Diesel Fuel Costs Hurting Shiney Wheels

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Just saw this on Yahoo. I passed a station yesterday and saw the diesel costs for the first time in a long time and was shocked at the $3.69 per gallon cost. Makes me feel like I got a bargain for the $3.05 a gallon I paid for gas. How much further can we at UPS go before it starts to have serious effects even for us?
     
  2. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    This is one cost of doing business that our competitors have a problem with too. We will pass it on with the fuel surcharge like we do now. Since Fedex Express moves all of its freight by plane instead of truck, they will have more costs involved. In a way, maybe the high cost of fuel will cause more customers to shop online to cut down on their personal driving, meaning more business for UPS.
     
  3. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    The last two paragraphs are very interesting, although ones I am not sure I completely agree with.

    Either way, it is interesting to watch Fedex's quarterly profit reports fluctuate so much with the cost of fuel, yet ours hardly budges. With so many jets Fedex does have a higher fuel cost, but it seems UPS does a much better job of matching increased fuel expenses with increased revenues. One of the many reasons I find this company fascinating coming from a business standpoint. UPS has its vulnerabilities, but fuel costs don't seem to be one of them.

    I can see how owner-operators can get a squeeze with the price of fuel going up while freight costs stay the same. Its sad that some people get squeezed out, but there will come a point when these shipping brokers will need to raise what the pay their owner operators, or they won't have them at all. I had thought for some time that being an owner operator would be a fun career, but I imagine that driving all those miles gets boring. Not to mention the stress of having to make that truck payment each month and still cover living expenses. This economy will turn around and owner operators will go back to making better money, but it will take time to weather the current storm before things get better. Think of it as survival of the fittest. In the end only the best will still be around, and they will benefit in the long run because of it.
     
  4. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Scratch,

    You are correct that we can pass on fuel surcharges and Brett made a good point that at some point things will turn around so to speak and everyone is happy again. In other words, fuel will go down (not likely in the sense we'd like to see it) or business models will balance out with reality (more likely scenario) and we move forward. A humorous case in point was that I hit the lottery yesterday. Yep, finally did it after all these years of trying. How you ask? I paid $2.99 a gallon for gas! Felt like I had hit the lottery!
    :happy-very:

    But here is a good/bad scenario for real that time will see how it proves out. The bad for right now. We live in a world where things aren't "homegrown" anymore and geographic areas have positioned themselves to be specialized in specific areas. With our national and even global transportation system what it is, we can have products from around the world in a few days and in some cases the next day. Even in critical cases, within hours. Cheap transport costs have played a factor where the business world has moved from local or region mass storage and distributiion to single point centralized distribution as the cost of multiple points of warehouse/distribution exceeded shipping/fuel costs from a central point. When I came to work for UPS in 81' this was not the case and it was ironic that in hard times UPS seemed to thrive as the business world reduced inventory and shipped more on a "as needed" basis. This may have been the brainspark to what we see today but I'll let others more expert in that take that question on.

    Where I am concerned has to do if fuel stays it's course and we start to see a reverse of centralized warehouse/mass transport begin to be more costly than regional or localized warehousing and the shift begins to reverse course of what we've seen the last 20 plus years. Now this would begin to effect our business model at UPS but to exactly what effect I can't tell because it would depend on how we answer to it. Let's be clear, there is nothing I've seen to suggest this retrack is taking place as the vast majority of people believe as Brett that everything will in the end balance out and I think Brett is probably right in the end.

    However, I like contarian thinking and considering their potentials so I ask, what happens in our UPS world if fuel costs continue to rise and this transport cost outweighs local/regional raw production, manufacture and distribution of goods and product? What happens if Acme Widgets realizes instead of 1 single production point and using UPS to deliver across the country, they return to the old model of regional production points with their own transportation to local retail points which in the case of UPS would seem to effect the Hundred Weight or bulk shipment the most?

    Saw the article and thought it is a "Current Event" issue but it "could" have potential ramifications to us as UPSers as well. From the standpoint of our business, should we concur with Brett and not worry at all so to speak or should we look at what business might rethink going down the road if this continues?
     
  5. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    Sometimes I can only scratch my head and wonder. I mean, it's easy to make snide remarks about George W. Bush's stupidity in regard to Presidential status on virtually any subject. But sometimes the depth of that stupidity just goes beyond description. For example:

    Bush indicated that he was unaware that gasoline was projected to reach $4.00-per-gallon by the spring. Now set aside for a moment his dissmissiveness and potential arguments about how that's possible, and move on to the next comment.

