Friday, November 20, 2009

Bush vs. Obama.

I think we have all become used to hearing Obama blaming Bush for all his economic problems. As we are coming to the end of the full first year of the Obama presidency, I think it's informative to look back at Bush's first year.

You might remember that Bush inherited a recession as well. You might have a hard time remembering it because Bush turned it around pretty quickly. What is so amazing about that is that he did it after we experienced the biggest attack in the history of our country AND the fact that hurricane Katrina packed an unusually big punch to the United States economy. So keep that in mind in the comparison.

In the last week of November 2001, the exact same period of time in Bush's presidency that is now in the Obama's presidency, "House Democratic leaders pronounced that the country was in the Bush recession. That brought howls from Republicans. After a11 they argued correctly this recession began when former President Clinton was in office."

Gee, that sounds kind of familiar. So, can we call this the "Obama recession" now? Following the lead of the Democrats, I think we should.

And beyond that, we need to look closely at what Bush did to pull us out of that recession and then look closely at what Obama has done to do the same.

This is practically a test case on what works. Clearly what Bush did worked (a $1.35-trillion tax cut). By July of 2005 the unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent. and The U.S. had generated about 200,000 new jobs a month in the last part of 2005. We shall see if what Obama is doing (which is the opposite of what Bush did) will work. So far we have a unbelievable 10.2 unemployment rate. At the end of Bush's first year in 2001, the national unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.

I'm not holding out much "hope." How about you? So far, it's clear the boondoogle of the stimulus ("American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," what a joke) didn't work.

But it is amusing to go back and look at the news when Bush was running for re-election in 2004. The economy was in recovery, but the Democrats were moaning about the 2.3 million jobs lost under Bush in his first term, calling it the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. 2.3 million is the number of jobs lost under Obama in his first year. I shudder to think of what the number will be when his term ends.

In December of 2004 the U.S. added 157,000 new jobs, which the Democrats lamented as an "underwhelming performance." Oh, what we wouldn't give for an underwhelming performance now.

Then there is the deficit. Oh, how we hated Bush's spending. But Obama has made Bush look like a Texas housewife in spending compared to Obama's Paris Hilton ways. The White House 2009 budget deficit projection is a staggering $1.8 trillion. For context, it took President Bush more than seven years to accumulate $1.8 trillion in debt.

For all the hate the left poured onto Bush, who knew we would miss him so soon?