Bush's economy

Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 02:58 pm
I know, I know, none of this is true and what part of it that is there must be a Democrat behind it's success as everyone knows the Bush economy has totally sucked. Rolling Eyes

Bush Has a Good Economic Record

September 3, 2008; Page A23

Successive speakers at the Democratic National Convention poured scorn on President Bush's economic record. The clear aim was to justify the party's call for "change," and to undermine support for Republican presidential nominee John McCain. His election would mean a "third Bush term," delegates groaned.

Yet Democrats cited no good evidence for their claims that the administration has produced a stagnant economy, widening disparities of income and wealth, high unemployment, and a heavy burden of government debt (supposedly resulting from an unwise military intervention in Iraq).

How does the performance of the U.S. economy really compare with other advanced economies over the eight years of George Bush's presidency? Data published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the International Comparison Program (ICP) (a cooperative venture coordinated by the World Bank) and the U.S. Census Bureau allow a nonpartisan, factual assessment. Here are some of the findings:

- Economic growth. U.S. output has expanded faster than in most advanced economies since 2000. The IMF reports that real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 2.2% over the period 2001-2008 (including its forecast for the current year). President Bush will leave to his successor an economy 19% larger than the one he inherited from President Clinton. This U.S. expansion compares with 14% by France, 13% by Japan and just 8% by Italy and Germany over the same period.

The latest ICP findings, published by the World Bank in its World Development Indicators 2008, also show that GDP per capita in the U.S. reached $41,813 (in purchasing power parity dollars) in 2005. This was a third higher than the United Kingdom's, 37% above Germany's and 38% more than Japan's.

- Household consumption. The ICP study found that the average per-capita consumption of the U.S. population (citizens and illegal immigrants combined) was second only to Luxembourg's, out of 146 countries covered in 2005. The U.S. average was $32,045. This was well above the levels in the UK ($25,155), Canada ($23,526), France ($23,027) and Germany ($21,742). China stood at $1,751.

- Health services. The U.S. spends easily the highest amount per capita ($6,657 in 2005) on health, more than double that in Britain. But because of private funding (55% of the total) the burden on the U.S. taxpayer (9.1% of GDP) is kept to similar levels as France and Germany. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 84.7% of the U.S. population was covered by health insurance in 2007, an increase of 3.6 million people over 2006. The uninsured can receive treatment in hospitals at the expense of private insurance holders.

While life expectancy is influenced by lifestyles and not just access to health services, the World Bank nevertheless reports that average life expectancy in the U.S. rose to 78 years in 2006 (the same as Germany's), from 77 in 2000.

- Income and wealth distribution. The latest World Bank estimates show that the richest 20% of U.S. households had a 45.8% share of total income in 2000, similar to the levels in the U.K. (44.0%) and Israel (44.9%). In 65 other countries the richest quintile had a larger share than in the U.S.

Investment has been buoyant under President Bush. According to the ICP, outlays on additions to the fixed assets (machinery and buildings, etc.) of the U.S. economy amounted to $8,018 per capita in 2005 compared to $4,963 in Germany and $4,937 in the U.K. Higher taxes on the upper-income Americans, as proposed by Mr. Obama, are likely to result in lower saving and investment, less entrepreneurial activity and reduced availability of bank credit. Lower-income Americans would be among the losers.

When considering the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S., another factor that should be taken into account is the sharp rise in the number of immigrants. The stock of international migrants (those born in other countries) in the U.S. grew by nearly 10 million from 1995 to 2005, reaching a total of 38.5 million according to the World Bank.

The inflow of migrants may have restrained the growth of average income levels in the bottom quintiles. Nevertheless, their earnings still allowed immigrants to remit $42 billion to their families abroad in 2006, double the level in 1995. So the benefits are widely spread among the families of immigrants remaining abroad -- an important U.S. contribution to the reduction of poverty in these countries.

- Employment. The U.S. employment rate, measured by the percentage of people of working age (16-65 years) in jobs, has remained high by international standards. The latest OECD figures show a rate of 71.7% in 2006. This was more than five percentage points above the average for the euro area.

The U.S. unemployment rate averaged 4.7% from 2001-2007. This compares with a 5.2% average rate during President Clinton's term of office, and is well below the euro zone average of 8.3% since 2000.