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/0...ush-flip-flops-on-oil-company-tax-breaks-unaw

    Apparently, his solution to the imaginery $4.00-per-gallon gasoline is to make his tax cut permanent. Again, set aside the arguments about the merits of the tax cut and who it benefits, etc.

    No, instead his focus on the solution to $4.00-per-gallon gas is to maintain the status quo, during which status quo gas will hit $4.00-per-gallon anyway. In other words, do nothing. Gas will hit $4.00 while the tax cut is in place. How, then, does continuing the tax cut help? Bush's theory is that it would be worse if taxes went up in a couple years, then, yee-haw, wouldn't $4.00-per-gallon gas suck.

    Newsflash Mr. President, $4.00 is unacceptable and unaffordable now, with the tax cut in place. Making the tax cut permanent will not alleviate the suffering caused by $4.00 gas. And I don't think anyone is worried that, gee, taxes might go up in a couple of years (which, by the way, they will - but that inevitability is a topic for another day). No, in a couple years we'll be worried about $6.00-$7.00 gas.

    I wonder if we'll survive 10 more months of this monkey business.
     
  6. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Its funny how you are using two somewhat different subjects to lay a hit on George Bush. Just to let you know the cost of fuel is mostly out of the President's hands. I believe his point about the tax cuts is that if they do expire it will make it harder for the average joe to afford fuel when they are paying more in taxes. An average family of four making $50k/yr.will have to pay an extra $2k/yr in taxes if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire. That money could be used to buy a lot of gas for that family, but the democrats say they need it instead. There are a few ways to help bring the cost of fuel down, but the far left will not hear it.

    • We need to be allowed to drill off of the coast of Florida. Cuba is already doing this, but as soon as an American company asks for permission to do so they are denied because far left environmentalists won't stand for it.
    • We also need to start drilling in ANWR. If we do not allow ourselves to use our own oil reserves we will not have any power to bring down the high cost of oil which is help increase the rise in fuel.
    • We need to loosen regulations on gasoline formulation. Just about every state has its own formulation for gasoline. This causes the refineries to produce 50 different kinds of gas which brings the cost up. If we set a national formulation for gasoline it would help bring the cost down significantly.
    • Finally, regulations on refineries need to be loosened so that more refineries can be built. Currently our country's last refinery was built in 1976, and demand for fuel has risen steadily since then. This is causing a severe strain on our current refinery system as when one refinery goes down for maintenance, or due to a fire or explosion we, see a sharp rise in fuel costs due to it.
    If you truly want a group or person to blame for the sharp rise in gasoline prices you only need to look at yourself and the party you support.
     
  7. Channahon

    Channahon New Member

    FROM UPS.com

    Fuel Surcharge[​IMG]Current Fuel Surcharge Rate for Package Services:

    Ground
    Through March 2, 2008: 6.25%
    Effective March 3, 2008: 6.00%

    Air and International
    Through March 2, 2008: 18.50%
    Effective March 3, 2008: 18.50%
    Ground Fuel Surcharge
    UPS uses an index-based surcharge that is adjusted monthly. Changes to the surcharge will be effective the first Monday of each month and posted approximately two weeks prior to the effective date. For your billing convenience, we will also post a 90-day surcharge history. The surcharge will be based on the National U.S. Average On Highway Diesel Fuel Prices reported by the U.S. Department of Energy for the month that is two months prior to the adjustment. (UPS research has shown this index is highly correlated with other major fuel price indices worldwide.) For example the surcharge for January 2008 is based on the November 2007 National U.S. Average On Highway Diesel Fuel Price.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Fuel surcharges percentages and thresholds are subject to change without prior notice. If the Fuel Surcharge rises above 6.75% or there are changes to the thresholds, the above table will be updated.[​IMG]
     
  8. Diesel fuel costs here and in Europe,
    was in europe last week and paid approx. EUR 1.30 per liter, which translates to
    1.30 x 3.79 x 1.5 USD = 7.39 USD/gal
    Currently I am paying in FL about USD 3.80/gal.
    Taking out all the taxes being paid on fuel in Europe (Germany), it is on a comparable level, but over there you have to earn it too.
    Sometimes I do wonder, if an investment into more fuel-efficient and lesser polluting diesel engines in the USA would pay off.
     
