For his part, George W. Bush will spend Labor Day doing what he does best ? not really working. Instead of protecting the country (I?ll have much more to say on that in the coming weeks) or addressing the nation?s floundering economy, he?ll be raising money for his re-election campaign in Ohio.
Bush is on pace to raise almost $200 million in time for the Republican primaries where his only competition will be his own dismal record. In Minnesota this past Tuesday, Bush raised $1.4 million by giving a 24-minute speech. That?s about $60,000 for each minute of ?work.? By contrast, the weekly salary of the average American worker is a staggering $616.
As Ron Eibensteiner, chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, left the event in St. Paul, he was met by hundreds of demonstrators. Being the dignified, freedom-loving, compassionate conservative we all wish we could be, Eibensteiner leaned over a police barricade toward the protestors and yelled, ?GET A JOB!?
It was a positive, uplifting message to America. The Minnesota Republican Party isn?t going to do anything to turn the economy around, and Bush hasn?t done anything in almost three years in office. The best any of them can do is yell at people.
In the past year, 700,000 people were added to the list of unemployed. The number of people out of work for half a year or more is up 28%. Thanks to ?Welfare to Work? (and Bill Clinton), July of 2003 saw 43.8% of the unemployed lose their state support even though they still could not find a job?a record high. Since Bush took over the country, roughly 2.5 million jobs have simply evaporated.
Bush and the Republicans are going to need every cent of that $200,000,000 to campaign against an increasingly angry nation of temps and burger flippers! In fact, he might need more, which is one good way to explain the Republican?s recent attempt to paint Bush as an ?underdog.?
?Democrats and their allies,? Bush?s campaign chairman Marc Racicot wrote to super-rich Republicans, ?will have more money to spend attacking the president during the nomination battle than we will have to defend him.? Obviously Bush and his team have a problem with math that extends beyond the $400 billion deficit we?ll have by the end of this year (and the projected $6 trillion deficit we will have amassed ten years from now under Bush?s guidance). If you look at the campaign fundraising so far, you see that Bush has already raised $35 million. The closest Democratic candidate, John Kerry, doesn?t even have half that. Does the Bush campaign know something we don?t about where the Democrats are hiding all that money?
And who has been giving Bush all this money in a time of prolonged economic downturn? Why, the companies that trade in money, of course! Of the top twenty contributors to the Bush campaign, twelve are finance companies. With more than a year to go until the election, his top contributor, Merrill Lynch, has already given $282,250. Doesn?t it seem just a little strange that the companies which SHOULD be suffering the most in Bush?s destroyed economy, would not only want to keep Junior around, but then get together and pump millions into his reelection campaign?
As for the Bush protestors in Minnesota, and the unemployed across the country, and the millions who only make minimum wage, and the 40 million who don?t have health insurance: if you can?t rake in $60,000 a minute ? or if you can?t even manage the $616 weekly American average?there?s only one thing left for you to do this Labor Day: GET A JOB!
Find a temp agency. Go to Wal-Mart. Join the Army (Lord knows we?ll be in Iraq for a while, and that?ll be one handsome, steady paycheck).
Or apply for work at the Minnesota Republican Party?s office. Here?s their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send them your resume and a nice letter telling them you?ve decided to take their advice to ?GET A JOB??and you?re coming to work for them!
But whatever you do, you really must quit your whining.
You are scaring the ?President.?
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