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Majority Still Hold Bush Responsible For Poor Economy

George W. Bush has been out of office for 2 1/2 years, but he’s still being held responsible for the state of the economy:

Though more Americans see the economy in bad shape than did at the beginning of the summer, their views of whether to reelect President Barack Obama have barely changed — and a majority blame George Bush for the problems, a new poll says.

Eighty-six percent of those surveyed for an Associated Press-GfK poll released Thursday say the economy is in “poor” condition, up from 80 percent in June. And, according to 49 percent of those surveyed, things have gotten worse in the past month.

With the economy struggling, Obama continues to get low marks for his handling of it. Sixty-three percent of Americans say they disapprove of his handling of the economy, including 48 percent who say they “strongly” disapprove. Just 36 percent say they approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, the lowest it’s ever been in this poll.

While Republicans have pushed to cast the sputtering economy as Obama’s fault, Americans place their blame elsewhere. Fifty-one percent say George W. Bush deserves “almost all,” or “a lot but not all” of the blame, while 31 percent said the same of Obama.

The current crop of Republicans don’t fare much better than the former head of their party:

44 percent of those polled said that “almost all” or “a lot but not all” of the blame should be put on the shoulders of congressional Republicans, while 36 percent responded that way about congressional Democrats.

I hear my conservative friends complain frequently when the President or some pundit tries to tie President Bush to the economy, and perhaps they have an argument there.  After all, Barack Obama is through more than half of his first term at this point, he’s implemented a stimulus package that was supposed to stop and reverse the economic decline that was occurring when he took office, and he’s proposed two budgets. While we’re not technically in a recession, there’s no question that the state of the economy is poor and that large numbers of Americans are worse off than they were four years ago. Why are they holding the former President more responsible for the statement of the economy than the current one?

Part of it, no doubt, is the fact that President Bush left office with incredibly low job approval numbers, thanks largely to the state of the economy. Bush’s economic policies were flawed in many respects, and his response to the 2008 crisis did more to reinforce the positions of Wall Street firms and banks than the American public (a policy the Obama Administration has continued, by the way). Additioanlly, President Obama is benefiting from the fact that the economy had tanked before he took office, because the blame got applied to his predecessor rather than to him. By contrast, the stock market crash that precipitated the Great Depression occurred some seven months after Herbert Hoover took office so nobody really blamed Calvin Coolidge for it. At the same time, though, the President campaigned for office promising to fix things, to bring “Hope” and “Change,” and he sold his stimulus package with the warning that if we didn’t do it, unemployment would skyrocket past 9%. We passed the stimulus, and unemployment skyrocketed past 9% where it remains, and according to new projections from the CBO, unemployment is likely to remain above 8.5% through the end of 2012:

The CBO expects the U.S. economy to grow somewhere between 2.4 and 2.6 percent annually this year and next, followed by just 1.7 percent growth in 2013. And that slow growth will take its toll on employment.

The Labor Department earlier this month said the July unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. The CBO expects that to drop to 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of this year and to 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter of next year, when voters decide on whether President Obama deserves a second term in office. One third of the Senate and all 435 House members also face voters.

The CBO forecasts the unemployment rate to average around 8.7 percent in 2013 and then fall to an average of 7.9 percent for 2014.

There are some analysts who think the CBO’s numbers are incredibly optimistic, and the prospects for the future are even dimmer than they project. Nonetheless, even taking these numbers at face value it’s clear that the economy will still be weak, and unemployment high, when Barack Obama faces re-election. At that point, one presumes, the public will finally start holding the current occupant of the Oval Office responsible.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I hear my conservative friends complain frequently when the President or some pundit tries to tie President Bush to the economy, and perhaps they have an argument there.

    I’d like to hear that argument some day. All I have ever heard from them is a lot of whining.

    A few points:
    #1: It blew up not just when he was in office, but at the end of his term. It took him seven and a half years to do it, but he finally succeeded.

    #2: Republicans keep saying that the deficit is strangling the economy (or some other equally nefarious thing). So where did the deficit come from? A massive increase in defense spending, 2 unfunded wars, Medicare Part D, 2 tax cuts, AND….. a blown up economy.

