needs more and more and more to 'survive.' America, like a debt-junkie depending on support from others, is less and less in control of its own economic conditions looking forward - - becoming more and more dependent on the willingness of foreign interests to finance the destructive and escalating habit.
"If foreign interests have been financing this rising trend of our federal government debt, now at 46% of the total, from where will come the needed additional funds to finance the huge spending plans for entitlement programs, national defense, homeland security and out-dated infrastructure replacements in the future?"
The failure of American Corporations
The Doubting Thomases just find it hard or even impossible to believe that American Corporations support these failed economic polices by millions of dollars in campaign contributions. This is understandable - historically American Corporations were one of the foundations of the growth of American wealth.
But things have changed.
The time has come to realize that things have changed. Once again just the FACTS. Just the numbers from your own government, not us. The chart on the right shows how foreign interests have gained financial influence in American Corporations. Once again the funds to do this are largely derived from the unacceptable and excessive trade deficits that continue month after month.
As long as the trade deficits continue at current levels this trend will continue.
These are trends that are not in your - the citizens - best interests. These are trends that are based upon greed and what used to be called corruption.
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.
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.
Consider helping us give the People of Real Choice. We desperately need your help, if you want us to continue to do our best to spread the message about these failed policies and their growing impact on your future generations. No contribution is too small and can be sent to:
Southern Party of Georgia
We would also appreciate your help in passing this information on to others who should be concerned.
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.