Dave Engleman's letter ("Bush is a Failure," Oct. 15), is plain "doom-and-gloom." Let's check it against reality.
The data are from the federal government. The unemployment (jobless) rate is now at 5.4 percent, compared to 5.5 percent in 1996 when Clinton ran for a second term. The jobless rate now is lower than the average rate for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Yes, there are more than a million people out of work, but this, unfortunately, is a normal statistic.
"Those working have lower wages" is wrong. Average hourly wages increased by 3.1 percent annually through September, and have steadily risen over the year. Personal income jumped 5 percent last year. Real income (adjusted for inflation) increased 2.6 percent. The best measure of economic output is gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation. Since the end of 2001, real GDP growth averaged 3.4 percent, and since Bush's tax-cut legislation, real economic growth jumped 4.8 percent. Economists call these solid numbers, indicating a growing economy. Dave claims, "the economy is bad."
Certainly, the war has been very painful and costly, but hardly "shameful." Afghanistan and Iraq applaud our steadfast leadership and sacrifice to liberate and help them to freedom. Rather than being "disgraced," we will be honored by free nations for our will to win.
"Disgraced" are United Nations countries and leaders who succumbed to Saddam Hussein's bribery in the oil-for-food scandal (documented by Charles Duelfer, chief weapons inspector). Iraq evaded UN sanctions by illegally selling oil through other countries; bribing world leaders; and giving Saddam $11 billion of illegal profit. Russia and France were given preferential oil treatment in exchange for supporting Saddam. Another bribed country was China. Can they be trusted today?
Gas prices are high with huge demands for oil in many countries, especially China. The world supply has fallen with lower production quotas and rates. The solution is Bush's policy -- increase supply with American drilling and refining.
As to security, millions have been spent on the Department of Homeland Security; on revamping the FBI and CIA; on improving intelligence; on a better trained and equipped military, fire and police forces; and on air traffic control. All this Dave calls "meaningless"!
Engleman talks of "Republican party tunnel vision"? Let's tunnel-out to see today's light and reality.
Wes Suhr, U.S. Army Veteran (Korea), Pine