Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A look back: Bush economic policies that got us here. Republicans are promising to bring it all back too...

Rummaging through past blog posts, I found this potpourri of stories dissecting the Bush economic disaster that got us to this point. It's laced with warnings and bullheaded Republican economic theories that in retrospect should have been stopped in its tracks.

We were warned at the time. And despite the administrations support for off shoring (yes, they knew it would cost jobs), anyone with a half a brain knew that wasn't going to work well. But Bush and the Republicans said the pain would be short lived. Guess not.

Sadly, at the time, I didn't save the links to these stories (links that would probably be dead today anyway). I think you'll be amazed at all the information Americans ignored:
Aug. 2003: What caused a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to become a projected deficit of $4.4 trillion? Of this extraordinary $10 trillion deterioration, approximately 36 percent comes from enacted or expected tax cuts, 31 percent from budget increases, especially for defense and homeland security … President Bush's tax cuts since 2001 have shifted more of the tax burden from the nation's rich to middle-class families, according to the Congressional Budget Office

Feb 2004: According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the single biggest cause of the deficit is the president's massive tax cuts for the wealthy -- which he conveniently did not mention. Specifically, 36% of the deficit comes from the tax cuts, while only 31% comes from defense/war related spending increases, And as the president starves veterans health care, low-income housing, and health care programs of funding, he is pushing more than $1 trillion in new tax cuts, primarily for the wealthy. 

2004: What we have here is a form of looting." So says George Akerlof, a Nobel laureate in economics of the Bush administration's budget policies. The government is simply borrowing to make up for the loss of revenue. In 2004, the typical family will pay about $700 less in taxes than it would have --- but meanwhile, the government will run up about $1500 in debt on that family's behalf. 

February 10, 2004 NY Times: The movement of American factory jobs and white-collar work to other countries is part of a positive transformation that will enrich the U.S. economy over time, even if it causes short-term pain and dislocation, the Bush administration said … in the president's annual report to Congress on the health of the economy. "Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," said N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors. "More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that's a good thing." His advisors acknowledge that international trade and foreign outsourcing have contributed to the job slump. Although trade expansion inevitably hurts some domestic workers, the benefits eventually will outweigh the costs as Americans are able to buy cheaper goods and services and as new jobs are created in growing sectors of the economy, the report said. "Maybe we will outsource a few radiologists," Mankiw told reporters. "What does that mean? Well, maybe the next generation of doctors will train fewer radiologists and will train more general practitioners or surgeons…. Maybe we've learned that we don't have a comparative advantage in radiologists. Mankiw said, "The market is the best determinant of where the jobs should be," he said. 

September 24, 2004: Responding to an election­ season request by Demo­crats, the Congressional Bud­get Office estimated that some of Presi­dent Bush's budget policies, plus other costs would add $1.3 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade.
And finally, this amazingly futuristic and optimistic Salvador Dali plan for Social Security that will stun the senses:

Social Security also must be restructured to let workers put part of their retirement funds in private accounts, the report argues. Doing so could add nearly $5 trillion to the national debt by 2036, the president's advisors note, but the additional borrowing would be repaid 20 years later and the program's long-term health would be more secure. 

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