Skip to comments.A few inconvenient truths getting in the way of the “We inherited the financial crisis” meme
Posted on 08/05/2011 2:02:31 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
As Barack Obama continues to blame his predecessor for the tanking economy and the chronic unemployment that Obama promised to avoid with his big stimulus package more than two years ago, and as other Democrats get aboard the Blameshift Express, Byron York attempts to set the record straight. He focuses on the claim that eight years of spending and “reckless tax cuts” by the Bush administration bankrupted the country. When one looks at the numbers, the Democratic argument doesn’t stand up at all:
This week a Florida Democratic representative, Corrine Brown, explained her vote against the debt-ceiling agreement by citing “eight years of horribly reckless spending and excessive tax cuts for the rich under President Bush and the Republican Congress.”
Some critics have trouble with even the most basic facts. George W. Bush was indeed president for eight years. But do Brown and her colleagues remember that Congress was fully controlled by Republicans just four of those eight years? The GOP ran the House from 2001 to 2007, Bush’s first six years in office, while Republicans only controlled the Senate from 2003 to 2007. (In Bush’s first three months, the Senate was divided 50-50 until the May 2001 defection of Republican Sen. James Jeffords gave Democrats control.)
As far as tax cuts are concerned, Bush did indeed cut taxes for the wealthy — along with everybody else who paid income taxes. But does Brown remember that tax revenues actually increased in the years after the Bush tax cuts took effect?
Revenues fell in Bush’s first two years because of a combination of the tech bust and the start of the tax cuts. But then things took off. After taking in $1.782 trillion in tax revenues in 2003, the government collected $1.88 trillion in 2004; $2.153 trillion in 2005; $2.406 trillion in 2006; and $2.567 trillion in 2007, according to figures compiled by the Office of Management and Budget. That’s a 44 percent increase from 2003 to 2007. (Revenues slid downward a bit in 2008, and a lot in 2009, when the financial crisis sent the economy into a tailspin.) “Everybody talks about how much the Bush tax cuts ‘cost,’” says one GOP strategist. “We’re saying, no, they led to a huge increase in revenue.”
And deficits shrank. After beginning with a Clinton-era surplus in 2001, the Bush administration ran up deficits of $158 billion in 2002; $378 billion in 2003; and $413 billion in 2004. Then, with revenues pouring in, the deficits began to fall: $318 billion in 2005; $248 billion in 2006; and $161 billion in 2007. That 2007 deficit, with the tax cuts in effect, was one-tenth of today’s $1.6 trillion deficit.
York notes that it wasn’t until Democrats took over Congress in 2007 — including one Democrat named Barack Obama in the Senate — that deficits began exploding.
Next, Harry Reid said that the loss of eight million jobs came during “the Bush eight years” in a floor speech this week, a claim that Politifact rated as “pants on fire”:
“My friend (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.) talks about no new taxes,” Reid said. “Mr. President, if their theory was right, with these huge (tax cuts) that took place during the Bush eight years, the economy should be thriving. These tax cuts have not helped the economy. The loss of eight million jobs during the Bush eight years, two wars started, unfunded, all on borrowed money, these tax cuts all on borrowed money — if the tax cuts were so good, the economy should be thriving. If we go back to the prior eight years during President Clintons administration, 23 million new jobs were created.”
A reader asked us whether Reid was correct that there was a “loss of eight million jobs during the Bush eight years.” So we looked into it.
As always, we looked at jobs numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the governments official source of employment data.
During Bushs eight years in office — January 2001 to January 2009 — the nation actually gained a net 1.09 million jobs. (Because there were gains in government jobs, the private sector actually lost 653,000 jobs during that period.)
This isnt remotely close to what Reid claimed. Reid’s office didn’t respond to our request for information, but we think we know what he was referring to.
From the economys peak to its low point, the nation lost 8.75 million jobs. Heres the problem: The peak for jobs came in January 2008, while the low point for jobs came in February 2010. This means the starting point for Reids measure came seven years into Bushs eight-year tenure, and the low point occurred about a year into Barack Obamas tenure.
In other words, Reid had a point in saying that there was a “loss of eight million jobs” — but it didnt come “during the Bush eight years.” The loss of eight million jobs occurred during a roughly two-year period shared more or less equally between Bush and Obama.
Well, the data is easily retrievable from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (now that it’s finally back on line), so let’s take a look at seasonally-adjusted private-sector employment over the last twenty years. I’ve compiled the total number (seasonally adjusted) of private-sector jobs each month over the last 20 years and put them into this chart:
The blue colors of this graph show when Democrats held complete control of Congress, while the white areas show when Republicans held complete control. The two purple areas show when Democrats controlled the Senate, as York notes above, and when Republicans controlled only the House. This gives a much different picture of when job losses occurred, and who controlled policy in Congress when it happened.
