Yes, We Can Still Blame Bush

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bushYou still hear the old line from Republicans, “Oh, what are you going to do, blame Bush for this too?”  Basically, it’s a jab at liberals who still blame Bush for an economy that isn’t yet fully recovered from our 2008 economic crash.

These people act as if fixing a mess is as easy as creating one.

And let’s not forget President Obama didn’t just have to fix a giant mess, he did so with an entire political party actively trying to sabotage his efforts.

They’ll tag all these numbers on President Obama such as: We lost 4.5 million jobs while Obama has been in the White House.

I guess we should just pretend that Obama didn’t assume office in the middle of the worst recession in nearly a century.  What was he supposed to do, wave a magic wand and make the job losses stop on January 21, 2009?  Hell, he cut them by more than half  within his first 3 months in office—I’d say that’s pretty damn good.

Or they’ll go after his spending, saying stupid things like: Obama has spent more than any other President in history.

It’s impossible for Obama to have spent more than every other President in history, because he hasn’t doubled our national debt. He took office with a $10 trillion national debt, and it currently sits at $16 trillion. For him to have spent more than every other President combined it would, at minimum, need to be over $20 trillion–it isn’t. And we’re not even factoring in the fact that fiscal year 2009 spending (almost $3 trillion) was put into place largely by Bush, not Obama.

Maybe I should just cover how budgets work.  You see, the money spent in 2009 that gets lumped in with Obama’s spending—was actually approved and passed in 2008 under Bush.  Spending for the current fiscal year is passed the previous year.

And of course there are the wars, 2 of them to be exact.  What the Bush administration did was cleverly back-load much of the cost for both wars so that when their true cost began to hit our national debt, the next President would have to deal with the ramifications.

Speaking of the wars, Bush didn’t finish those.  He damn sure started them, but that’s about all he did—that and screw both of them up.  In fact, what Bush actually did was start 2 wars, then cut our nation’s revenue by cutting taxes.

This is basically like someone buying a brand new house and a shiny new car, then taking a giant pay cut to the point where they can’t afford to pay for their brand new house and car.

But then there’s always the deregulation of Wall Street.

Pop quiz:  What sector of our economy—crashed  our economy?  Oh, that’s right, the very same Wall Street which Bush, and his Congressional Republicans, helped deregulate.

Which of course leads into Bush’s other big spending measures like the TARP bailout, his 3 stimulus bills and his Medicare Part D bill (there are others).  All three of these will end up costing taxpayers well over $1 trillion as well.

So let’s see, Bush..

  • Started 2 wars, which have cost American taxpayers well over $1 trillion
  • Cut taxes, which reduced the revenue being brought in by the federal government to pay our bills, creating giant deficits
  • Used accounting tricks to push much of the costs for both wars to the end of his presidency so the next President would have to deal with them
  • Passed 3 different stimulus bills totaling hundreds of billions of dollars
  • Passed Medicare Part D, again totaling hundreds of billions of dollars
  • Deregulated Wall Street, leading to rampant corruption—which was the driving force behind our economic collapse
  • Bailed out Wall Street by passing the TARP bailout, also totaling hundreds of billions of dollars
  • Left office with a national debt nearly double what it was when he took office and destroyed a balanced budget in the process

In other words, Bush created a catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen before.  This economic crash didn’t just take out our economy, it put most of the world’s leading economies into a recession.

Then Obama is elected, and suddenly none of that happened.  It’s all his fault.  Even the stuff that happened before he took office.  These people act as if the cause of a problem ceases to be the cause just because a certain amount of time has passed.

Tell me, if someone is married and their spouse cheats, causing them to lose trust in the opposite sex—does that infidelity suddenly not become the driving force behind their mistrust of the opposite sex just because a certain amount of time has passed?

A cause is a cause, no matter how much time has passed.

Now I could get the argument if our economy recovered, then faced new  economic problems, but we’re still overcoming our economic crash of 2008.  And like I said before, it’s much  easier to destroy something than it is to repair it.  You can completely demolish a 3,000 square foot home in a matter of an hour, yet it takes months to build one.

