Article 43


Friday, January 20, 2006

US War On The Middle Class

From Lou Dobbs Tonight
January 20, 2006 - Transcript

Rising energy prices just part of the escalating war on this country’s middle class. Congress and our leaders in Washington could not care less, apparently, about the men and women who make this country work. Their lack of concern is evident in their actions and lack of action. Bill Tucker has the story.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The middle class wants to find the American dream. It’s a dream that’s becoming increasingly difficult to afford. Dramatic increases in productivity which once meant rising wages no longer has meaning as Americans have become DISCONNECTED from the economic wealth they generate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look over the past five years, for example, productivity is up really quite impressively, about 17, 18 percent. Middle income family, down each one of those years. The gap between the economy’s productive capacity and the REAL INCOMES of middle income families is wider than it’s ever been.

TUCKER: In 2005, real wages FELL AGAIN. To make up for falling wages, debt soared. Homeowners pulled out one-half a trillion dollars in equity out of their homes and racked up a record $800 billion in CREDIT CARD DEBT.

Ignoring their plight, Congress rewrote the BANKRUPTCY CODE so that erasing debt and a clean start are no longer a possibility. Rubbing salt into the wound, Congress pushed ahead with FREE TRADE TREATIES 2005. The Central America Free Trade Agreement being the latest example which forces American workers to compete with workers earning 50 cents an hour with no benefits.

ANDREA BATISTA SCHLESINGER, DRUM MAJOR INSTITUTE: There is no organized SPECIAL INTEREST that represents the middle class. We’re workers, primarily, first and foremost. We’re people who want to send our kids to college, take care of your parents, retire in dignity. That doesn’t fall into a specific special interest group with a lobbyist presence in Washington.

TUCKER: For example, imposing policy that raises the minimum payments on credit cards instead of imposing limits on the interest that credit card companies can charge.

TAMARA DRAUT, AUTHOR, “STRAPPED”: The story, in terms of what Congress is doing for the middle class, is really about what they’re NOT DOING.


TUCKER: Talking the middle class talk is good for getting reelected, Lou. But when it comes to walking the walk, there are very few in Washington that do.

DOBBS: Well, the Republicans clearly representing and advancing the interests of corporate America on every domestic issue without exception. The Democrats, with great shame because of the tradition of party doing absolutely nothing to forestall this assault, direct assault, war on our middle class. CORRECT?

Bill Tucker, thank you.

From Lou Dobbs Tonight
January 23, 2006 - Transcript
Middle class Americans who’ve lost manufacturing jobs are having a difficult time at best finding new high-paying work. The fact is, there are hardly any industries left where American companies have a leadership role.

Bill Tucker reports.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): We’re number one in garbage. No country exports more of it, $6.5 billion of waste and scrap on the boat, most of it to China in the first 11 months of last year. And we’re the world’s leading exporter of agricultural products: soybeans, corn, cotton, wheat.

ALAN TONELSON, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL:When you look at U.S. trade figures, it becomes obvious that too many of America’s leading export winners are either raw material or commodities or low- value products. Those are third-world products.

TUCKER: We are not number one in COMPUTERS. We surrendered our surplus in advance technology products three years ago.

We are not number one in aircraft exports. Last year, Airbus sold more airplanes than Boeing.

But not everyone is upset by the trend.

WILLIAM BEACH, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I think what we’re seeing now is the NORMAL COURSE of economic change as the world becomes more global. We’re SHEDDING JOBS, we’re shedding industries that we’ve outgrown, and we’re moving into industries and jobs where our FUTURE is.

TUCKER: Exactly what those industries will be isn’t clear, but only two years ago, technology was going to be our saving industry.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I first want you all to know that this administration has great CONFIDENCE in the FUTURE OF OUR TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY.

TUCKER: Now we run a deficit in technology.

Our top 10 industries with trade surpluses totaled roughly $124.5 billion through November of last year. And if you look at the industries with the largest trade deficits and you take only the categories of autos, in audio-video equipment, the trade deficits there totaled $127 billion through November. And China, already the leading exporter of technology is taking aim at bigger products.

CHARLES MCMILLION, MBG INFORMATION SERVICES: China has announced that one of their target industries for their 11th five-year plan that started three weeks ago is, guess what, large aircraft.


TUCKER: And how does China know how to build large passenger aircraft? Well, Lou, Boeing built a manufacturing facility in China and transferred the production and knowledge base to the country.

DOBBS: It is—it is remarkable what has—has transpired over the course of the past five years, really the last 15. And we will continue to hear the business roundtable, the Chamber of Commerce continue to talk about American competitiveness while we are losing ground in every area.

It’s remarkable that anyone would sit there and say they’re not concerned about the loss of jobs, skilled positions, intellectual property and manufacturing. It’s extraordinary.


DOBBS: Bill Tucker.

Thank you.

Posted by Elvis on 01/20/06 •
Section Dying America
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