    No wonder people blame Bush, even the GOP blames Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Hey Norm says:

    “…unemployment skyrocketed past 9%…”

    Seriously??? Sky-rocketed??? To 10.1%??? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
    I was looking for the part where you explain that estimate at the time of the Bush 43 contraction, which Obama’s Stimulus program was designed for and his 9% claim was based upon, was in fact off by some 80%. Or that the estimate for Q4 in ’08 was -6.8% when it was really -8.9% and that the estimate for Q1 in ’09 was -4.9% when it was actually -6.7% – in other words that the contraction was far worse than anyone knew at the time. But I didn’t find it.
    At any rate…Obama’s estimate of 9% unemployment was off by some 12% based on economic analysis that was off by 80%.
    I can only imagine what you think of the Bush Administration estimates of the cost of the Iraq invasion and occupation.

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  3. mannning says:

    With Obama spending at a $4.7 billion per day rate, it is simply gross ignorance that some people blame Bush now. With Obamacare, a crony-based business outlook, and stringent regulation changes binding up the businessmen and essentially forcing them to bank their money rather than expanding their businesses, the current president and his administration have seriously eroded both business and customer confidence in the economy. Joblessness, refusal to allow us to exploit our energy resources fully, and a sinking housing market follow along, leading to a near-recession, all on Obama’s watch.

    Perhaps it is true that the deliberate liberal propaganda campaign to blame Bush has so far succeeded in keeping Obama afloat, but day by day, even year by year, the message becomes clearer—Obama is leading a liberal spendthrift administration, and is boring huge holes in our economic boat.

    He owns the economic downfall now.

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  4. mantis says:

    I blame the banks for crashing the economy.

    I blame Bush for being so irresponsible that the crash, and the aftermath, are much worse than they needed to be.

    I know OzarkHillbilly pointed this out, but it bears repeating. Doug, you don’t mention anywhere in your piece the Bush tax cuts (which Republicans still insist should never expire), Medicare Part D, and the two wars we started under Bush which are still ongoing. All of that may have something to do with the fact that people blame Bush for the economy over Obama.

    And considering the fact that the Republican Party only wants to continue along the path Bush laid out, giving more tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on the poor and middle class, it’s not hard to imagine why most of us don’t blame Obama, who does not in fact possess a magic wand that can fix the economy or make Republicans sane again.

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  5. EddieInCA says:

    @mannning:

    Right…

    A house is burning down…

    A guy shows up and the puts out the fire, but there is still smoldering going on.

    You’re blaming the guy putting out the fire, rather than the guy who started the fire, for the wreckage that used to be a house.

    Good thing the American people are smarter than you are.

    Bush Tax Cuts, Medicare Part D, Two wars. All unpaid for. Yeah, Obama’s fault.

    Right…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Hey Norm says:

    Wow…Manning beat Jan to the wingnut position.
    I’m fascinated that the housing market crashed on Obama’s watch…they really crashed in ’07.
    He’s got the drill baby drill talking point down.
    And Obamacare (yes – he does care) is forcing businessmen (but not women???) to bank their money.
    He has pretty much pre-empted Jan, JTea, and Drew.
    Nicely played Manning.

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  7. Gustopher says:

    Sometimes the majority is right.

    Bush completely screwed over the economy. He pumped up the housing bubble with his “Ownership Society”, deregulation of the banking and investment industries allowed the companies to set up a house of cards that needed to be propped up with TARP, and massive deficits tied the hands of this administration in fixing a lot of the damage. There was also basically no job growth during his 8 years, despite the massive tax breaks on “job creators”.

    Add to that the Republicans in congress being lead by the batsh.t insane wing of the party, to the point where they are more interested in defeating Obama than helping America, and there’s really no question which party is to blame.

    The Tea Party probably should share a bit more of the blame than they do, for making things worse by pushing for austerity — even the IMF thinks that’s a bad idea, and they propose austerity for nearly every situation.

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  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Alexander Hamilton was right and Thomas Jefferson was wrong. QED.

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  9. mannning says:

    Bush left a national debt of $2,989 Billion in 8 years.
    Obama projects an increase in the national debt of $9,979 Billion.over 8 years.(In 2008 dollars).

    So Obama not only put out the Bush fire, but he also created a new Great Lake of dollars.
    This is absolutely insane!

