Washington, D.C. President Bushs last State of the Union address yesterday failed to produce long-term solutions to the challenges facing Americas workers as signals of an economic downturn continue to persist. In spite of his lofty rhetoric, the president was unable to gloss over his dismal seven-year legacy of failed economic policies that have favored the wealthy few, while workers and their families continue to struggle with rising heath care costs, the collapse of the housing market, stagnant wages, crumbling job security and the decline of workers rights. The presidents address further underlined the irrefutable fact that this administrations fiscal folly will affect the next generation of Americans who may never realize the American Dream.
President Bushs seven-year record of fiscal incompetence and mismanagement has had a devastating affect on American workers and their families. Over the course of his administration, Americas debt has increased to over $9 trillion and consumer confidence has plummeted. The number of uninsured Americans, including children, has increased to 47 million, and the cost of health care has risen three times faster than inflation and wages. In addition, gas prices have climbed to over $3 a gallon, state college tuition costs have increased by 40 percent and the share of mortgages entering foreclosure is at the highest level on record since 1979.
This election year, politicians of both parties are highlighting the American Dream as an attainable goal for those who are willing to work hard and play by the rules. It is our hope that the next president combines this rhetoric with real policies and initiatives that will put the needs of all Americans above corporate interests.