- Debt interest payments. The IMF reports that the interest cost of servicing general government debt in the U.S. has averaged 2.0% of GDP annually from 2001-2008, compared with 2.7% in the euro zone. It averaged 3.2% annually when President Clinton was in office.

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been largely absorbed in a relatively small increase in the defense budget (to 4.1% of GDP in 2006 from 3.8% in 1995). A much higher proportion of U.S. income was devoted to the military during World War II and the Korean War.

The evidence shows that much of the Democratic Party's criticism of President Bush's economic record is wide of the mark. True, the economic slowdown now affecting most advanced countries will likely result in rising unemployment over the coming months. But thanks to sensible policies pursued by the Bush administration (not always with adequate support from a Democratic-controlled Congress), the U.S. economy is sufficiently flexible to keep unemployment below the 7.7% peak reached in the last postrecession year of 1992.

The main risk is that, if elected, Barack Obama will pursue a "social justice" strategy. This would encompass higher taxes on entrepreneurs, savers and investors, more direct government intervention in the economy, and protectionist policies (including revoking existing trade agreements) aimed at safeguarding the jobs of his union backers in "old" industries and public services. If so, the pain is likely to be more widespread and prolonged.
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Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 03:00 pm
Bush Has a Good Economic Record

Yeah, it's not nearly as bad as the liberal media has reported that it is.
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 03:22 pm
Of course this is a positive picture of Bush's economic achievement from WSJ.

I have some negative argument. Since it is too late here I beg you to peruse this article.

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush
The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy. A Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz, sees a generation-long struggle to recoup.
Joseph E. Stiglitz
December 200
And in your article there was no mention about the currency conversion rate between Europa and USA.
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 03:51 pm
The following quote is from an article writen four years back. My question is whether it is better now?

"George W. Bush is the first president in 72 years to lose jobs. In August, the U.S. trade deficit widened to $54 billion, the second-highest in a string of record monthly trade gaps that shows no sign of abating. The result was the third straight monthly trade gap above $50 billion. At the current rate, the trade deficit for the full year will total $590 billion, well above last year's record of $496 billion.

When Bush took office, one dollar bought about 1.25 euros. Four years later, one euro will buy $1.27 dollars. This means it is now 50 percent more expensive for Americans to visit Europe. But who cares? Bush conservatives hate Europe anyway and rarely travel futher than their corner liquor store.

Under Bush’s watch, the price of oil has surged 70 percent this year alone " but hey, his family profits off oil prices so that’s ok.
Unlike President Bush, he will enforce our trade agreements and ensure that all future agreements include enforceable labor and environmental standards.

Kerry’s fiscal responsibility will help make American businesses more competitive by ensuring that we do not pass huge debts onto our children. He will keep interest rates lower so that American businesses and families can invest more. Remember -- during the 1990s, Kerry helped President Clinton balance the budget while creating more than 23 million jobs.

While Kerry wants to protect the jobs and livelihoods of the American people, the only job Bush is interested in protecting is his own. If he wins, the American economy " and with it the well-being of millions of Americans -- will collapse.

Of course Bush conservatives will argue these facts until their faces are as red as their necks. Their love for the Oil King Caligula is so pervasive it blinds them to the facts
cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 04:44 pm
It's much worse today, and the numbers just multiplied by numbers unimaginable just eight years ago.

You wouldn't know it by the conservatives glowing about the Bush economy.
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 10:17 am
@cicerone imposter,
I wish and hope that the author of this thread will take note of your observation as a co-citizen in USA.
Thank you so much

I've recently been perusing a copy of The Bush Boom: How a 'Misunderestimated' President Fixed Our Broken Economy, by right-wing commentator and National Review contributor Jerry Bowyer. Ah, yes, the Bush Boom. It's a bygone era, a time of hope, like the Kennedy years. Also like Camelot, the Bush Boom was tragically cut short--by, um, the Bush recession. Actually, the second Bush recession, to be precise.

