The state of the country after 7 years of Bush Presidency.

The folks at Think Progress have some good entries up today including this article on the legacy of the Bush Administration. Remember when Ronald Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter and he asked voters to consider whether they are better off than they were four years previously? The House Democratic Caucus applied that same question to the Bush Administration and came up with the following chart:

Click to embiggen!

So when it comes time to vote in November be sure to ask yourself if we’re better off now than we were eight years ago.

14 thoughts on “The state of the country after 7 years of Bush Presidency.

  1. So our government is responsible for those things?  This would seem to suggest that our government needs to fix things.  I think that just creates more problems.

    Bush is not responsible for Americans racking up too much money in credit cards, getting in debt from buying too many cheap crap from China (trade deficit) and other things.  He is also not responsible for high oil costs as this is a market driven price.  The world is getting more competitive, we just need to deal with that.

    The high national debt sucks but that is nothing compared to unfunded promises from MediCare which will bankrupt the country.  These promises were not made under Bush.  The question is, who will have the balls to deal with these problems?  Voters are not going to deal kindly with politicians who advocate removing handouts. 

    Also, screwing up the country takes more than one person.  Bush gets plenty of help from Congress to do that.

    “So when it comes time to vote in November be sure to ask yourself if we’re better off now than we were eight years ago.”

    Bush is not an option anyways, so that won’t be a factor, right?  Personally, I am much better off than I was eight years ago.  Some people aren’t better off.  I don’t blame my government for those people though.

  2. Personal debt is partially a function of government.  By using high street spending to stimulate the economy, you open yourself up to a so called ‘hard landing’ when the economy slows.  Also failure to regulate business leads to wild swings in the financial industry, and over exposure in an attempt to make money- see ‘sub prime’ for examples.

    The private sector time and again shows itself unable to regulate itself, and the frenzied half educated guesses on what passes for a global stock market can destroy national economies.  Esseential services are vital to a country, yet unregulated lead to cartels and price fixing. Assuming the market would sort things out led to Enron.

    Attempts to control the markets are met with cries of socialism, yet big business relies on Government to pick up the pieces when it all goes pear-shaped.

    Not stepping in leads to a collapse and domino effect.  Northern Rock in the UK is a prime example.  For the first time in 100 years there was a run on a UK bank.  Failure to intervene could have had disasterous effects.  All the criticisms of the Governments handling, not one has said ‘Market forces should have been allowed to take effect’.

    Central Banks regularly step in to shore up a currency against speculators.  Failure to do so is an untrodden (mostly) road no one dares explore.

    Government policy affects currency value. A devalued currency caused a increase in trade deficit.

    Business does not invest in people or infrastructure, except in specific ways.  They EXPECT transport and education etc provided.  You can make a good guess at national health costs, as the insurance companies already do this- remember they aim to take more in than they hand out.

    No one has to take out health insurance, but it appears to me that 1/4 of average income per family makes the NHS look like a bargain, despite its short comings.

    Yes inflation will account for some of this, but if you base Dec 2000 at a 100, 3% inflation to end 2007 is 123, 4% 132.

    Fuel prices are high internationally.  Now class, can anyone suggest what a President of the US could cause abnormally high international oil prices?

    Increasing the National debt from $5.7T to $9.2tr- That’s 7% (almost spot on) per year.  Obviously spending over what you get $2.25tr in 3 years doesn’t help, but frankly GW would have been better getting a mortgage and not making any repayments!

    Losing a 1/3 of your support in the UK may not worry Americans- we’re all just namby pamby socialists, but it points to a waning in influence- Iraq effectively lead to the demise of Blair, and the loss of the fig leaf.  Speak Sofly but carry a Big Stick is sound diplomatic advice, but it requires the ability to Speak Softly.  Otherwise you just look like a bully- “Do this or I will hurt you”.

  3. Sure Last_Hussar, I agree with you.

    Things like the “sub-prime crisis” do need government intervention but I am not sure this could be blamed on Bush either.  We make mistakes and much of the reason that our financial institutions work so well is because we have had lots of time to make mistakes and learn from them.

    Some of these things are hard for us to see the forest from the trees.  My debt problems are from my own horrible money management skills but undoubtedly there are people out there who are feeling the effects of a horribly managed economy by the government.

    The national debt has increased greatly under the watch of Bush but Congress helps.  I hope our next president has the balls to reign in government spending but selling votes is a lot easier by promising handouts as opposed to taking things away.  I’m not sure we are ready for change yet, I think the national debt has to increase several more trillion before we will be ready to make the tough decisions.  Only time will tell on this one.  Give us another stat sheet when we are at 2012.

  4. And Faux News’ talking bobbleheads act as if hating Bush were something irrational, a mental pathology with no reason behind it.

    I plan to post this same comment in the “lies to sell the war” post.

  5. DirtyBirdy – Bush is fully responsible for the extreme increase in National Debt, which will have your chirldren’s children in debt. He and the Congress the Republicans have owned for most of his reign.