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  10. Hey Norm says:

    Manning – Bush left a debt, and unpaid-for continuing obligations that are the largest part of projected yearly deficits going forward. The math is really quite simple.
    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3036

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. jan says:

    @mannning:

    Perhaps it is true that the deliberate liberal propaganda campaign to blame Bush has so far succeeded in keeping Obama afloat…

    The “It’s Bush’s fault” mantra has been non-stop since Obama took office. Also since Obama assumed leadership over this country, we have had 25% more regulations go into effect (with more on the way) at a cost of $11,000 more per employee, employer cost. It’s no wonder new job formation is not happening. And, it won’t either, when so many obstacles are continually being manufactured by government powers discouraging anyone from expanding, let alone coming on line with a new business venture.

    As has been stated before, this is a global economy, with global capital going to the friendliest country. The U.S., unfortunately is not on that list. And, if Obama secures a second term we can wave good-bye to more businesses taking their business elsewhere.

    In the meantime, though, the progressives keep the drums drumming, demanding more welfare and entitlements to a growing number of people. 13,000,000 more are enrolled in the food stamp program alone, since Obama stepped into the oval office. Now, with almost half the population being supported by massive government programs, of course there are calls for higher taxes to pay for it all. Eventually the game of “tag you’re it,” if you make a certain income, in being told to support more people, will topple. And, even then there will be a tenacious few who will still be babbling, “It’s Bush’s fault.”

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  12. EddieInCA says:

    @mannning:

    Here it is in a manner you can understand:

    Bush took out HUGE LOANS, with increasing payments way into the future.

    Obama took over the payments – which were for items CREATED by President Bush. (Again, two wars – still going, Medicare Part D – still going, and Bush Tax Cuts – still going.)

    So you’re blaming the guy stuck with the bill after everyone at the restaurant ate, then bailed before paying.

    THAT’S insane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. EddieInCA says:

    Here it is in one easy graph that even Jan and Manning and Jay Tea and Drew can understand:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/obamas-and-bushs-effect-on-the-deficit-in-one-graph/2011/07/25/gIQAELOrYI_blog.html

    From the article:

    What’s also important, but not evident, on this chart is that Obama’s major expenses were temporary — the stimulus is over now — while Bush’s were, effectively, recurring. The Bush tax cuts didn’t just lower revenue for 10 years. It’s clear now that they lowered it indefinitely, which means this chart is understating their true cost. Similarly, the Medicare drug benefit is costing money on perpetuity, not just for two or three years. And Boehner, Ryan and others voted for these laws and, in some cases, helped to craft and pass them.

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  14. jan says:

    I saw this on another site, and it reminded me of how progressives often define “being smart.”

    My favorite account of “ignorant farmer vs university trained intellectual” was a story I heard a few years back:

    There was this bridge overpass that had an unusually low clearance. A sign was posted, but every once in a while a truck would get stuck under the bridge.

    On one occasion a truck was going unusually fast and rammed so deep under the bridge they could not get it out. The government brought in university trained engineers who calculated all sort of scenerios, and they finally decided that the entire bridge would have to be unbolted and a crane would then lift the structure so the truck could be removed.

    Just before they started unbolting it, an ignorant farmer walked by, looked at the situation, and then told the head engineer they should let the air out of the tires and drive the truck out from under the bridge.

    10 minutes later the truck was out from under the bridge.

    The college-educated engineers (the “smart” ones) sought out a solution by consulting tons of theorical data. The ‘ignorant’ farmer, having no education but lots of pragmatic intelligence, experience and common sense looked at the problem as a “no brainer,” (quite literally) and solved it within minutes.

    The moral to the story is: Education gives you more data, but it doesn’t necessarily make you more wise or give you more skills. And, that’s what is wrong with today’s leaders — lots of degrees and data, but no wisdom or skills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Drew says:

    Jan -

    The leftist positions expressed here are best thought of as “self immolation.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. EddieInCA says:

    Dear Jan and Drew -

    You both just did the online equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and saying “Nananananananana I’m not listening”.

    Facts are stubborn things.