Now, I don't really think it's fair to blame a president for having the economy tank on his watch. But that's just the point. For several years--the "Bush Boom" years--Republicans were essentially arguing that the mere fact that the economy was expanding should be taken as proof that Bush's economic policies succeeded.
President Bush would routinely announce facts such as (from a speech last year), "During the time when we cut taxes to today, our economy has grown by more than $1.9 trillion." He would mock his critics and declare, "events have proven them wrong."
The whole trick here was to start at the bottom point of the economic cycle and assume that any subsequent improvement was the result of his policies. Of course, this is a ludicrously forgiving measure. Over time, the economy tends to grow, and it also goes through cycles. To point out that we're better off at the peak of a cycle than at the trough is something that could be said of any economic cycle. Bush was claiming his miracle fertilizer succeeded because his plants were taller at the end of the summer than at the beginning of spring.
So the justification for Bush's economic policies was that the economy was no longer in recession. Now they can't even claim that any more. It's as if Bush's plants suddenly wilted in August.
Prosperity in George Bush's Economy
Why are folks so pessimistic about our boom-boom American economy? Because for most of us, it's painful to live in
Despite our great wealth, we're an unhappy people; we lead the world in mental health problems year in and year out. It's impossible to know to what degree that results from failing to live up to the economic expectations drummed into our heads every time we hear about the wonders of the American economy. But the message to all those families struggling to get by should be: You're not alone, it's all of us.

Bush's Economy Is Poverty Stricken, Bleeding Jobs and Ready to Crash
With Bush's support, disloyal businessmen, eager to exploit the massive pool of cheap labor in third world countries, are dumping well-paid American workers and sending their jobs overseas as well as replacing them here with imported low-wage foreign workers.
The Bush economy is ripe for a depression. Run-away spending for his tax cuts for the rich and his Iraq War has pushed the national debt up to $8.6 trillion. It is impossible for the United States to pay-off this mind numbing debt so instead China, Japan and the oil exporting countries are financing it.
Huge American personal debt and -1% savings rate are putting a drag on consumer spending. And, American insolvency has induced some oil trading countries to reconsider their allegiance to the dollar as the main oil currency and to replace it with the Euro and other currencies. As these reverses implode, our creditors will stop financing us and the world's central banks will jettison their hoards of collapsed dollars back to us causing the Bush depression.
cicerone imposter
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 02:17 pm
Trying to put a positive spin on the Bush economy only shows how deaf and dumb some people are. We're now in the midst of some real crisis of millions of families losing their jobs and homes, and the middle class going bankrupt from the cost of fuel and food increasing beyond their paychecks.

Not only banks and mortgage companies are going broke, but many financial institutions are also running out of cash; they primary asset for survival.

Some people will never "get it," even when family, friends, and their neighbors are struggling to survive.
Reply Thu 4 Sep, 2008 02:54 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Yes CI. What can I say except lamenting.

The Bush Flip
Flops Explained

When a pol sees that his legacy
Looks like it could be shot,
If pursuing foolish policies
He doesn't put a stop,
Then to keep his reputation off
Historians' back lot,
He makes big moves, he changes things
And flips to hide the flops.


©2008 Michael Silverstein
0 Replies
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 11:46 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I wouldn't trust any of Rupert Murdoch's enterprises. H e bought The Wall Street Journal so it will behave just like Fox News.
0 Replies
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 07:23 am
Well, maybe Obama supporters can not understand FACTS.

They have been brainwashed by the pundints, media and Oprah and believe everything is bad.
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Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 09:06 am
An interesting if meaningless comparison.
I would hardly refer to it as a non partisan comparison but a selective use of facts.

It compares the US to other countries rather than to the US historical growth. A nice sleight of hand but really meaningless. The US economy grew slightly faster than some countries but the US had deficit spending to drive that growth. Let's look at historical growth between Clinton and Bush. Average growth of GDP from 1993-2000 was 3.7. Average growth of GDP from 2001-2007 was 2.o Average deficit spending as % of GDP from 1993-2000 was .8% of GDP. Average deficit spending from 2001-2007 was 1.6% of GDP.

Comparing US per capita income to other countries income is meaningless. The US per capita income was higher than other countries when Bush took office. Unless you compare growth, you aren't really comparing anything. It fails to mention that the US per capita income is barely above what it was 8 years ago.

I'm not really sure what they are comparing with consumption. The US consumer makes more and therefor spends more. Not much of a surprise.

The U.S. spends easily the highest amount per capita ($6,657 in 2005) on health, more than double that in Britain. But because of private funding (55% of the total) the burden on the U.S. taxpayer (9.1% of GDP) is kept to similar levels as France and Germany.
That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. Is the author saying the US taxpayer isn't paying the 55% of private funding out of their own pockets? The US taxpayer pays almost double what people in France and Germany pay for health care as a % of GDP.
Total health care spending represented 16 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

That is an all time high as % of GDP for US health care costs.

