Dolan: Poverty up as war monger ignores citizens

Mike Furno

Forget the stock portfolios. Pay no attention to the fourth quarter earnings. Real people are being hurt. Thanks to the failing economy and the general apathy of the American public, 1.3 million more people are in poverty. So now 32.9 million lucky Americans are getting the raw end of the stick, while Bush pumps tax dollars into the defense budget and points to his famous tax cut as domestic policy.

Well thanks Mr. President, your tax cut worked. The average income for the top five percent of the population rose $1,000. I am sure all of the people who have been kicked off of welfare and are either unemployed or still making $5.15/hr are really impressed.

It doesn’t help that all Bush can lobby for in Congress is a resolution that would violate UN charter and give him complete control to wage any war possible to protect the oil interests, oops, I mean “security” of the United States.

Our War on Terror has already completed its main objective: failing to find Osama Bin Laden and securing Afghanistan for a steady flow of World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans. As soon as we build our oil pipeline through the scenic and bombed-out country side, we will let the economy fail and then keep Afghanistan as a debtor for the rest of eternity. Next stop, Iraq.

But then again, maybe Bush does have a plan. If we can take over most of the Middle East or at least bomb its infrastructure and replace the dictators with pro-western “leaders,” we can liberalize the economic systems of all the oil-rich nations through structural readjustment and force them to export oil through the World Trade Organization. Then we can all buy more SUVs because gas will be even cheaper. Increased SUV sales will stimulate the economy, and the top 5 percent of the nation could get even richer. What a great economic policy! Ignore the poor in our country; bomb the poor in other countries.

What we really need is some true economic reforms. We need to start looking out for our people. A better president once said something to the effect of “Great prosperity should not exist alongside great poverty.” We need a higher wage floor, national healthcare, guarantee that schools will be safe and equal and we need the knowledge that neighborhoods will be safe.

And I’m not just looking for better facilities in the Toll-Brothers mini-mansion communities, I am talking about everywhere. There are 32.9 million people who are literally getting short-changed in the wealthiest nation of the world, and all we can do is wave flags and bicker about which foreign country might one day in the distant future fantasize about attacking us. Let’s take this new finding on domestic poverty as a wake up call and try something different for a change.