When the sorry state of the current economy is discussed on some talk, news, TV or radio show, inevitably the Democrats will blame it on policies of George W. Bush. Infuriatingly, sometimes Republicans will chime in and say Bush was also responsible for our problems, in particular, the ballooning deficit.
Hearing this makes me start screaming at the TV.
So many Americans forget that the economy was perking right along until the Democrats took control of Congress after the 2006 elections. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s “Six for ’06” slogan? Number one on that list was an increase in the minimum wage. Cassandras told those who would listen that this would have a very negative effect on the economy. And, that summer, jobs for young people started to disappear. Under their watch. And it metastasized through other age groups.
Many of us also forget that when Bush came into office the Defense Department had been gutted. In order to balance the budget, Clinton slashed and burned our military programs. So when 9/11 came along, we were not in a position to quickly engage the enemy. Yes, the spending did increase because of the two wars, but isn’t defense the number one priority of government? Could it be any better spent? From the luxury of 2010 we look back and feel safe. But on September 12, the country felt and was vulnerable.
I like to remind the ignorant of these points when they start yammering about deficits.
Those pundits who now want to give President Obama time to come out of the malaise – they feel two years is not enough – forget that in the spring of 2001, the dot com bubble and Enron scandals inherited from Clinton brought warnings that Bush had better get it under control immediately or he would lose in 2004. On top of this Bush was hampered by a late start in getting his cabinet confirmed, thanks to Al Gore’s reluctance to accept defeat. Even so, they cut him no slack.
Somehow, Bush managed to push us over the recession, even with the events of 9/11. What ensued were 52 straight months of job expansion. The stock market hit 14,000 and unemployment went to a negligible 5%.
With Obama we now have 17 months of unemployment over 9% even after that enormous stimulus. We have an underemployment estimated at 17.1%, up .4% in September alone. So since his 2003 inauguration Obama’s unemployment has gone up 26%. Now even his own advisors say it will remain high into 2011 and estimates this morning say at this pace we won’t recover until 2020.
In Obama’s first two years, food stamps have gone from 21 million people to 41 million. Gold is skyrocketing and the dollar losing ground daily.
Charles Krauthammer notes that two trilliion of capital sits on the sidelines because Obama’s economic policies are threatening to business. They are looking at more regulation, nationalization and increased taxation. He should shun these ‘tions’ because they scare small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Add to that, the Democrat controlled Congress has not passed a budget. It is the first time since 1974 that has happened. Nor do we have a tax bill or appropriations bill. As Krauthammer notes, Congress gives us Stephen Colbert instead.
So when someone starts in on the economy and bad policies of Bush, serve them up a few of these facts. We need to repeat them like a mantra until the message gets across.