Life expectency - Interesting how the author only compares the US to Germany where a siginificant % of the population grew up in the old East Germany.

Income and wealth.
A selection of 2 countries to compare being similar but different countries used in other comparisons.

Unemployment - ignores the trends and instead only concentrates on the average. Clinton inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 his average was 4.95 if you simply remove the first year he was in office. The present rate of 6.1% means Bush's last year is going to raise his average. They will be similar for the full 8 years of both. Why does the author compare unemployment for Clinton/Bush but not GDP growth?

Debt interest payments - Ignores total debt, perhaps because interest is presently low. Interest rates are not going to stay as low as they were and are moving up.

Has the Bush economy, totally sucked? No. Has it been worse than the US has done in previous administrations? Yes. In fact the last administration that had GDP growth of 2% or lower was...

Wait for it..

Herbert Hoover.

GHWBush had 2.1% GDP growth in his 4 years.
Clinton had 3.7
Reagan had 3.4
Carter 3.3
Nixon 2.8
Kennedy/Johnson 4.9
Eisenhower 2.9
Truman 3.4
FDR 8.1

old europe
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 09:27 am
parados wrote:
Life expectency - Interesting how the author only compares the US to Germany where a siginificant % of the population grew up in the old East Germany.

The CIA World Factbook gives life expectancy at birth for Germany as

total population: 79.1 years
male: 76.11 years
female: 82.26 years (2008 est.)

and for the United States as

total population: 78.14 years
male: 75.29 years
female: 81.13 years (2008 est.)

At the same time, the cost of health care is roughly twice as high in the United States as it is in Germany (in US$ PPP per capita per annum, according to the OECD).
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 09:39 am
@old europe,
That's interesting OE.
The author used 2006 numbers when you found 2008 numbers online from the CIA factbook.

Why do you think the author used 2 year old numbers? McG? Can you enlighten us why someone that was being non partisan used old numbers when anyone with access to the internet can find out present numbers?
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Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 09:45 am
Looking further at the CIA fact book makes me wonder about the numbers the author used for growth since 2000.

Germany and UK GDP's grew faster than the US in 2007. I will have to try to track down the IMF numbers claimed to be used.
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Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 10:28 am
Upon checking the numbers from the IMF, it appears that out of 31 countries listed in the "advanced countries" the US came in 20th in growth. Yes, they came in above Japan and Germany but behind 19 other countries.

The 2.2% growth is a little odd for a figure. The actual average for the US is 2.143. The author didn't round down like would normally be done.

- Economic growth. U.S. output has expanded faster than in most advanced economies since 2000. The IMF reports that real U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 2.2% over the period 2001-2008 (including its forecast for the current year). President Bush will leave to his successor an economy 19% larger than the one he inherited from President Clinton. This U.S. expansion compares with 14% by France, 13% by Japan and just 8% by Italy and Germany over the same period.
The numbers are strange here too. US economy grew 18.4% from 2001-2008 based on the IMF number yet it gets rounded UP and not down. Italy was 8.1% growth. Rounded down and not up? Germany works out to 9.99% which I think is 10 and not 8. France is 14.2% which the author rounded down and the Japan is 13.2 which again the author chose to round down.

Some of this is looking like it isn't really true McG, or at least is some massaging of numbers by not using the standard rounding practices.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 11:20 am
To peggy-back on parados' post, what is more important is that the economic growth in the US did not benefit the majority of workers, but benefited the CEOs and stock holders. US wages didn't even keep up with inflation since 2000, so any economic growth compared to other countries is a sham. The real issue is how much in wages did workers enjoy during these times of economic growth beyond the rate of inflation?

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Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 02:32 am
Yes, Bush's Economic Policies Are a Failure"

Tax cuts paying for themselves, or not:

Yes, Bush's Economic Policies Are a Failure, by Brad DeLong: Rex Nutting of Marketwatch:

Budget outlook worsens on war, economy - MarketWatch: With the economy weakening and spending on the war rising, the federal budget outlook has deteriorated in both the short-run and the medium-term, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. In its summer budget update, the nonpartisan budget office said the federal deficit would likely double this year compared with last year, and remain at about 3% of gross domestic product for the next two years. ...