  9. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    I couldn't agree more on the diesel engine idea. Diesel powered cars get just as good, if not better, fuel economy when compared to a similar hybrid car. Hybrids are just a fad, and are not as fuel efficient or as reliable as a good old diesel engine. The only problem here is we have 6 states that have made it all but impossible to sell a diesel powered passenger car because they think diesels emit too much particulate matter. Its funny that they don't realize that the tires on a modern diesel let off more particulate matter as they wear than the engine will. VW will be releasing a 50 state legal diesel here in the U.S. later this year claiming MPG in the mid 40s for city driving and mid 50s for highway. That will come in the Jetta, and if they can get a diesel in the Rabbit you are talking 60+mpg average on the highway. VW sells a small diesel car in Europe called the Lupo that is capable of 75 mpg, but I doubt we will ever see it here.
     
  10. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member



    Playing the blame game are we ? It's all the Democrats fault? I'll admit Dems. are just at fault except for one shortcoming, they are not the party in power, nor did they do enough to change policies this Republican ruled administration administered. Seems like someone doesn't want to take any responsibility for their party and deflect all negativity with your Superman-Reagon teflon cape. The point of the post was the president should of been aware of the cost of a gallon of gasoline and is doing nothing about it but "stay the course" and keep the "status quo".
    So before you and GW support the inheritance of insermountable trillion$ of debt to our children or start drilling holes off the coast of my state severly jepordizing our tourism industry and destroying a fragile eco-system with a catistrophic oil spill due to Hurricanes or tanker accidents take into account our turmultuous presence in the middle east spurned on by this administration. One only needs to look in the mirror to reveal simplistic answers to controversial questions.

    Our invasion removed Iraq as a reliable supplier of oil to world markets. And still hasn't fully recovered. Our threats to bomb Iran have added to regional instability and uncertainty, and led to additional rises in oil and gas prices. Recent polling data shows that we are now seen by the region's peoples as the greatest threat, not the greatest contributor, to its security.

    By pursuing a one sided course, rather than organizing our allies, friends, and other nations who have a stake in the secure flow of energy to assist us in maintaining order and stability in the region, we have put ourselves in the position of being held accountable for anything and everything that may go wrong there. We have also chosen to give everyone else a free ride on our unilaterally assumed responsibility for the security of the world's energy trade. As a consumer nation, we share interests with other major oil and gas importers, including newly emerging importers like China and India.

    Instead of making common cause with them we have chosen to deal with oil and gas producers through uncoordinated bilateral relationships or, in the case of Iran and Sudan, non-relationships. This has compounded the incoherence of our domestic energy policy, leaving us with no policy response to rising energy prices, no strategy for future energy security, no commitment to conservation.

    Meanwhile, next door in the Holy Land, it has been years since we made a serious effort to promote negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians or even exercised our own judgment about the issues that divide them. Rather, we have supported the efforts of a series of right-wing Israeli governments to undo the Oslo accords and to pacify the Palestinians rather than make peace with them. So much land has been colonized by Israel that there is not enough left for a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel; too little, because what is on offer looks to Palestinians more like an Indian reservation than a country. Such status will not be accepted by the inhabitants of the occupied territories; nor will it be accepted by the six-to-seven million- strong Palestinian original inhabitants. This simply inflames rather than relieves Arab/Muslim/Islam resentment of Israel and the US. This cannot lead to normalization of Israel's relations with other Arab states.

    American policies in the Middle East, more than anywhere else, account for the dramatic fall in our prestige around the globe not to mention the drop of our dollar, and yes the price of a barrel of oil. The new world of the 21st century is being shaped by events there and our role in them. The Middle East - except in its own estimation - has long been the nerve center to global politics, and now global markets.
     
  11. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    What happened the last time the government tried to regulate the price of oil? Oh thats right, we had major fuel shortages throughout the country with long lines of people at the gas pump only able to purchase a few gallons at a time. Staying the course is the safest route. An even safer route would be to loosen up regulations stifling growth in our own oil infrastructure.


    First off, if you want to start talking the debt our children will inherit we can talk about the debt laid onto our children by social entitlement programs you support. While that is for another day I will say social entitlements amount to $440,000 of debt for every man, woman, and child in this country. That is one heck of a hurdle to overcome.

