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Waking up from their long slumber
There is mounting evidence that the Bush team is waking up to the economic and fiscal reality of our day. Recently Secretrary Paulson acknowledged that declining wages was an issue, a reversal from his Senate testimony a few months before. And now, as James writes below, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke makes a very compelling case that the current wave of globalization is making it much tougher to create broad-based prosperity here and around the world.
This slow awakening is a first step to creating a national conversation about what to do about it. But as they wake to this critical reality, they will also have to wake to the other things that have gone on on their watch - reduced revenue for the federal government coupled with radical increase in spending, no strategy for dealing with the fiscal realities of the retirement of the baby boom, a declining dollar and a soaring current account deficit, the overleveraging of the American consumer, rising health care, energy, pension and college costs, and a rise in poverty.
The fiscal and economic challenges facing America are significant. Until recently the governing party's response was in essence "stay the course" - more tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. It is a politically and morally bankrupt course, and one for the good of the nation must be ended. The waking of Paulson and Bernanke is a good sign we are headed, eventually, towards a better path.