by Dee Newman
For eight years during the George W. Bush Administration Republicans told us that "the American economy is the envy of the world . . . [that] the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
When we look at the facts, though, economic growth actually was extremely weak during W's administration when the Republicans controlled congress.
The truth is – since 1960, no administration ranks lower in economic growth than W's, including his father’s – which was 1.9%.
Nevertheless, it was not until February of 2008 when W signed the stimulus package that he finally admitted what most of us already knew – the economy was in real trouble and had been for a long time.
To sustain the myth, his administration and his Republican cronies in congress had "barrowed and spent" more than any other administration in our nation’s history – even more than the Reagan administration.
The effects of Bush’s deficit-spending completely reverse the deficit-reduction of the Clinton years.
The massive trade deficits of the Bush years added more than $1.5 trillion to our foreign debt alone.
Without China and Middle Eastern countries financing that debt the United States’ economy would have become insolvent a long time ago.
The Dollar shrunk to an all time low.
Wages remained flat as the price of oil and food climbed to record levels.
Health-care coverage for most Americans became increasingly precarious. Over 45 million Americans had no health care at all.
What's more, his administration did absolutely nothing to help the average worker in this country.
Job growth was extremely low – until 2008 when we actually lost over 700,000 jobs, we averaged less than 900,000 jobs a year, compared to more than 2.5 million jobs a year during the Clinton administration.
The Republican's only strategy was then (as it is today) to give out massive tax cuts, but tax cuts that heavily favored the rich and powerful – trickled down economics or as DaddyBush use to say, voodoo economics.
In addition, between 2000 and 2006, the Republican controlled congress gave out a record amount of pork. But, Bush did not veto or even threaten to veto one single spending bill, that is, until the Democrats took over and reduced pork by 40%.
On top of all this "barrowing and spending", the Bush administration and the Republican controlled congress, also, gave massive handouts and tax cuts, not to the poor and hungry or the middle class, but to big business and international corporations (the energy companies, the defense contractors, the drug companies, the insurance companies, and yes, the financial industry), essentially everything they wanted, and all at the public's expense while his government regulators turned a blind-eye to their greed and corruption.
None of which produce the growth Bush and Republicans promised.
And then, ”Bailouts!”
In other words – "Corporate Welfare."
Now, there is a lot of blame to go around, but it was Republicans' and Bush's decision to not only ignore, but also celebrate in hundreds of speeches the growth of the housing bubble. Let’s be honest, the insanity of the growth and deregulation of the mortgage market was one of the most disastrous economic mistakes in our nation's history.
The economic meltdown coupled with the billions and billions of dollars we spent on the unnecessary Iraq War brought our precious country to its knees.
Borrow, borrow . . . spend, spend.
Osama bin Laden must awake every morning laughing his ass off.
As he told us on numerous occasions since 9/11 – al Qaeda’s goal is to “bleed America to the point of bankruptcy.”
He told us in November of 2004 that al Qaeda had found it easy “to provoke and bait” the Bush administration. And, that America would suffer major human and economic losses while Bush’s buddies would rake in enormous profits.
“ The real loser is you," he said. "It is the American people and their economy."
As I have said before – how sad and depressing it is that the man Bush said he would capture "dead or alive" back in 2002 is still at large, and that it is his, Osama bin Laden’s words, not Bush's, that continue to ring true, today.
If the American people vote to return to the Republican policies of the Bush years, we will deserve the economic catastrophe which will surely ensue.