Remember the recession we were slipping into, the crashing stock market, the declining Matt Yglesias doesn’t in yet another thread discussing whether Bush is the worst President ever:
It seems to me that the badness of George W. Bush is at least 70 percent a matter of lost opportunities. The nineties boom dealt him a strong hand on fiscal policy as did 9/11 in its way on foreign policy, and he’s played both very poorly.
Everything was rosy- he had it all on a platter, and he just squandered it… Alex Knapp has more.
If Mr. Yglesias desires to be a partisan hack, that’s his prerogative. But don’t ask me to take him or his opinions seriously again.
John, the government reported a gain of 1000 jobs last month (and revised November’s gain downward by over 10,000). Analysts expected a gain of 100,000. The Bush Administration’s claim of how many jobs will be created requires an even higher average than THAT.
We can debate the quality of George Bush’s original hand, but not how well he’s played the economics card. He’s gone from promising a surplus ot promising to cut his own record deficit in half by the end of his (God-forbidden) second term. On his policies, the latter promise is not much more likely than the former broken one.
Andrew- you can’t argue in a vacuum. What policies would have created more jobs that Bush did not follow? What would the job market look like if Bush had not enacted tax cuts.
Just as you can argue that not enough jobs have been created, I can easily argue that we are considerably better off than if Bush had not had the tax cuts.
Calling Dr. Keynes, calling Dr. Keynes . . .
I’m no economics expert but if most of your tax cut goes to people who don’t need the money right now and you simultaneously have the Treasury sell bonds for the same amount, somebody’s going to be buying those bonds with their “new” money, seems to me. Are you boasting that the job market has bottomed out? Neat.
Between Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush again, we haven’t had strong support for removing the noxious weeds from business. Tell me when the wave of corporate scandals is over, John.
Stock market’s up. No question. With the dollar down (against the Euro) almost by as much, where does that put us? I don’t doubt your man’ll get re-elected, but wandering through a so-far “jobless recovery” seems an unimpressive feat.
“What policies would have created more jobs that Bush did not follow?” I’d respond to three problems I see: tanking of local revenues; insiders draining companies; and monopsonistic retailers. Real jobs in human services like taking care of mentally ill have been axed. Real companies with real employees have been brought low by hoax accounting, conflicts of interest, etc., which also discourages future investment. The retailers who advertise their buying power are screw small producers by abuse of market power, same as the more famous monopolists would screw customers. Possible policies that would have increased jobs, with or without other effects: 1. Revenue sharing to states instead of tax cuts OR jaw-bone for state tax increases when feds cut; 2. Push old-time financial regulation, along the lines of Arthur Leavitt and John Bogle recommendations; 3. Beef up anti-trust and break up some of the monopsonists. Okay, hell, might as well aggravate you if I haven’t already. 4. Increase the minimum wage.
Andrew, you can’t argue with a vacuum.
Show me once in the history of mankind that raising the minimum wage has created jobs.. Just once.
I stopped reading at the “don’t need it right now” part (honestly). When were you appointed arbitor of deciding how the hell much is “enough”?
You’re right, John Cole. I’d gone past my original mandate of creating jobs and gone on to the twin goals of improving general economic life in these states and annoying my host.
Look, seriously, capitalism is way better than communism as your base system, I don’t care who disagrees. But unalloyed free-market capitalism has a number of classical flaws. Like externalities, market power concentration, and, possibly, bizarre income distributions, in my book. When you throw in cronyism, corruption, inside dealing, greed, and asocial behavior in general, things can get ugly. Your classic “liberal” feels he has a stake in the system and wants to make it work.
Ricky, my thought was that a more affluent person might not be feeling a need to spend tax break money immediately, and who might therefore lend it right back to cover the deficit. Unless I’m thinking about it wrong, that’s zero stimulus. I wasn’t second-guessing whether that person wouldn’t “like” or “deserve” to keep/get the tax refund. At least not right then!
“Show me once in the history of mankind that raising the minimum wage has created jobs.. Just once.”
Show me where it has cost jobs; Henry Ford’s famous wages seem to have done us a lot of good.
It seems to me that the badness of George W. Bush is at least 70 percent a matter of lost opportunities
Yeah! And he squandered the “goodwill” of the international community after 9/11….Bush squandered everything! I mean, the world was so good for us before he took office, it was all rainbows and flowers and bunny rabbits and lollypops.
Of COURSE the Democrats have short memories. They couldn’t take being confronted with all their failures.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Indeed we do; luckily, I kept a bookmark to remind me.
Andrew J. Lazarus
I don’t think images work in comments. Let’s compare Bush’s 2003 tax cut promise from 11 months ago with reality, and then tell me whose memory is faulty?
Where to begin?
There has been no — zip, zero — shortage of capital since Bush darkened the White House door. Boomers have inundated the capital markets with money which, thanks to the Fed and the stock market bubble’s burst, is not only plentiful but cheap. No stimulus was needed to make money available for businesses to start up or grow.
Consumers whose collective demand constitutes 70 percent of the economy, as we’ve been told repeatedly these last three years, have continued to buy and rack up debt. Putting more money in their hands was never necessary to pump up consumer demand.
Bush’s mindless tax cuts have helped create millions of new jobs. Perversely, those jobs are in other countries.
But that’s not all, folks. To fully appreciate the completeness of this fiasco, you have to factor in our half-trillion-dollar trade deficit for 2003, our record-high budget deficit and ballooning national debt.
Any halfway resourceful high school sophomore, if made president, could quickly figure out how to goose the economy so that GDP goes up, given an infinite amount of borrowed money to put into the project. Creating jobs IN THIS COUNTRY requires a bit more in the way of education, knowledge and thought.
Having Bush, Dick Cheney and their coven of economic advisers in charge of the U.S. economy is roughly equivalent to putting Cheech & Chong in charge of the FDA, except that Cheech & Chong could at least be counted on for a few good laughs while they were screwing everything up. Bush, Cheny and accomplices are about as funny as a diagnosis of cancer — and slightly less helpful, to most Americans.
“Bush’s mindless tax cuts have helped create millions of new jobs. Perversely, those jobs are in other countries.”
Oh, please. Tax cuts helped export jobs? That doesn’t even qualify as a post hoc argument; jobs had been being exported long before the tax cuts took effect. I could more effectively argue that the job-export phenomenon was due to the economic slowdown, but this is your argument, not mine. And your argument is…baseless.
Tell you what, Slartibartfast, next time you fell the ol’ green-apple quickstep coming on, try taking few Ex-Lax, with some citrus punch for a chaser. Heck, live dangerously; have some popcorn, too.
Then, in about an hour, check the condition your condition is in.
It will be a lot like the condition of the U.S. economy, with respect to jobs, thanks to Bush administration economic policy. All of which consists of one bad idea.
Since you’re having trouble grabbing onto this, post hoc or any other way, let me explain.
Increasing consumer demand in the U.S. these days means increasing demand for goods made in other countries. If you doubt this, visit your local big-box discount retail stores, electronics stores, hardware stores, auto parts stores, etc.
So, more goods coming in, more money and jobs going out. Bad thinking leads to bad policy, leads to bad results, which is just what we have in this country.
What on earth does that have to do with tax cuts? And…consumer demand is increasing? Isn’t that a good thing? Or is it one of those devices you enjoy using because you can blame Bush either way it swings?