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  17. mannning says:

    @Hey Norm

    Nice little chart, but it is fatally unrealistic. The Bush tax cuts expire this year, uinless Obama signs into law another jot. This would mean that Obama owns the tax cuts at that point, whic h takes Bush totally off the hook. Furthermore, there is no real allowance made for fiscal prudence by this administration, but rather, a business as usual assumption. You might look up the analysis of the chart at Political Math. The math is indeed easy! This sort of book-cooking tactic is dishonest, but simply to be expected of those who want to figure.

    http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?paged=3

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  18. mantis says:

    @mannning:

    The Bush tax cuts expire this year, uinless Obama signs into law another jot. This would mean that Obama owns the tax cuts at that point, whic h takes Bush totally off the hook.

    So if the Republican Party decides to hold the economy hostage again (as they just did this year) unless the Bush tax cuts are extended, and the president decides it’s not worth another great depression to see the cuts expire, it will be his fault they are extended?

    Oh wait, I forgot, everything the terrorist Republicans do is Obama’s fault, too.

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  19. jan says:

    @Drew:

    Hi Drew!

    The leftist positions expressed here are best thought of as “self immolation.”

    That’s an interesting way to phrase it. I feel like people here are living through their charts, graphs and what they see as ‘facts,’ versus the reality of what is going on today. Ideology is a dificult rock to look behind, and grasp what is really happening.

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  20. mantis says:

    I feel like people here are living through their charts, graphs and what they see as ‘facts,’ versus the reality of what is going on today.

    Translation: Facts are for suckers. Whatever I assume to be true is the real reality.

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  21. Dan says:

    Yes Jan, we are living through charts and graphs, which are made from numbers, which are collected by reputable bodies and fact checked. I’ve seen a lifetime of presentation at too many meetings to count, but I don’t remember ever seeing “what is really going on around here” trump numbers.

    I hope for your sake when you balance your own books you include a chart or two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Hey Norm says:

    So Manning…
    Here is the crux of the argument from PoliticalMath: “by inheriting the house, the problems belong to the owner”
    Typical wussy abdication of accountibility. Doh…you won the election it’s your problem now. (except I remember the abdication of that logic in the case of 9.11 – then it WAS the previous administrations fault) Anyway…We’ll just sit over here and criticize your every move. Jesus-god if only Tea Bags came with spines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Hey Norm says:

    @ Jan…
    Please back up the claim that

    “…we have had 25% more regulations go into effect…”

    Yes with

    “…charts, graphs..”

    By-the-way – I think this sentence is the best you have ever written:

    “I feel like people here are living through their charts, graphs and what they see as ‘facts,’ versus the reality of what is going on today.”

    Brilliant!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. jan says:

    The finger-pointing done by progressives is astounding. Rarely, if at all, is a word said about what Obama has done positively to re-direct our economy. He’s not even in the equation when the numbers sink. Only when a terrorist is captured, a drone hits it’s target does he come out and take a big bow, and progressives all clap in unison. Then, it become his blue-ribbon event.

    However, everything that doesn’t fall in the praise-worthy category is pinned on someone else. Even during this important run-up to the 2012 election, the main topics seem to be ‘evolution,’ ‘global warming’ theories, nit-picking the opposition to find their flaws. While much can be gleaned from exploring the records and philosophies of republican contenders, what about the incumbent democrat in office? How he is he doing? Isn’t it worth noting the failures and successes of these past 2 1/2 plus years too? Or, do you think that Obama reelected and doing the same old, same old, is going to be just wonderful?

    There is just so much you can blame on the republicans, who only captured the House this year, the tea party, who is a movement as old as Obama’s presidency, and Bush, who has remained off the radar for years, leaving this country in better shape than it is currently today.

    More and more people are displeased with this presidency. People, like Mort Zuckerman, are defining these times as Obama and the ‘Competency Crisis.’ Others are seeing Obama’s reign as being a personal/professional failure, rather than something that has nothing to do with his leadership.

    Fewer Americans are working full-time today than when Mr. Obama took office. We have lost over 900,000 full-time jobs in the last four months alone, and long-term unemployment is at a post-World War II high. The public’s faith in his ability to deal with the economy has plunged. As Doyle McManus of the L.A. Times put it, “Can this president persuade voters to let him keep his job when so many have lost theirs?”

    …and, this continues to be ‘Bush’s fault!!!!’

    So, pull out all your frayed charts and left wing rhetoric, and complain away. But, today is today. And, the increasing problems we have today have more to do with the current leadership than yesterday’s.

