- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I wonder if President Bush would have been elected in 2000 if he had given us a glimpse of how 2008 would look under his presidency — if he had promised that by the end of his second term, he would deliver to the nation an economy on the verge of collapse (“Single-family building dips to slowest in 17 years,” Web, Business, Thursday).

He would have needed to tell the American people that the nation would come to suffer from the worst inflation since the 1970s; that gasoline would become unaffordable to many families, having soared to almost triple what it cost on Inauguration Day 2001 and placing at death’s door a number of major airlines; that the cost of staple goods and services would soar; that the price of health insurance would escalate far in excess of inflation, causing increasing numbers of Americans to go without coverage; that the value of the dollar would be permitted to plummet to historic lows, heightening the effect of inflation and decreasing confidence in our currency and the country; that financial institutions would be subject to little oversight; that many of them would fail because of their irresponsibility and then be propped up by taking money from responsible taxpayers; that trillions of dollars in home values would vanish as values plummet; that the stock market would suffer the most significant correction in years, wiping out trillions of dollars of paper wealth; that polls would find about 80 percent of the American people concluding that the nation is on the wrong track and has no confidence in the president or Congress.

Early last year, one would have been hard-pressed to believe that any issue would trump the disastrous war in Iraq as a topic of debate for the 2008 presidential election. However, our economic challenges are so serious that the war has been bumped off the front burner by economic challenges unmatched since at least the awful days of Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

If this is not the Democrats’ year, then there never will be one. Could they possibly be any worse than the Republicans? Should the party that has devastated our nation and our world be given another opportunity to wield its wrecking ball?

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

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