    Don't give me this BS about Florida loosing its tourists or destroying its eco system by letting oil companies drill of its coast. You may want to stop to smell the hydrocarbons because Cuba is already drilling right off your coastline. One should look at the real picture before trying to answer complicated questions with naive, simplistic solutions.



    That is funny what you say about Iraq. Ten years ago Iraq was severely limited in what oil it could export yet oil was running less than $20/barrel. Why are they all of a sudden the major reason it is over $100/barrel today? I can't point to any direct threat to Iran as far as bombings go, but if you want to see real turmoil just let Iran's leader build a nuclear weapon or two. He has already promised to wipe Israel off the face of the planet, and I will guarantee you those same people who think we are their greatest security issue will be begging for our help should the unthinkable occur.

    Um, hello? Mcfly? Are you there? We went into Iraq with a whole coalition of other countries. In fact many of those countries still have troops in Iraq to this day. Our troops may be in the majority over there, but this is a common theme over history of letting the U.S. bear the brunt of the work.

    Last I checked there hasn't been any real peace in the middle east for the last 1000 years. I really can't blame Israel for their actions over there. Israel took that land they have when they were attacked. Now Palestinians, and the rest of the muslim world think it is their right to have it back? With all the violence directed at Israel by groups such as Hamas I really can't blame Israel for not wanting to give up much of their land. Most of those who claim to want peace only want the destruction of Israel and that will not happen. Very little of this can be affected by us or anyone else for that matter. You can't end eons of hatred with a few peace talks. Both sides have to be fully willing, and able to do what is necessary before true peace is achieved, and sadly that will not occur even during our great great grand children's lifetime.
     
  12. diesel96

    diesel96 New Member

    Maybe you need a history lesson:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20080225144359/http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm
    Republicans= Liberal spendors
    Democrats= fiscally Conservative

    Don't give me this BS about Florida loosing its tourists or destroying its eco system by letting oil companies drill of its coast. You may want to stop to smell the hydrocarbons because Cuba is already drilling right off your coastline. One should look at the real picture before trying to answer complicated questions with naive, simplistic solutions.

    Drilling off cuban waters in the Florida straits by Chinese contractors who are not well versed with emergency clean up procedures is very worriesome. A spill oozing on to the coastline of the Keys would be catistrophic whether you think is BS or not.
    "Stop and smell the hydrocarbons" No Thx Mr Non-Native Oil Junky, I think we'd rather smell, frolic, and fish in our clean ocean and breathe our own fresh ocean air.




    That is funny what you say about Iraq. Ten years ago Iraq was severely limited in what oil it could export yet oil was running less than $20/barrel. Why are they all of a sudden the major reason it is over $100/barrel today? I can't point to any direct threat to Iran as far as bombings go, but if you want to see real turmoil just let Iran's leader build a nuclear weapon or two. He has already promised to wipe Israel off the face of the planet, and I will guarantee you those same people who think we are their greatest security issue will be begging for our help should the unthinkable occur.

    Nothing's funny what I said about Iraq. Turmoil, war, death, tensions amongst nieghoring countries in the Middle East all contributes to rising oil prices.
    You wanted an example of how GW is partially responsible for rising oil prices, I gave you one.
    BTW, Iran's leader is not who you think it is:
    That person is Khamenei, not Ahmedinejad--The only person powerful enough to make deals and deliver concessions.

    Besides, I'd be a little nervous if I were them when you have Presidential hopefuls like McClain singing "Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran in 1950's duo whop style.


    Um, hello? Mcfly? Are you there? We went into Iraq with a whole coalition of other countries. In fact many of those countries still have troops in Iraq to this day. Our troops may be in the majority over there, but this is a common theme over history of letting the U.S. bear the brunt of the work.

    Now Biff, tell me, how many are still pursuing in a combative manner, or have left behind a miniscule amount of token troops to appease our administration. Haven't we learned our lessons of the past to bear the brunt of the work?

    Last I checked there hasn't been any real peace in the middle east for the last 1000 years. I really can't blame Israel for their actions over there. Israel took that land they have when they were attacked. Now Palestinians, and the rest of the muslim world think it is their right to have it back? With all the violence directed at Israel by groups such as Hamas I really can't blame Israel for not wanting to give up much of their land. Most of those who claim to want peace only want the destruction of Israel and that will not happen. Very little of this can be affected by us or anyone else for that matter. You can't end eons of hatred with a few peace talks. Both sides have to be fully willing, and able to do what is necessary before true peace is achieved, and sadly that will not occur even during our great great grand children's lifetime.