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  25. mantis says:

    I think anyone who is paying attention knows the problems of the economy are jan’s fault. You may have charts and graphs to suggest otherwise, but “the reality of what is going on today” is quite clear. It’s jan’s fault.

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  26. Davebo says:

    @ Jan…
    Please back up the claim that
    “…we have had 25% more regulations go into effect…”

    Well, 78% of all wingnut statistics are made up on the fly and don’t need to be supported.

    I know because I read it in an email my grandfather forwarded to me.

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  27. Hey Norm says:

    Well Jan…The biggest driver of spending is health care costs. You may remember that Obama passed the PPACA which reduces the deficit and debt. Maybe you read about it. It was recently in the news that Medicare spending this year is down noticeably because of that program which every so-called Republican voted against. In addition more people are now able to purchase insurance from the free-market, and many small businesses are hiring because of tax breaks included in the program. But I ramble.
    Another thing I would like to point out is that the Private Sector has created jobs pretty steadily for over well over a year. It is the Public Sector that is losing jobs. Now you usually claim to want this…small government and all. But you complain about it at the same time. I’m not sure you know what you want. Do you expect to shrink government and keep the Public Sector jobs? Please explain this conflict in your reasoning to me.
    So to review…Republicans voted against a program that is saving money. And Republicans want smaller government which is costing jobs. And this is all Obama’s fault…how???

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  28. Xenos says:

    As for the much condemned stimulus package, a large percentage (about 40%) of that package was tax cuts, which are less directly stimulative than funding infrastructure, state governments, local services, and so on. But that was the price of compromising with Republicans, so that was how it was done.

    So not only was the stimulus package much smaller than needed (because the downturn was worse than anyone knew), but in compromising with Republicans much of the immediate, most helpful stimulus was lost. Of course, after reaching this agreement the GOP all voted against the stimulus, and proceeded to run against it in 2010.

    Nice trick that. Undermine the stimulus, and then condemn it for being useless. This is the sort of bad faith that leads the public to realize that it is still appropriate to blame the GOP for the bad state of the economy.

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  29. Hey Norm says:

    Also Jan…as was pointed out on another thread that Mr. Obama proposed $4T is debt reduction – the largest debt reduction in history – based on a very reasonable 80/20 mix of spending cuts and revenue increases…but the so-called Republicans rejected it. Walked away from the negotiations. Maybe you read about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Hey Norm says:

    @ Xenos…but it’s even better than that…as you point out they undermined the Stimulus, then criticize it’s allegded ineffectiveness…WHILE STANDING IN LINE TO RECIEVE HANDOUTS FROM IT!!!
    Hell – Perry couldn’t balance the Texas budget without the Stimulus money he denegrated. And neither could many other states.

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  31. Xenos says:

    As an aside, I love how when Memeorandum links to this place the comment threads fill up with moderates and liberals making statements that are well reasoned, respectful, and worth reading. Either this will lead to mass bannings or readership capture. Fun!

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  32. mannning says:

    @Hey Norm, Mantis

    The main show is the Bush tax cuts ending this year. Won’t Obama see to it?
    The secondary show is what the administration and congress will do over the next 5 1/2 years to reduce spending, including delaying or ditching the expensive parts of Obamacare.
    Both of these events are Obama’s to pursue through 2012, and perhaps all the way…

    But we all know he will not touch Obamacare, discretionary spending or any entitlements whatsoever, so we will be faced with an eviscerated military. ( Ah! Just in time to meet the rising tide of the Chinese military. That is about par for the course for Democratic administrations: a “Peace Dividend” that we must pay back double or triple to correct inside of ten to twelve years or so. No one said that the Dems were forward-looking anyway.)

    It will take a Neo-Republican (Fiscal Conservative) victory to rachet us back onto a fiscally sound track. The Democrats are hopeless at it, since all they have been taught is spend and tax and spend and tax and…

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  33. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    It will take a Neo-Republican (Fiscal Conservative) victory to rachet us back onto a fiscally sound track.

    Nice how you go from “he will gut the military for the peace dividend” to “he will ruin the country with his fiscal irresponsibility” within one paragraph.

    I suppose the democrats will be using the money from eviscerating the military to gold-plate foodbanks and buy unions. Everything but reducing the deficit.

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  34. Hey Norm says:

    Manning you are so full of sh**…Obama just offered the biggest debt reduction package in history and it included discretionary spending. Your neo-conservatives walked away from it. You just spew nonsense.