    Bush cut taxes left and right, and swept you into the most expensive, and also probably most useless war the US has ever been in. THAT is where all your money is. All that war got you was higher oil prices (another item for which he IS partially responsible) and Jihadis for decades to come (the 9/11 Jihad was decades in the making, what do you think will inspire the attacks of the future?).

    You made your bed, now sleep in it. Too bad there’s so many Americans also hurt who never voted for him (and foreign nationals who wished that America’s lust for freedom had never fallen on them, and brought them airstrikes or free vacations in Guantanamo Bay).

    All I can hope for is that after this war, like after Vietnam, the rest of the world can be rid of (major-scale) US interventionism for some decades. And in a way, I wished some Republican would win the next election. Then THEY would have to cough up for all the bad news that is only coming up now.

    Yep, the world is pissed off at the US government (most don’t even make the distinction of that last word). Time for you to get pissed off too.

  6. I can’t go into depth here since I should actually work, but there’s a thoroughly researched coherence between private spending and savings rates, and monetary policy, including taxes and key interest rates like the federal funds rate, but also things like minimum reserve assets for banks and federal bank functions, like being the lender of last resort for other banks and controlling the amount of liquid money and consequently (at least to a big part), inflation.

    Roughly, it’s about maximizing both short-term and long-term wellbeing for the individual, weighting risks and benefits of spending now (money you have and money you don’t have) versus having securities for later. If the gouvernment can’t guarantee you that saving pays off, you better spend now and accumulate debts.

    A good starting point is, as always, Wikipedia:

  7. And to put my last comment into other words: You might suck with money, I do too – but subconsciously, we’re all influenced by the monetary systems around us when it comes to making decisions, and on larger scales beyond the individual, monetary policy. And consequently the government does have the responsibility for lower customer savings rates.

  8. Fuel prices are high internationally.  Now class, can anyone suggest what a President of the US could cause abnormally high international oil prices?

    Oohh! Ooh! Teacher! Teacher! Pick Me! I know!

  9. Yes Bog Brother- what’s the answer.

    Dirty Bird

    I hope our next president has the balls to reign in government spending

    Phrases like that often come from the Right, and only certain sectors are actually meant by this. 

    Now I know that ‘Assume’ makes an ‘Ass’ out of ‘U’ and ‘M’, but your next clause seems to nail your colours firmly to the mast.

    but selling votes is a lot easier by promising handouts as opposed to taking things away

    Implication- what needs to be cut back is federal handouts.  Now which federal handouts are these.  Bush has been in power for 7 years, and fo much of that time Reps have had it easy on the Hill.

    What spending has happened in the last 7 years?  Has there been a sudden explosion of welfare commitments?  No.  The money has gone to a dirty little war in Iraq, and what looks to many people like corruption.  Iraqis by and large haven’t gained much from the rebuilding.  Granted they do have new public buildings, but often these were replacing those bombed.  And that rebuilding has been done by AMERICAN companies, many of whom are a little too close to the Whitehouse.  British companies have been complaining that the bidding process sidelines them.  After months of Halliburton failing to start one multi-million dollar contract, locals did it for £21k.

    And how was this war paid for? By CUTTING the taxes of the super-rich, in a move THE RICH PROTESTED AGAINST.  Yet for the average guy income has dropped, not just in ‘real’ terms (ie vs inflation) but actually less physical money.

    In the meantime increased deregulation has led to less job security, plus the people put in charge of the regulatory authorities or government departments were CEO of industries regulated by those departments.

    The drain on the US treasury isn’t single poor mothers, its rich white men.

  10. Let’s be clear: There’s really only one war, and it isn’t being fought with bullets and guns: It’s class warfare. Whether you’re disenfranchising homosexuals of their right to contract to marriage the same way as anyone else, throwing the black people and drug users into prison to remove their right to vote, sending soldiers overseas to fight pointless wars, or comparing nationalized health care to Stalin you’re essentially looking a class war that’s essentially the same one we’ve been fighting since…I dunno, probably since we were all mostly peasants awaiting m’lord’s justice.

  11. The Iraq war is not the most expensive by a long shot.  It might be most expensive in dollar numbers (actually I think WWII might still be more expensive) but it is not the most expensive in cost relative to the size of our economy.

    Mainly what I am referring to when I mention handouts is Medicare and Social Security.  Google those terms along with the term “bankruptcy” and you will see that some projections say we are already bankrupt just from unfunded promises to Medicare.  That makes the Iraq war look like peanuts.  These programs were started before Bush.

  12. Goddamn that FDR and his fucking “New Deal!” What’s so new about the damn thing anyway? Just more of the same old shit! The poor and disabled always doing everything they can to keep the wealthy down! Jesus Christ, we should all just move to Switzerland where our money is and let these idiots fend for themselves! Why, if that bastard Roosevelt weren’t dead, I’d kill him myself! Maybe we should go dig him up and piss all over his grave just for good measure! That’ll send a clear message to those damn idiots! Then we can get back to the business of shipping those bastards over to Iraq to die for us!  The best part is, we can use their own tax money to pay for it! That’ll teach them! That’s population control right there! Yeah, go America! USA! USA! USA!

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