When Democrats talk about “eight years of job losses” during the Bush administration, just show them this chart.
Obamas Deficit Avalanche isnt Bushs Fault / scottuystarnes.com / 2/9/2010
Washington Times reports: Even more staggering than the mountains of snow in the capital are the deficits the Obama administration plans for the next decade. Huge spending increases will add about $12 trillion to the national debt for budget years 2009 to 2020.
The scariest part is that these deficits are based on unrealistic budgeting assumptions; the real fiscal outlook is much bleaker. In the proposed 2011 budget, the White House defensively attacks the irresponsibility of past deficits.
For example, the 2009 budget deficit of $1.4 trillion is blamed on the George W. Bush administration as if President Obamas $862 billion stimulus package and more than $400 billion supplemental spending bill had nothing to do with it. Mr. Obamas planned 2010 budget deficit rises to an even higher record level of $1.6 trillion.
By comparison, all of Mr. Bushs deficits from 2002 to 2008 the seven years during which his team had the most control over the budget produced a combined deficit of $2.1 trillion.
Obama has spent more in 2 years than Bush did in 7 years. Obamas BIOB (Blame it on Bush) defense just wont work anymore.
All true. Just too many facts for a Democrat to understand. Way over their head.
I’m getting tired of that old “inherited” BS from Barry and his commie ‘RATS. Look at the mess he and his ‘RATS are going to leave to our grandchildren to “inherit”. They’ll be paying OUR BILLS for the rest of eternity.
“Corinne Brown??”” who cares what she says/thinks..she’s dumber than a pet rock..
Reagan inherited high unemployment, double digit inflation, and the Cold War from his predecessor.
Twelve years later, Clinton inherited the end of the Cold War, the start of the tech boom, and a growing economy from his predecessor.
Eight years later, Bush inherited Bin Laden and the start of a recession from his predecessor.
And in 2007, the Democrat Congress including Senator Obama inherited DOW 14,000 and 4.4% unemployment from their predecessors.
The Left want exactly this. They want to make an accusation that its constituency will read above the fold and take for fact. The right defends themselves with exhaustive research to prove the accusation wrong and then blam, the left is already on to smear 8 by the time smear 1 is proven false.
The small hole is labeled "500 billion", not a "half billion".
The big hole at 1.85 trillion would only be 3.7 times as large as the small hole.
To be in scale the large hole, with a surface area 3.7 times the small hole, would have a radius just about two times the radius of the small hole. So to me the proportions look fairly close.
Exactly right sappy. Because the Dems operate on the assumption that politics is war by other means. And they are conducting a war. As we speak. Listen to the rhetoric. Thats not the conduct of people engaged in a peaceful exchange of ideas.
I was looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics chart for private sector unemployment from 2001 to 2011...interesting that unemployment between 2001 and late 2008 ran from the mid-four to the low-six range. Around the time of the 2008 election the unemployment rate began its current climb with the real increases beginning in November of 2008. Now the Barackistanis would have us believe this is a Bush increase but I believe that employers, knowing the probable policies of the president-elect, began to aggressively cut jobs in anticipation of the Poseur’s campaign against capital. By the time his presidency began we had a 7.8% unemployment rate and it has continued on this trajectory since then.
An example today:
For the past week we have been told by "news" reporters that 70,000 construction workers have been laid off because of the hold on FAA funding.
Oops! Now that the impasse has been resolved, the corrected number has been reported: 24,000 jobs.
What I also want to know is how could 'reporters' go with such a ridiculous number in the first place, without saying to themselves: "70,000 jobs doing airport construction doesn't really sound possible, I better check it out."
I’m composing a letter to the editor of my statewide paper, but I need some FReeper help. What liberal columnists are pushing this same meme this week? (You know,Bush’s fault, BushBushBush...)! Seems like I’ve seen some columnists pushing this crap the last few days. Geez, what a herd mentality among the libs! Any help pointing out the liberals who are pushing this are GREATLY appreciated!
Truth doesn’t matter. “Bush’s fault” is something so many want to believe, and they won’t be told otherwise.
Well firstly, Obama himself keeps repeating this “I Inherited” meme.
Then we have columnists in the NY Times (like Al Hunt) who repeat this meme. See here :
Terry McAullife repeats the meme:
The Washington Post and ABC News, then does a poll that concludes that Obama inherited the colossal financial mess:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews repeats the same thing :
Just as few examples I could find.
It’s surprising to me that 9/11 isn’t mentioned, especially when the Obumers freely talk about the weather and the nuculer accident in Japan
I should know better on FR.
Lots of good info. Thanks.
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