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  35. gVOR08 says:

    One–I’m touched, genuinely touched, by the faith conservatives like Manning have in Obama’s power. The belief that he could have snapped his fingers and fixed everything, if only he had wanted to. Let us not lose sight of the fact that conservative Republicans have dominated politics in this country for 40 years. The results are before us. It can’t be fixed in two or three years.

    Two-I haven’t forgotten the Bush administration and their supporters. They were still blaming Bill Clinton for stuff Clinton had nothing to do with at least six years after W took over.

    Three-apparently for many people, arithmetic has a well known liberal bias.

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  36. mannning says:

    @ Mantis

    When you win, you win it all, warts included for free. When you even outdo the previous spender by a factor of three, you win again in both the spending race and the wart-making race, but lose eventually, nominally at the very next election, which, fortunately, is next year!
    What I hear daily is the weeping and wailing of a man that can’t do his own thing because of the reality of our economic situation. One must be very careful when using proposals made verbally and never backed up. Such proposals blow away with the wind.

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  37. Hey Norm says:

    More sh**.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. mantis says:

    What I hear daily is the weeping and wailing of a man that can’t do his own thing because of the reality of our economic situation.

    Those are echos you’re hearing. You should buy some furniture for your wailing room.

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  39. Ron Beasley says:

    I don’t see any mention of one of the main culprits – Greenspan. It was his flooding the economy with lots of cheap easy credit that made the entire thing possible. Yes there was the greed of the banksters and regulatory agencies looking the other way but without Greenspan’s easy money none of it would have been possible.

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  40. john personna says:

    I think the reason people “blame Bush more then Obama” when asked that way, is that they do something you avoid in the main article. That is, they try to model the reasons for the crash. It isn’t “was it more in 2008 or more in 2009,” it is “what really happened?”

    If you look at what really happened, it was a credit bubble started much earlier, but fanned by GWB and Greenspan as “solution” to the milder dot-com crash and recession. They risked starting a warm fire with gasoline, and it got out of control.

    Hell’s bells, if they’d raised rates and policed liar loans, how much milder would things have been?

    (Your piece seems mostly concerned about how Obama could have better bolted the barn door, after that horse was gone.)

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  41. WR says:

    @Dan: According to Jan, the reason why liberals suck and conservatives rule is that dumb libs use facts, charts and graphs to figure out the solutions to problems while conservatives like her use folksy anecdotes they pretend to accept as fact.

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  42. An Interested Party says:

    Also since Obama assumed leadership over this country, we have had 25% more regulations go into effect (with more on the way) at a cost of $11,000 more per employee, employer cost.

    Of course you won’t mind providing evidence to support this claim…

    …13,000,000 more are enrolled in the food stamp program alone…

    Umm, stuff like that happens during a recession…you know, when more people are out of work and can’t make ends meet…but please do keep trying to spin all those people on food stamps as part of some evil progressive scheme…

    Ideology is a dificult rock to look behind, and grasp what is really happening.

    Indeed…you prove that point with every comment you make here…

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  43. Terrye says:

    While Republicans have pushed to cast the sputtering economy as Obama’s fault, Americans place their blame elsewhere. Fifty-one percent say George W. Bush deserves “almost all,” or “a lot but not all” of the blame, while 31 percent said the same of Obama.

    I hate these kinds of polls..and yet only 26% say that Obama is doing a good job with the economy and right now Bush has a 47% approval rating to Obama’s 39%. I saw those numbers in a recent poll as well.

    The thing is that the economy was in recession when Obama became president. We all know that. When people do these polls, they always ask the question in such a way that Bush has to get the blame. Give people an option of whether to blame the Congress or the President and often as not neither Bush or Obama get the bulk of the blame. And while it is easy to say they blame Republicans…it is the Democrats who are looking like they are in trouble right now, not the Republicans. Give people the option of who do you trust more and Republicans will lead on most issues, whether it be the economy or the debt or taxes.

    Polls can only tell you so much in these kinds of situations. I think Bush is more highly thought of today than he was 2 years ago..and I think that is why his numbers look better than Obama’s right now.

