Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
A great post from Steve Benen today. A stroll down memory lane:
After Friday's discouraging jobs report, there was increasing talk on the right about the benefits of George W. Bush's record, as if the nation would be better off turning back the clock to 2008.
As Jeremy Holden noted, "Bush economic revisionism approached satire [last] week, as the conservative commentariat began suggesting that voters miss the former president remembered for pursuing economic policies that drove the national economy into a historic recession and financial crisis." Fox ran a picture of Bush with the headline, "Miss me yet?"
I hope that's a rhetorical question.
Just for fun, I put together this chart this morning, showing job-creation numbers for every year since 2001, Bush's first year in office. In the image, the lighter color shows job losses/gains in the overall economy, while the darker color reflects just the private sector.
Context, of course, is key. When Bush took office in 2001, the economy had slowed, but it was a mild downturn compared to the global financial collapse that was underway in 2009. And yet, note that the economy added jobs in President Obama's second year, which is more than we can say for his Republican predecessor. In Obama's third year, 2011, more private sector jobs were created than in seven of the eight years Bush was in the White House.
Even this year, after just five months, some of which have been far from adequate, the economy has added more jobs than in Bush's first three years in office combined.
For that matter, note than when the economy added jobs under Bush, the private sector lagged the overall economy, while under Obama, the opposite is true, with the private sector generating the job growth. There's a reason for this: Bush relied on government jobs while the private sector scaled back, while under Obama, the public sector has lost jobs while businesses expanded.
By contemporary Republican standards, this means Bush was a far more effective big-government socialist than Obama.
Ezra Klein had an item about a month ago, highlighting some of the economic lowlights of the Bush/Cheney era (read it): "In other words, the more you actually know about Bush's economy, how it compares with other periods in our economy and the role it played in the financial crisis, the worse it looks."
The weak economic recovery during Bush's second term was fueled by a credit bubble resulting from the housing bubble that eventually collapsed, and nearly destroyed our financial system and economy.