Unlike the February update, which showed the budget roughly in balance through 2018 under favorable assumptions, the September projection now sees deficits totaling $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years. Those projections assume that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire and that the alternative minimum tax is not changed. If the tax cuts are extended as the White House and the McCain-Palin ticket want, the deficits over the next 10 years would be $4.2 trillion higher than now projected, CBO said.

The reason McCain-Palin want to continue these policies is that they believe suggestions that the policies haven't worked for the majority of Americans can be attributed to whining. So, if you want to continue being berated for whining about the obvious problems you face, McCain-Palin is the ticket for you.
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Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 06:40 am
Even comparing per capita income Europe did significantly better than the US with Bush in office. Here is a great link from Oxford:http://www.oef.com/Free/pdfs/oxfordeconomicspressreleasejan08.pdf. The graph at the bottom of page one shows that in 2001, the US per capita income was signficantly higher than England, France or Germany. Their growth rates in this decade have swapped ours. Now England is at parity and France and Germany are only slightly behind.
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Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 07:16 am
Yea, I guess those who complain about the economy in the US are just a bunch of whiners, boy, if ever a word has been over and missed used.


The unemployment rate rose from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August, and non-
farm payroll employment continued to trend down (-84,000), the Bureau of
Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. In August,
employment fell in manufacturing and employment services, while mining and
health care continued to add jobs. Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents,
or 0.4 percent, over the month.

Unemployment (Household Survey Data)

The number of unemployed persons rose by 592,000 to 9.4 million in August,
and the unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage point to 6.1 percent.
Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by
2.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.4 percentage points,
with most of the increase occurring over the past 4 months. (See table A-1.)

In August, the unemployment rates for adult men (5.6 percent), adult women
(5.3 percent), whites (5.4 percent), blacks (10.6 percent), and Hispanics
(8.0 percent) rose, while the jobless rate for teenagers was little changed
at 18.9 percent. The unemployment rate for Asians was 4.4 percent in August,
not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of persons who lost their last job rose by
417,000 to 4.8 million in August, with increases occurring among those on tem-
porary layoff and those who do not expect to be recalled to work. Over the last
4 months, the number of unemployed job losers has increased by 810,000. (See
table A-8.)


Last month the United States inflation rose a startling 5.6%, the first time it has rose that fast in 17 years. With this number also came a 0.8% rise in the consumer-price index, showing consumers the effect of the increase in cost for food, energy, clothing and airfare. In the previous month there was a 1.1% rise that accompanied a 0.3% rise in core inflation (excludes food and energy). This is a significant rise of 2.5% from the previous year and well surpasses the Federal Agency's "comfort zone" of 1.5% - 2.0%.


Corporations continue to slash tens of thousands of positions while workers still on the job are working harder for less money, according to reports on the US economy released this week.

The job-displacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that businesses announced 88,736 job cuts in August, up 12 percent from last year. The total number of layoff announcements in the summer months of May to August rose to the highest level in six years, when the economy was recovering from the 2001 recession.

Friday’s Labor Department unemployment report is expected to show the loss of up to 75,000 jobs in August"the eighth consecutive month of losses. Reports on weekly jobless claims (up 15,000 to 444,000, the highest spike in five weeks) and a widely followed survey of private sector employers by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) bolstered expectations that Friday’s report would show an increase in the official unemployment rate, currently 5.7 percent nationally.

The ADP survey, which generally underestimates actual job losses, reported that private sector employment fell by a total of 33,000 jobs in August. The goods-producing sector cut 78,000 jobs, including 56,000 jobs in manufacturing, which saw its 24th consecutive monthly decline. The generally lower paying service sector added 45,000 positions in August, ADP reported.

Analysts anticipate a continued slowdown in the US economy as corporations confront higher fuel costs, tighter credit restrictions and signs that demand for exports is slowing due to the global character of the recession. In addition, the housing crisis, growth of unemployment and falling purchasing power are undermining consumer spending.


But I guess, us Whiners have brought all this on by our complaining. We complained and we lost jobs and caused the cost of energy and the cost of consumers to rise while our wages have not been keeping up and in fact in some cases have decreased. Think if we say we are sorry, they will take it back?
cicerone imposter
Reply Wed 10 Sep, 2008 10:05 pm
revel, I'm not sure why you bother to present all these "facts" about our economy; the conservatives want more of the same for the next four years, and it's based on their selection of Sarah Palin for Veep. She's gonna fix our economy while McCain stays the course from the Bush years.

You can't prove me wrong.

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