Already this year we’ve seen meltdowns in the housing and mortgage markets, skyrocketing foreclosure rates, the collapse of major investment banks and federal bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. And it’s only September!
Into these headwinds, John McCain spits “the fundamentals of our economy are strong!” It seems everybody but Top Gun knows what happens when you spit into the wind.
The crises have devastated millions of US households. 86% of those polled by ABC News last week said the economy was “not good.” GDP growth, anemic as it has been, is artificially propped by last spring’s one-time fiscal stimulus.
Now, unemployment is starting to accelerate. There are worrisome declines in retail and automotive sales, and there’s more debt out there than people can count.
Maybe Top Gun means we won’t crash and burn like the Great Depression? That’s true because modern economic shock absorbers do work. The recent surge in commodity prices helped US mining and agriculture interests, for example. The weakening dollar contributed to a hike in exports. Now these trends have faded and inflation worries have faded with them.
Maybe we’re not headed towards Great Depression II, but it’s time for some real Straight Talk from McCain: if current policies continue, we’re looking at years of little or no growth at best.