Friday, September 5, 2008

Bush's legacy

George Bush, like it or not, has done a great job as the president of the United States. No one is perfect and he has his flaws. Who doesn't? But overall he has been a gracious man and a competent leader and manager. He has liberated two countries from the grip of genocidal tyrannies. His role to help spread democracy and freedom around the world has strengthened the oppressed beyond any doubt. Yes, he's been ineffective on Iran but after all I have read and heard I have come to believe that it is not his fault. The advisers and career diplomats in the State Dept have done any thing they could to ruin his "I want to free Iran" agenda at any given chance. But there are areas where President Bush's legacy is stellar and one area is Africa. Read this article to see for yourself. His critics are praising him for the role President Bush has played to elevate the lives of millions of Africans.

Last year, leftist Bob Geldof also praised Bush's policies in Africa. History will judge Mr. Bush fairly at the end of the day. He is hated because he led people to do difficult things. He will be remembered as a great leader and a wonderful person. Leftists, those suffering from Bush's Derangement Syndrome and loonie liberals are in for a shock when Bush's biography and diaries are released.


Anonymous said...

Darn Tootin'. History will judge him well.
He is a man's man. Very few of them ever become president.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. A hundred years from now, history will judge him favourably.

Michael said...

I doubt you are going to let this be posted but it's worth a shot. I am sorry unless you have blinders on. Who is going to view bush favorably?

Before George Bush, the stats are taken as of January 20, 2001.


Before Bush:
4.09% Over Prior 8 Years

After Bush:
2.65% Over Prior 7 Years


Before Bush:
$5.7 Trillion

After Bush:
$9.2 Trillion


Before Bush:
$431 Billion Surplus over the Previous Three Budget Years

After Bush:
$734 Billion Deficit over the Previous Three Budget Years


Before Bush:
1.76 Million Jobs Per Year Over Previous 8 Years

After Bush:
369,000 Jobs Per Year Over Previous 7 Years


Before Bush:
31.6 Million

After Bush:
36.5 Million


Before Bush:
38 Million Uninsured, 4.5 Million Less in 2 Years

After Bush:
47 Million Uninsured, 8.5 Million More in 6 Years


Before Bush:
$6,230 for Family Premium

After Bush:
$12,106 for Family Premium


Before Bush:
$49,163, $6,000 Increase in 8 Years

After Bush:
$48,023, $1,100 Decrease in 6 Years


Before Bush:

After Bush:


Before Bush:
$3,164 per year

After Bush:
$5,192 per year


Before Bush:

After Bush:


Before Bush:
$7.65 Trillion

After Bush:
$12.8 Trillion


Before Bush:
$380 Billion

After Bush:
$759 Billion


Before Bush:
1.07 Euros per Dollar

After Bush:
0.68 Euros Per Dollar


Before Bush:
All Active Duty Army Divisions Were Rated At The Highest Readiness Levels

After Bush:
Not A Single Active Duty Or Reserve Brigade In The U.S. Considered “Fully Combat Ready.”


Before Bush:
52.75% of U.S. Liquid Fuel Consumption is Imported

After Bush:
60.38% of U.S. Liquid Fuel Consumption is Imported

You can view any of these stats by visiting the following:

1 Bureau of Economic Analysis

2 Department of Treasury

3 Congressional Budget Office

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics

5 United States Census Bureau

6 United States Census Bureau

7 Kaiser Study of Employer Health Care Benefits

8 United States Census Bureau

9 Energy Information Administration

10 Higher Education Coordinating Board of Washington State

11 Bureau of Economic Analysis

12 Insurance Information Institute

13 United States Census Bureau

14 The Currency Website

15 Speaker of the House Fact Sheet, 11/29/07

16 Energy Information Administration

Jungle Mom said...

I think history will vindicate Bush for doing what had to be done.

Louise said...

Wow, Winston. Thank you for this.

Louise said...

All very fine and good, Michael. You fail to draw the direct causal relationship between the Bush administration and all of those factors.