The way in which our economy crashed was much  more complicated than that.  The “ripple effects” from it are still slowly filtering through our society.

Then again there’s always the glaring truth Republicans won’t admit—their party is still the cause for a slow recovery.  Once they took some power back in Congress, nothing  has been done.  Hell, Mitch McConnell flat out said 2 years before this past November’s election that making Obama a one-term President was their party’s top priority.

So tell me, how would they help the economy, create jobs and aid Americans if their main goal was making the President look bad?  How in the hell do you get a President to lose his bid for re-election with a strong economy that’s growing rapidly?

The answer is simple–you don’t.  They sabotaged and stalled, hoping that whatever they did would stunt economic growth just enough so that Obama wouldn’t see a second term and they could take back the White House.

So when Republicans say liberals can’t blame Bush anymore, just tell them…

You’re damn right we can.  Because we’re still having to fix the catastrophic mess he created.  That didn’t just go away because his time in the White House ran out.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.
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  • I am surprised that the confused, mislead and lying conservatives haven’t filled the comments with useless non-sense, more lies and other issues, trying to debunk the FACTS that the author has stated. I am amazed!

    • memeremalek

      They’re struggling with this. It’s too irrefutable for small minds. If the author “dumbed it up” alittle, the Bushy trolls would come out of the woodwork.

    • Well the bloggers have comment moderation on and from what I can tell, it doesn’t seem they’re keen on having opposing points of view on their site. I’ve posted a response. It will be interesting to see if they allow it as I point out that the FY2009 budget wasn’t signed into law by Bush and I also ask for some explanations on the claims made above.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Bush submitted the 2009 budget, the House passed it in June 2008 and Obama signed it in March 2009. FY 2009 began October 2008. And so far what I’ve read seems pretty accurate.

      • Except that it’s not exactly true. The democrats didn’t pass a budget as submitted by Bush. #2, Bush passed a Continuing Resolution which funded the government through March. Obama signed the FY2009 budget that democrats wanted PLUS pushed through the porkulus to add more spending over and above the 2009 budget.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        But you have to remember, it’s only pork when it goes to someone else’s district. What spending didn’t you like? You might read the story I saw today about Congress making the Army take $436 million in Abrams tanks it doesn’t want or need.

      • Saw that article too. That’s about both parties bringing pork home to OH. As far as the Porkulus, there was something about UCLA getting over a million to study erectile dysfunction and something about studying sexual histories. Not sure what’s “shovel ready” about that. Over $500 was spent on Solyndra and I don’t know how many other failed “green energy” companies received cash only to go out of business. There was over $2 million spent on studying how racism effects the immune system. Those are just a few off the top of my head. I could probably find some more, if you want.

    • Albie

      I am too, Jai, maybe because this time, for once, they are unable to come up with anything to refute them.

  • “It’s impossible for Obama to have spent more than every other President in history, because he hasn’t doubled our national debt.”

    I believe that’s supposed to be year over year and not aggregate spending.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Debt when Bush left the White House in 2009: $11.910 Trillion. Current debt, $16.835 trillion (as of last night). Net increase in spending is $4.925 trillion. I don’t have as much of a problem with government spending if it’s useful. I have a real problem with tax breaks and tax rebates for companies making record profits, like the oil and gas industries, GE and PEPCO.

      • ” I have a real problem with tax breaks and tax rebates for companies
        making record profits, like the oil and gas industries, GE and PEPCO.”

        Which tax breaks would those be? Doesn’t oil and gas have an effective tax rate of about 44%? Isn’t that the highest tax rate of all industries in the US? And don’t they make about 5.5 cents per dollar which is about average for all US industries? Don’t they pay about $86 million a day to the US?

      • rj

        As opposed to what they make?

      • Was there a question there?

  • Dan

    Well if you’re still gonna blame Bush, you must also blame Clinton. He is the one that signed NAFTA into law (how many jobs have been outsourced to Canada and Mexico?), eased housing loan restrictions (especially with Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac) and also DEREGULATED Wall Street enabling the pre-Depression regulations to be put back in place. So you can say Clinton started the jobless, homeless and penniless American trend.

