Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Did the Republicans all leave and not tell us?

What’s good for Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. is good for America or at least that is what the Masters of the Universe at GM would have you believe. GM is patting itself on the back for keeping 3000 Hummer jobs in the US. But that deal is only for a year and a half, then Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. can do as it would like. The only good news is that the Humvee military truck isn’t made by GM and those jobs will stay in Indiana.

Gasoline prices are increasing despite the fact that demand for gas is continuing to decline. Inventories have not declined even though the oil companies have slashed refinery production as the economy continues its slow-motion collapse. The numbers for May are just starting to emerge and they aren’t expected to be good. Retail sales are expected to decline about 4% and that could be a rosy forecast. Walmart, which had been benefiting from the shift to low-end retailers by the formerly middle-class has stopped reporting monthly sales figures.

The jobless rate continues to go up. State and local governments are cutting pay for workers as well as eliminating jobs and programs that serve the public. California is going to force 2 million people off state run health insurance putting an even bigger strain on emergency rooms that are also losing funding. Even the state’s Poison Control Center will be killed off and its 800 callers per day will have to rely on the overworked emergency rooms. And who does the emergency room doctor call when an unusual poisoning case comes in? You guessed it.

States are finding that tax revenue is down more than expected and as they cut back more, tax revenue goes down still more. The Republican diversion of the stimulus package into tax cuts is already coming home to roost. When the kids of Republicans drink something that they found in the maid’s closet do they call the Poison Control Center? Do they drive their Hummer to the same emergency room we do? Do they still live in this country or did they leave us behind?