A Remarkably Bad Economic Record
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Jan 06, 2009 at 10:32:34 AM EST
We all know that George W. Bush's economic track record has been bad, but just how bad was it. The depth and long term effects of the Bush recession are not yet known, but some of the preliminary numbers compiled by Pew look horrendous.
- While both GDP and per capita GDP rose during the eight years of the Bush administration, by 19.4 percent and 11.0 percent respectively, median household incomes are actually down -- a discouraging signal that indeed not only are the rich getting richer, it is the rich who have benefitted to a much greater extent that other Americans.
- The national debt has nearly doubled from $5.7 trillion to $10 trillion -- and that doesn't even include the amounts that the Obama administration will have to spend to try to dig the country out from the Bush recession, as well as the costs of the ongoing war in Iraq. Note, too, that George W. Bush inherited an unprecedentedly large budgetary surplus, so this blowup in debt was by no means a foregone conclusion.
- Unemployment is up significantly, from 3.9 percent in 2000 to 6.7 percent today. Even worse, when discouraged jobseekers and the under employed are included, that rate has gone from 6.9 percent to 12.5 percent -- fully one in eight American workers.
Of course these numbers shouldn't come as a surprise to those who have watched American politics in recent years, and certainly not to those who have borne the brunt of Bush's failed economic policies. That said, it's important for these numbers to be firmly established in the record so that Republicans are not allowed to shift blame for the woes their backward ideology foisted upon the country to the current leadership in Washington.