    That's where you got it wrong "my friend" (Mcclain talk), It's NOT their land that they forcibly took. They have expanded past the Oslo accords let alone are lucky and should be thankful where they were displaced after WWII in the first place. But with the help of our money and weapontry and their now thriving economy they do have every right to protect themselves but not expand the terroitories of the original inhabitants. This is one of the root causes of bad blood in the middle east and our noticably favortism toward Isreal then turn around and call some rich Arab oil countries our ally also. It's so transparent, no wonder where not getting anywhere with peace talks, especially with neo cons in charge.
     
  13. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    While I am not sure on the specifics of the Oslo accord I am sure it included some kind of ceasefire agreement that is still not being honored either. While Israel is not being directly attacked by the countries involved they are on the receiving end of attacks from groups funded by those same governments. Its just a covert war instead of a much more obvious one. As I said, when both sides are willing to work with one another we will see peace.

    I would like to know where you get your news from. I have heard of no promises from McCain to bomb Iran. This just adds to the other multitude of lies you try to propogate about McCain. I suppose thats the only way your party's candidates can win is by spreading lies about the competition. Although both Hillary and Obama are doing a good job of tearing down each other. By the time the true democratic candidate is decided upon the democrat party will be too far divided to win anything in Nov.
     
  14. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Foreign policy not withstanding, I think the falling dollar is playing more a role in this than we'd like to admit. In 1998', a barrel of oil was $12, and the exchange rate of dollar to euro was way more in our favor. This chart goes back only 5 years but it's not hard to see the trend IMO.

    At this link from the Federal Reserve, you can see the increases in M1 and M2 money supply but what isn't factored in is the amounts of money borrowed by the federal gov't as a result of deficit spending. All of these factor into the value of what our dollar will buy. We all know that the more dollars in circulation using the old supply and demand theory will mean that goods and services will also inflate to match the amount of supply.

    As to who's at fault? I appreciate the fact that D admits the dems. had their hand in this but he is also correct that the party who controls the WH has in past practice been given the green light to set economic agenda and thus IMO they should accept a greater share of the blame. I don't let the dems off the hook because they didn't guard the store so to speak as they saw opportunity to leech their favorites projects onto the President's agenda and it became a "I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine!" kinda thing. All us taxpayers were done a disservice across the board IMO while special interests that run our gov't took us all to the cleaners.

    I recently ran across this piece from 4/2005' which is promoting gold obviously but the 4 page PDF file has some very interesting stats in it. It's titled, The Gold, Oil and US Dollar Relationship." I don't pretend it as an all in one document but it does provide some interesting food for thought.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20060922133834/http://www.thehfa.org/articles/Gold Oil US Dollar Relationship.pdf

    More recent news items that the headlines themselves tell the story.

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080313/NEWS/803130369

    Of late I've been reading about geopolitics of the Middle East with special interest from the early 1800's forward. Iran was a protecterate of the British empire after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and until March of 1951' had exclusive control on Iranian oil. This came about first in 1908' with the establishment of the Anglo-Persian Oil company because of a major oil find in Mesjed Soleiman, Iran. In 1935, the name was changed to Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to note the country name change and then several years later it was changed to British Petroleum and now we know it as BP.

    The problem came in 1951' when the British were taking 85% of all oil profits so the Iranian gov't nationalized the oil industry. Obviously this ticked the Brits off and they began plottingto overthrow the sitting gov't but the Iranians got wind and close the British embassey and threw out the brits. The Redcoats came to Washington and begged Truman to do their dirty work but Truman told them to get lost. !952' brought a new election and in the spring of 1953' the redcoats returned to Washington and convinced the new President Eisenhower to do their deed for them. Eisenhower put Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of TR, on the job and he orchestrated a coup with the CIA and this is how we got the Shah. The Shah returned the British and now the US partner to control Iranian oil and the rest is history as they say until radicals upset the apple cart again in the late 1970's. Funny how people won't let bye-gones be bye-gones and the unnecessary "BLOWBACK" this causes!