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  44. Terrye says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The meltdown happened after the Democrats took control of the economy. In 2005 Bush tried to reform freddie mac and fannie mae. The Democrats filibustered a bill to reform those agencies when it came up in the Senate. Maxine Walters said, If it ain’t broke don’t fix it Less than 3 years later they crashed.

    I don’t blame Bush. And I think Bush is better thought of today than he was when he left office. In fact, I think he is better thought of today than Obama is. One thing about it, he won a second term. Things are looking kind of iffy for Obama pulling that off.

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  45. superdestroyer says:

    I believe than on January 19, 2017, that all of the editors, media producers, pudnits, and wonk wannabees will be writing about how much more successful the Obama Administration would have been if it not been saddled with the Bush economy for the eight years that President Obama was in office.

    Then next paragraph will be about how Andrew Cuomo is now faced with dealing with the continuing effects of the Bush economy.

    In other words, there is no statute of limitation on the effects of the Bush economy because it has been caused by many more things than the policies of the Bush II Administraiton from 2001-2006.

    Given that Nancy Pelosi became speaker of the House in January 2007, Bush II was not had any real say in policy for 4 1/2 years. Yet everyone keeps acting as if Bush was relevant for the last two years of his presidency.

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  46. superdestroyer says:

    @Hey Norm:

    President Obama offered a deal of tax increases today for spending cuts in the future. Any Republicans who would have taken that deal would have been a fool. The Democrats would have gotten more money but the spending cuts never would have occurred.

    As long as their are protocol officers, minority set aside contracts, and ear marks, the government is signalling that it has more than enough money but just chooses to spend it foolishly. There should be no tax increases until the foolish spending ends.

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  47. WR says:

    @Terrye: Of course you don’t blame Bush. Because Bush did exactly what you wanted — he destroyed the middle class and shoveled all their money to the super rich. You’re part of the team — you want a third world country. The real question is why anyone would care what a sociopath like you thinks.

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  48. WR says:

    @superdestroyer: Oh, the new mantra of the self-pitying right: We can’t accept huge spending cuts, because they may never happen. So instead we will destroy the economy to make sure there’s no money to spend on all those icky brown people. If it destroys the country, it’s okay — as long as dark people suffer.

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  49. An Interested Party says:

    I think Bush is more highly thought of today than he was 2 years ago…

    But of course he is…he is no longer in the spotlight, he is no longer in the hotseat, he can no longer do any damage, etc….

    One thing about it, he won a second term.

    I guess so, with an opponent as weak as John Kerry…

    Things are looking kind of iffy for Obama pulling that off.

    Unless of course he has an opponent as weak or defeatable as Kerry…Perry or Palin might fit that bill quite nicely…

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  50. anjin-san says:

    All right! Manning has put the yellow peril on the table!

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  51. anjin-san says:

    The thing is that the economy was in recession when Obama became president.

    Actually, it was in a crisis of historic proportions – it’s easy to see why you would wish to sugar coat the train wreck Bush left behind him as he left office.

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  52. Console says:

    The Hoover analogy is off. The economy was pretty much nose diving for the entire time he was in office. There was none of this “technically we aren’t in a recession” stuff. No, it was outright contraction for his whole term. That’s why Hoover was Hoover.
    It’s hip to be on this “keynesian economics doesn’t work” bullshit now, but people seriously forget just how bad the depression got before FDR got into office (and subsequently how mild this recession is in comparison).

    Besides, the fact is, the stimulus is over, QE2 is over, and a deficit deal was put in place. Now the economy is faltering again and conservatives want to concern troll over the economy and who should be responsible? I can blame Obama all I want, but that doesn’t make me inclined to vote for the functional retards on the GOP.

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  53. Moderate Mom says:

    @Gustopher:

    Bush might have called it an “ownership society” and encouraged it, but the idea of pushing the poor and lower middle class into home ownership was started under the Clinton administration and one of its biggest champions was Barney Frank. And since the bubble burst, the Obama administration has continued to heave government money into the housing market, to no avail. As to not paying for Medicare Part D, you’re correct. However, Democratic opposition to it wasn’t because it wasn’t paid for, but because it wasn’t big enough. And Obamacare had made it even more expensive, by closing the donut hole. So really, it’s kind of hard to blame that one on Bush. As to the wars, yes, off the books definitely took a tole on the deficit. However, Obama increased expenses in Afghanistan and just recently blew a billion or so (minimum) in Libya, with us on the hook for who knows how much more. In other words, he took the baton of a crappy situation from Bush and ran with it, making it even crappier.

