St. Paul, MN – On the same day that President Bush delivers his final State of the Union address, Minnesota Leaders held a roundtable discussion at the MN State Capitol to reflect upon the impact that the Bush Legacy has had in Minnesota . *See below 'Then and Now' document highlighting the staggering regression the nation has seen, both foreign and domestic, since President Bush took office in January 2001. According to a new nationwide Harris Poll, four out of five Americans (81%) think that the current state of the country is fair or poor while just 19 percent think it is excellent or good. Just two percent of Americans think the state of the country is excellent. Last year at this time, three in ten (31%) thought the state of the country was excellent or good while 69 percent felt it was fair or poor.
Kris Jacobs, Executive Director for Jobs Now Coalition, commented on the current job situation in Minnesota . "Keep in mind that job quality is affected by job quantity. The MN Job Vacancy Survey shows that over the last six and a half years, the number of job openings in the state has gone down by 58 percent. With 133,000 unemployed workers now competing for only 60,000 unfilled jobs, job seekers outnumber unfilled jobs by more than two-to-one," said Jacobs.
Chris Stinson of ACORN, discussed the MN foreclosure crisis. "President Bush has described the economy as inherently strong. That's not how it looks in Minnesota neighborhoods: foreclosures are as bad, or worse, than they have been since the great depression. The President needs to get relief to the people affected by this crisis and he needs to do it tonight in the State of the Union ," said Stinson.
"Energy prices are contributing significantly to the bleak economic state faced by low and moderate income Minnesotans," said Pam Marshall, Executive Director of the Energy Cents Coalition. "Annual costs for electricity are 26.5% higher than just seven years ago, while the price for a gallon of fuel oil is 139% greater," continued Marshall .
From massive 'tax cuts for the rich' that never managed to trickle-down to regular working Americans as the nation now heads into a full blown recession, to leading the nation into the quagmire in Iraq that has no end in sight at extraordinary cost in American lives, treasure and priorities like education and healthcare here at home – President Bush's policies have been a disaster. Bush's legacy is one of rising unemployment, rising healthcare costs, rising college tuition, a mortgage crisis, millions more Americans without insurance, the largest increase in inflation in 17 years, gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon, a weak dollar, a $167 billion budget deficit, and a $9.2 trillion national debt – a legacy that will burden our grandchildren for decades to come.