Saturday, September 12, 2009


As for what the overwhelmingly-white crowd had to say, I still think these protests could benefit from some focus. We learned today that right-wing activists don't like government spending (except when Bush and Republican lawmakers spent freely), don't like the size of government (except when Bush and Republican lawmakers increased the size of government), don't like deficits and debt (except when Bush and Republican lawmakers added trillions to the nation's tab), and don't like czars (except when Bush used dozens of them to implement his agenda).
Yet, this (via Balloon Juice):

Thursday's annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau's principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush...

On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country’s condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton’s two terms, often substantially...

Consider... the median income. When Bill Clinton left office after 2000, the median income-the income line around which half of households come in above, and half fall below-stood at $52,500 (measured in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars). When Bush left office after 2008, the median income had fallen to $50,303. That's a decline of 4.2 per cent...

That leaves Bush with the dubious distinction of becoming the only president in recent history to preside over an income decline through two presidential terms, notes Lawrence Mishel, president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. The median household income increased during the two terms of Clinton (by 14 per cent, as we’ll see in more detail below), Ronald Reagan (8.1 per cent), and Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford (3.9 per cent). As Mishel notes, although the global recession decidedly deepened the hole-the percentage decline in the median income from 2007 to 2008 is the largest single year fall on record-average families were already worse off in 2007 than they were in 2000, a remarkable result through an entire business expansion. “What is phenomenal about the years under Bush is that through the entire business cycle from 2000 through 2007, even before this recession…working families were worse off at the end of the recovery, in the best of times during that period, than they were in 2000 before he took office,” Mishel says.

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