    What I found even more of interest during this period is that the Brits did all they could to suppress the Iraq oil fields because they had such a lock on market control in Iran and there was some early success until our own CIA again helped a group called Baathist overthrow the Iraqi gov't at the time because they were cozy to these guys called Soviets..
    Here's a couple of interesting quick reads that has all kinds of potential one begins to look.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game
    and don't forget this one too!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Great_Game

    Open the lid on that can of worms if you dare and you will get an eye opener.
    :happy-very:


    As for locking down the Iraq oil, it was a profittable incentive to do so. As I read about all this business/gov't intrigue I could only laugh that it took over 50 years but the British/American alliance had finally succeeded in taking the Iraqi oil industry offline!
    :wink2:
     
  15. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    OK, first our gov't admits no WMD. Now they admit no Al Queda.

    Very interesting! Very interesting indeed!
     
  16. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member


    This is an interesting line from the article.

    "The Iraqi Perspective Project review of captured Iraqi documents uncovered strong evidence that links the regime of Saddam Hussein to regional and global terrorism," said a summary of the Pentagon study to which ABC News provided a link on its website Wednesday.


    I wonder how many terrorism organizations have a global influence. I can only think of five or six that would truly fit this bill .
    I haven't figured what this really has to do with the market driving inefficient truckers out of business but I'm pretty sure you will be more than willing to tie it all together in some way.
     
  17. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member


    I was thinking since you only want to go back five years. The economy seemed to be in pretty good shape when the republicans controlled congress and now that the democrats control congress everyone is screaming recession. How about when the minimum wage goes up so does the rate of foreclosures. :happy2: No I don't really believe that either. And of course if you go back more than five years it won't work. Just another quick question since you say congress gives the green light to the president to set his agenda then why are they trying to raise taxes as i sit here right now? Lower taxes are the cornerstone to his agenda. I would think they would be cutting taxes if this were true.
     
  18. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    I think this may be the report your article is referring to. After reading it I took a slightly different message from it. :wink2:

    http://a.abcnews.com/images/pdf/Pentagon_Report_V1.pdf

    Wkmac do you think this is the same report your article refers to. It may not be since it says the Iraqi government had clear ties to terrorist organizations and they shared a common enemy in the United States.
     
  19. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    From your perspective, it has nothing to do with it. I just noticed you haven't been around since 2/24 when I made the post and I was concerned. Just wanted to make sure you were well and in good spirits. The place just ain't the same without ya!
    :wink2:

    And WOW, what a FAST response too!

    I only went back 5 years because the Yahoo chart itself only went back that far. Actually the decline of the dollar to euro started in 2001' but IMO there were other factors in play not similar to what we have now. By 2003' IMO the direct effects so to speak of 9/11 had priced itself into economic markets and so other factors came to bare. Obviously federal deficits played a role but also consumer debt had a hand. Top that with some of the turmoil internationally and you have a perfect storm so to speak. Now the consumer market has bubbled and we keep adding to the debt. I will give you that's it's easy to spank the Iraq war for this but to be fair, Congress and the President have done a horrible job of cutting back unnecessary gov't in order to pay for the efforts in the Middle East.

    And this leads to the comment about the Republican Congress. Yes, in the 1990's, you are correct, they did a good job as they kept Clinton honest and Clinton whether you like it or not kept them honest. 2000' gave us a single party gov't and beause of 9/11 I can understand a year or 2 of increased spending because of unexpected problems. When we have unexpected emergency problems do we not cut back on dinner out, movies, maybe even cancel cable TV or other discretionary spending in order to cover the unexpected costs? Sure we do because we can't create money out of thin air. Republicans IMO broke the faith by breaking a keystone principle of conservative thought and that was fiscal responsibility.

    I noticed you and Brett talking on the minimum wage. etc. and 2 things on that. On Brett's original point of the thread, his comments were perfect timing as on the same day the Senate voted overwhelmingly to not enact an earmark moratorium. So much for all that glowing talk from Harry Reid when he became the Sheriff of the Senate about there being a "new Sheriff" in town. May be a "New" sheriff, same corrupt operatiing practices IMO!

    Lower taxes are Bush's agenda? You know, I'll stipulate to that point just to maintain the point of laughter for myself in knowing you still cleve to that fantasy. Knock yourself out!

    Psst: AV, 116 republicans voted with the democrats in the house to raise the minimum wage and President Bush signed it into law!