    • Miguel

      Yeah, gotta blame Clinton, too. After all, he DID leave Bush with that budget surplus that got pissed away in a heartbeat.

      • John Gavel

        Ehh republicans drafted the balance budget act- mine as well spend it on terrorists who destroyed our world trade center

      • rj

        “Mine as well?”

      • Ummmm…you’re forgetting the Clinton Recession and the 9/11 attack. We bounced back from both, enjoyed about four years of job growth and a deficit of just north of $400 billion down to about $150 billion (and projected surplus) in just a few years. Bush did it, Obama could’ve done it if he’d wanted to.

  • John Gavel

    Nothing about the subprime mortgages from clinton huh? I wonder if clifton is paying a higher tax rate, prebush era- or is he taking the tax break n still complaining?

    • Clifton is a well known lying propagandist from his other site. He just makes stuff up.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        As opposed to all the lying propagandists on the right?

  • Bush deregulated Wall St? I challenge the author to cite 1 law signed by Bush that deregulated Wall St. Didn’t like the Iraq war, fair enough, but Bush didn’t start the Afghanistan was, they did when they harbored the people who attacked us. Oh and BTW Allen, the end to the Iraq war was negotiated by the Bush administration, not Obama. And a simple fact for the fools who blame the financial crisis on Bush is that the root cause was the sub prime mortgage crisis , something the democrats were solely responsible for, Bush tried to reform it, the dems blocked it. Try reality Allen, you’re as clueless here as you were at your other propaganda site. I’ll wait for that deregulation law that Bush signed, why not Google “bush deregulation” , you should get lots of info there.

    • The democrats were pushing for the Iraq war throughout the 90s and regime change was made foreign policy, by Congress, in 1997. Essentially, Bush gave them what they had been demanding for years. I tend to wonder if the left wasn’t just pissed off because he did it and they didn’t.

  • Wryley

    Excuse me, but it was Clinton who signed the bill that repealed Glass-Steagall. THAT was the piggy bank the financial industry was looking for and allowed it to bet our $ and rig the books ad-nauseam.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    OK, so what is wrong with government spending, given the benefits we derive from it?

    • Kro

      I don’t always attack Obama for spending taxpayer money, but when I do, I have no idea where that money goes,

      • rj

        Did you see all the government agencies that caught the Boston bombing guys? They were paid by a magic chalice full of money, weren’t they? No? Oh, taxpayer money. Oooh. Right, right, right, right, right… Hey, Kro, what’s your last name? Magnon?

    • What’s the ratio of government spending to benefits we actually see? What about all the fraud, waste and duplicate programs. Saw something the other day that there’s over 100 programs to get kids interested in Math and Science. Do we really need that? My Sen. Nelson (FL) was pushing for a new program, before the election, to help veterans find jobs. There’s already at least six. I kept asking him if we really needed a new program, but he would never reply.

      Wouldn’t it be better to cut out all the crap so we have money for stuff we actually need? There’s no alternate reality where going full bore on a spending spree and ignoring waste, when having financial issues, is a good idea.

  • The republicans are still stopping anything Obama wants to do.

    • rj

      Did you see “Bill Moyers” this week? Two authors of a book called, “It’s Worse Than You Think.” It’s about the Republican lack of an agenda, except for opposing anything Obama does, no matter what. And also, it’s about the fact that “fair and balanced” coverage by the mainstream media skirts the fact that Republicans are the only ones doing this. Mainstream media leave that part out.

      • This would be the same “Mainstream media” providing all the coverage of Benghazi and the Gosnell trial? The same media that put coverage of Jason Collins on the top of the news yesterday and today? What hasn’t he gotten that wasn’t shelved by Harry Reid and/or red state democrats? What issues has he lead on instead of endlessly campaigning? When has he lead his party on his agenda and when has he spoken to the American people about why his ideas are so wonderful without the use of fear, blame and demagoguery?

  • Bastet

    Why, oh why does anyone try to educate the GOP drones? All they do is repeat what they’ve heard on Fox News and at Tea Parties. Why do we waste our breath debating the trolls?