[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/15/art.bloomberg1.gi.jpg caption=" New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The United States has a "balance sheet that's starting to look more and more like a third-world country."
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is lashing out at Washington over the federal government's plan to give rebate checks to more than 130 million people.
Bloomberg says: "I suppose it won't hurt the economy but it's in many senses like giving a drink to an alcoholic." A spokesman later said the mayor meant Washington can't stop itself from spending, and he wasn't saying Americans who get the checks are part of the problem.
Bloomberg is also critical of the current crop of presidential candidates, accusing them of looking for easy solutions to complex economic problems. The mayor added that while they seem to be talking more about the economy now, they're looking for quick fixes in order to win votes instead of taking a good, hard look at the roots of the problem.
He did have some kind words for Barack Obama, praising his plan to create a "National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank" to rebuild things such as highways and bridges.
It's funny how our mayor here in New York keeps popping up. His supporters think the country's economic problems create a unique opportunity for Bloomberg, with his business background, to run as a third-party candidate for president.
Bloomberg continues to insist he's "not a candidate" and says he's speaking out on national issues as part of an "experiment" to see if he can influence the dialogue of the race.
Here’s my question to you: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the U.S. resembles a third world country when it comes to our economy. Is he right?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Right on, Mr. Bloomberg! These fat cat politicians are spending our money like it was theirs. Easy to do when you can rack up debt on someone else's dime.
Mary Beth from Neptune, New Jersey writes:
Of course our economy is like a third-world country… that's where all the middle-class jobs went. All of our manufacturing and now our tech jobs went to third-world countries while CEOs make multi-million dollar bonuses and we spiral down into a service economy. Restaurant and retail jobs just aren't going to pay for houses and cars. college costs are making the kind of education that will allow you to have the kind of life our grandparents had simply out of reach.
Eric from New York writes:
Anyone who says that the U.S. resembles a "third world country" has obviously never lived in one. Maybe Mike Bloomberg, (who I like) should visit Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, where the poverty rate is 80%. The current unemployment rate in this country is hovering around 4%. During the height of the Great Depression, it was 34%. There are a lot of things wrong with how things are these days. But this country has been through a lot, and we got through it. With the right leadership, we'll get through it again.
David from Langley, Washington writes:
We're a 3rd world society by many measures: extreme wealth concentration, declining standard of living for most Americans, difficulty influencing our government, an enormous military, an economy mostly owned by a rich few, enormous debt, and exporting raw materials to import finished products.
After spending over 20 years traveling as a military wife and going overseas, I think Bloomberg is right. And we are reaching third world status faster than some of the other countries where we are sending aid.
Third-world country, third-party candidate… hmmmm. I think he's just teasing us.