Economies, as you know, are far more complex and nuanced than just a simple A causes B. I would imagine the scam perpetrated on Americans and many others by the sub-prime loan fiasco has something to do with the lower numbers on the more recent side of your time frame. At least that is what my investment councilor advises.

In my nearly 60 years of living on this planet, I have never seen a business cycle prevented from going into its low period, no matter what man or woman is at the top and that's even more true today with the global economy.

Your assumption that an American president can control global economic forces is a might, well, naive, to say the least.

And yes, I agree with Winston. George Bush is a hero. And his vision of freedom and prosperity for the world is as worthy a goal as any that has come along in a very long time and I'm confident John McCain and Sarah Palin will do just as well in moving that vision forward. You don't even need to get out of the way.

Louise said...

Oh, and several of your statistics show a 7 year time span prior to the present. I wonder what happened seven years ago, almost to the day. Have you forgotten already? There was a mighty deep recession immediately following that insignificant event, you might recall.

Kyla said...

Louise, regards to your question:

The first major economic initiative pursued by the president was a massive tax cut for the rich, enacted in June of 2001. Those with incomes over a million got a tax cut of $18,000—more than 30 times larger than the cut received by the average American. The inequities were compounded by a second tax cut, in 2003, this one skewed even more heavily toward the rich. Together these tax cuts, when fully implemented and if made permanent, mean that in 2012 the average reduction for an American in the bottom 20 percent will be a scant $45, while those with incomes of more than $1 million will see their tax bills reduced by an average of $162,000.

The administration crows that the economy grew—by some 16 percent—during its first six years, but the growth helped mainly people who had no need of any help, and failed to help those who need plenty. A rising tide lifted all yachts. Inequality is now widening in America, and at a rate not seen in three-quarters of a century. A young male in his 30s today has an income, adjusted for inflation, that is 12 percent less than what his father was making 30 years ago. Some 5.3 million more Americans are living in poverty now than were living in poverty when Bush became president. America’s class structure may not have arrived there yet, but it’s heading in the direction of Brazil’s and Mexico’s.

In breathtaking disregard for the most basic rules of fiscal propriety, the administration continued to cut taxes even as it undertook expensive new spending programs and embarked on a financially ruinous “war of choice” in Iraq. A budget surplus of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (G.D.P.), which greeted Bush as he took office, turned into a deficit of 3.6 percent in the space of four years. The United States had not experienced a turnaround of this magnitude since the global crisis of World War II.
Agricultural subsidies were doubled between 2002 and 2005. Tax expenditures—the vast system of subsidies and preferences hidden in the tax code—increased more than a quarter. Tax breaks for the president’s friends in the oil-and-gas industry increased by billions and billions of dollars. Yes, in the five years after 9/11, defense expenditures did increase (by some 70 percent), though much of the growth wasn’t helping to fight the War on Terror at all, but was being lost or outsourced in failed missions in Iraq. Meanwhile, other funds continued to be spent on the usual high-tech gimcrackery—weapons that don’t work, for enemies we don’t have. In a nutshell, money was being spent everyplace except where it was needed. During these past seven years the percentage of G.D.P. spent on research and development outside defense and health has fallen. Little has been done about our decaying infrastructure—be it levees in New Orleans or bridges in Minneapolis. Coping with most of the damage will fall to the next occupant of the White House.
Although it railed against entitlement programs for the needy, the administration enacted the largest increase in entitlements in four decades—the poorly designed Medicare prescription-drug benefit, intended as both an election-season bribe and a sop to the pharmaceutical industry. As internal documents later revealed, the true cost of the measure was hidden from Congress. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies received special favors. To access the new benefits, elderly patients couldn’t opt to buy cheaper medications from Canada or other countries. The law also prohibited the U.S. government, the largest single buyer of prescription drugs, from negotiating with drug manufacturers to keep costs down. As a result, American consumers pay far more for medications than people elsewhere in the developed world.

