بوش وأربعة أعوام من الإخفاق

كثيرون هم من تعتريهم الدهشة في كل أنحاء العالم حين يرون كيف تحظى قضية الاقتصاد بأقل قدر من الاهتمام في الحملة الانتخابية التي يشنها بوش لإعادة انتخابه. لكنني لا أجد في هذا ما يثير الدهشة: فلو كنت في محل الرئيس بوش ، لكان الاقتصاد هو أبعد ما أرغب في الحديث بشأنه.

ومع هذا فإن كثيراً من الناس ينظرون إلى اقتصاد أميركا، حتى في غضون الثلاثة أعوام ونصف الماضية، بنوع من الحسد. وعلى الرغم من كل شيء، فإن النمو الاقتصادي السنوي ـ بـمعدل متوسط 2.5% ـ ربما كان بطيئاً إلى حد ملحوظ عن سنوات رئاسة كلينتون، إلا أنه ما زال يبدو قوياً مقارنة بمتوسط النمو الضعيف الذي تشهده أوروبا بواقع 1% سنوياً.

لكن هذه الإحصائيات تبرهن على حقيقة ساطعة: ألا وهي أن الأحوال التي تعيشها الأسرة الأميركية المتوسطة الآن أسوأ مما كانت عليه منذ ثلاثة أعوام ونصف العام. فقد هبط الدخل الحقيقي المتوسط بما يزيد على 1500 دولار مقيساً بالقوة الشرائية، مع انضغاط الأسر الأميركية بتدني الأجور بسبب التضخم، وارتفاع النفقات المنزلية الأساسية إلى حد هائل. وباختصار فإن كل ذلك النمو لم يستفد منه سوى أولئك الذين يحتلون قمة توزيعات الدخل، وهي نفس المجموعة التي كان أداؤها طيباً للغاية طيلة الثلاثين عاماً الماضية والتي حققت أقصى استفادة من تخفيضات بوش للضرائب.

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