Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Republican Economy

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday the federal budget deficit will grow to $445 billion this fiscal year, a new record likely to fuel election-year wrangles about President George W. Bush's economic policies.

Layoffs occurred at the second-fastest rate on record during the first three years of the Bush administration, a government report has found.

In the government's latest survey of how frequently workers are permanently dismissed from their jobs, the layoff rate reached 8.7 percent of all adult jobholders, or 11.4 million men and women age 20 or older. That is nearly equal to the 9 percent rate for the 1981-1983 period, which included the steepest contraction in the American economy since the Great Depression

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Americans' overall income shrank for two consecutive years after stocks plunged in 2000, the first time that has effectively happened since the current tax system was put in place during World War II, according to a published report Thursday.

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow on Monday put the ball squarely in Congress' court on the debt ceiling issue, warning lawmakers the U.S. government could not be financed past November unless they act to raise the limit.

In a letter sent to Capitol Hill leaders, Snow said the debt subject to the current $7.384 trillion limit will be hit around late September or early October. Even if the government takes certain accounting maneuvers to stay beneath the ceiling, as it has done in the past, Snow said, "we can finance government operations no longer than mid-to-late November 2004."

Of course, all the news is not bad...

DALLAS — Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, posted record profit of $5.79 billion yesterday, and Royal Dutch/Shell saw its earnings rise 54 percent, thanks to higher prices for oil and natural gas.

As higher oil prices continued to inflict pain on major consumers like airlines and trucking companies, oil companies reported big profit gains. On Tuesday, British oil giant BP, the world’s second largest oil company, posted a second quarter profits of $3.9 billion — a 23 percent jump from a year ago. The company said profits for the first half set a record.

On Wednesday, Houston-based ConocoPhillips' said second-quarter profits surged nearly 75 percent, to $2.1 billion. The company credited strong refining profit margins and high oil and gas prices. And Amerada Hess Corp. Wednesday said profits climbed 14 percent in the second quarter to $288 million. The company also cited by rising oil prices and surging refining profits.

How much more of this bunch can America afford??


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