You’ll still hear some—and, loudly, the president himself—argue that the administration’s tax cuts were meant to stimulate the economy, but this was never true. The bang for the buck—the amount of stimulus per dollar of deficit—was astonishingly low. Therefore, the job of economic stimulation fell to the Federal Reserve Board, which stepped on the accelerator in a historically unprecedented way, driving interest rates down to 1 percent. In real terms, taking inflation into account, interest rates actually dropped to negative 2 percent. The predictable result was a consumer spending spree. Looked at another way, Bush’s own fiscal irresponsibility fostered irresponsibility in everyone else. Credit was shoveled out the door, and subprime mortgages were made available to anyone this side of life support. Credit-card debt mounted to a whopping $900 billion by the summer of 2007. “Qualified at birth” became the drunken slogan of the Bush era. American households took advantage of the low interest rates, signed up for new mortgages with “teaser” initial rates, and went to town on the proceeds.
All of this spending made the economy look better for a while; the president could (and did) boast about the economic statistics. But the consequences for many families would become apparent within a few years, when interest rates rose and mortgages proved impossible to repay. The president undoubtedly hoped the reckoning would come sometime after 2008. It arrived 18 months early. As many as 1.7 million Americans are expected to lose their homes in the months ahead. For many, this will mean the beginning of a downward spiral into poverty.
Between March 2006 and March 2007 personal-bankruptcy rates soared more than 60 percent. As families went into bankruptcy, more and more of them came to understand who had won and who had lost as a result of the president’s 2005 bankruptcy bill, which made it harder for individuals to discharge their debts in a reasonable way. The lenders that had pressed for “reform” had been the clear winners, gaining added leverage and protections for themselves; people facing financial distress got the shaft.

The war in Iraq (along with, to a lesser extent, the war in Afghanistan) has cost the country dearly in blood and treasure. The loss in lives can never be quantified. As for the treasure, it’s worth calling to mind that the administration, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, was reluctant to venture an estimate of what the war would cost (and publicly humiliated a White House aide who suggested that it might run as much as $200 billion). When pressed to give a number, the administration suggested $50 billion—what the United States is actually spending every few months. Today, government figures officially acknowledge that more than half a trillion dollars total has been spent by the U.S. “in theater.” But in fact the overall cost of the conflict could be quadruple that amount

even as the Congressional Budget Office now concedes that total expenditures are likely to be more than double the spending on operations. The official numbers do not include, for instance, other relevant expenditures hidden in the defense budget, such as the soaring costs of recruitment, with re-enlistment bonuses of as much as $100,000. They do not include the lifetime of disability and health-care benefits that will be required by tens of thousands of wounded veterans, as many as 20 percent of whom have suffered devastating brain and spinal injuries. Astonishingly, they do not include much of the cost of the equipment that has been used in the war, and that will have to be replaced. If you also take into account the costs to the economy from higher oil prices and the knock-on effects of the war—for instance, the depressing domino effect that war-fueled uncertainty has on investment, and the difficulties U.S. firms face overseas because America is the most disliked country in the world—the total costs of the Iraq war mount, even by a conservative estimate, to at least $2 trillion. To which one needs to add these words: so far.

It is natural to wonder, What would this money have bought if we had spent it on other things? U.S. aid to all of Africa has been hovering around $5 billion a year, the equivalent of less than two weeks of direct Iraq-war expenditures. The president made a big deal out of the financial problems facing Social Security, but the system could have been repaired for a century with what we have bled into the sands of Iraq. Had even a fraction of that $2 trillion been spent on investments in education and technology, or improving our infrastructure, the country would be in a far better position economically to meet the challenges it faces in the future, including threats from abroad. For a sliver of that $2 trillion we could have provided guaranteed access to higher education for all qualified Americans.
The soaring price of oil is clearly related to the Iraq war. The issue is not whether to blame the war for this but simply how much to blame it. It seems unbelievable now to recall that Bush-administration officials before the invasion suggested not only that Iraq’s oil revenues would pay for the war in its entirety—hadn’t we actually turned a tidy profit from the 1991 Gulf War?—but also that war was the best way to ensure low oil prices. In retrospect, the only big winners from the war have been the oil companies, the defense contractors, and al-Qaeda. Before the war, the oil markets anticipated that the then price range of $20 to $25 a barrel would continue for the next three years or so. Market players expected to see more demand from China and India, sure, but they also anticipated that this greater demand would be met mostly by increased production in the Middle East. The war upset that calculation, not so much by curtailing oil production in Iraq, which it did, but rather by heightening the sense of insecurity everywhere in the region, suppressing future investment.
The continuing reliance on oil, regardless of price, points to one more administration legacy: the failure to diversify America’s energy resources. Leave aside the environmental reasons for weaning the world from hydrocarbons—the president has never convincingly embraced them, anyway. The economic and national-security arguments ought to have been powerful enough. Instead, the administration has pursued a policy of “drain America first”—that is, take as much oil out of America as possible, and as quickly as possible, with as little regard for the environment as one can get away with, leaving the country even more dependent on foreign oil in the future, and hope against hope that nuclear fusion or some other miracle will come to the rescue. So many gifts to the oil industry were included in the president’s 2003 energy bill that John McCain referred to it as the “No Lobbyist Left Behind” bill.

Jungle Mom said...

9/11 has had some impact on the economy as did Katrina, no matter how much you would like to blame Bush, he does not control the weather, although he has done a fine job controlling the terrorist as we have not had another attack on our homeland since that fateful day.

Anon said...

I agree with you, Winston.
President Bush will be judged favorably for his successes. His State Dept, however, is another story. (along with FBI & CIA)

When the Clintons took over the White House, they got rid of as many people around them as they could and replaced them with like-minded liberals. Pres. Bush made a very big mistake not doing the same.

Louise said...

Kyla, could you paraphrase that. I have no intention of reading an epistle that long, especially one that begins with the silly notion that tax cuts to the rich are a bad thing.

Rich people spend their money, darling. They don't keep it in tin cans under their beds or stuff it in their mattresses. With more of their disposable income (of which they have lots, that's why we call them rich) staying under their own control (ie. not going to government), there is much more of it going toward the purchase goods and services. The production of those goods and services, employs many, many people at every stage.

Tax cuts to the biggest money bags, contributes to much more consumer spending which in turn gets the economy going. It's basis economics 101.

Take your socialist blinders off for a minute and imagine how many people are able to put a roof over their heads and food on the table and even take a decent holiday once year because they are producing products and services (yes, even yachts require production factories which employ people and result in may spin-off enterprises, which in turn employ more people) that rich people buy and are now buying more of, simply because the don't have to give as much of it away to the tax man.

If you want to destroy an economy take the money away from the rich folks, and watch the unemployment lines skyrocket. That's how it works, sweetie, whether lefties like it or not.

Kyla said...

Louise, ARGH.

You asked for correlation on how Bush's policies resulted in the tanking of the US economy. Take something beyond Economics 101 and we will talk.

Anonymous said...

Insanity and delusion at its finest.

I'm sure you also think McCain represents real change.

I wish you will be around in say 20 years to see how your predicitions don't come true.

BTW, you're quick to excuse Bush for not being powerful enough to control 911 or Katrina, but Clintons little escapade is surely a threat to our culture, and the very soul of this country, right?

Who said presidents don't have power?

Winston said...

Well, I think you're delusional and insane yourself. Secondly, I think every thing is fine and change ain't necessary but now that Marxist Hussein O has demanded change, then okay let's have change by electing McCain/Palin. McCain is real change while your Commie empty suit Hussein O is just another black politician who can't speak without a teleprompter. Any how, get the hell out of here. You're lucky I published your comment.

Jungle Mom said...

hey, I lived under socialism. It ain't pretty and hearing Obama sound just like Hugo Chavez is frightening!

Anonymous said...

have you heard him speak in public? 'naf said