    George Bush was a lousy President. Obama is even worse and by next year, the blame for the state of the economy should be sitting squarely on his shoulders.

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  54. Ben Wolf says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Yet everyone keeps acting as if Bush was relevant for the last two years of his presidency.

    What made Bush relevent and responsible in his last two years was the refusal of his administration to investigate and prosecute control fraud in the financial industry, which happens to be the same thing we’re getting from the Obama Administration. Both presidents seem to be of the opinion the economy can function just fine by predation rather than trust.

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  55. Ben Wolf says:

    However, Democratic opposition to it wasn’t because it wasn’t paid for, but because it wasn’t big enough.

    This is not entirely true: Democrats also objected to suspension of pay-as-you-go rules by the Republicans, allowing them to push through a bill with no forethought as to how it would be paid for.

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  56. Moderate Mom says:

    @Console:

    FDR didn’t pull us out of the depression. World War II did.

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  57. jan says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    George Bush was a lousy President. Obama is even worse and by next year, the blame for the state of the economy should be sitting squarely on his shoulders.

    Bravo!

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  58. Scott O. says:

    Shorter Jan, Manning, Drew, Moderate Mom, etc., reality sucks.

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  59. jukeboxgrad says:

    terrye:

    In 2005 Bush tried to reform freddie mac and fannie mae. The Democrats filibustered a bill to reform those agencies when it came up in the Senate.

    Rove once wrote an article telling that story, so a lot of people repeat that story. According to Mike Oxley-R, what happened was this:

    Mr Oxley reached out to Barney Frank, then the ranking Democrat on the committee and now its chairman, to secure support on the other side of the aisle. But after winning bipartisan support in the House, where the bill passed by 331 to 90 votes, the legislation lacked a champion in the Senate and faced hostility from the Bush administration … the White House attacked the bill … “We missed a golden opportunity that would have avoided a lot of the problems we’re facing now, if we hadn’t had such a firm ideological position at the White House and the Treasury and the Fed,” Mr Oxley says.

    (If that link nags you to register, an alternate link is here.)

    The bill died because “the White House attacked the bill.”

    If you have a reliable source showing otherwise (i.e., that “the Democrats filibustered a bill to reform those agencies when it came up in the Senate”), I hope you’ll show it to us. Otherwise your claim just looks like more of the usual right-wing baloney.

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  60. Console says:

    @Moderate Mom:

    Have you ever looked at an unemployment or GDP graph from the 30′s? The man got elected 4 times for a reason

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  61. mannning says:

    Scott:

    The only disagreement I have with your “reality sucks” statement, is whose reality you are talking about. If it is the liberal/progressive/Obama version, your version of reality does in fact suck and I want no part of it for at least a hundred reasons.

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  62. jukeboxgrad says:

    mannning:

    Bush left a national debt of $2,989 Billion in 8 years. Obama projects an increase in the national debt of $9,979 Billion.over 8 years.(In 2008 dollars).

    You didn’t tell us, but the original source for those numbers is this youtube video. If you scroll to 2:26 in the video, you’ll see the same numbers you mentioned (2989 and 9979). Those numbers are bogus in several different ways. One major issue was explained in a comment on his blog here. For some strange reason he never responded to that comment.

    That commenter is observing that the maker of the video adopted this assumption: that Obama became responsible for the budget two months before he was elected. Yes, you read that right. The author of the video admits this explicitly:

    I’m calculating from two months before Bush was elected (September 2000) until two months before Obama was elected (September 2008) for Bush’s data.

    In other words, the video makes Obama 100% responsible for FY09, and the $1.4T deficit for that year, even though that was Bush’s budget. This is utterly wrong, as Cato Institute has pointed out. I cited them here.

    And aside from making Obama responsible for Bush’s deficit in FY09, this technique also gives Bush credit for the surplus that Clinton created in FY01. Clever!

    The author of the video also says this:

    Obama has projected that he will increase it from $10.024 trillion to $20.004 trillion

    Really? Where did Obama say that? The author is supposedly working from Obama’s budget proposal at that time, but that’s not what was in that budget proposal. The relevant number can be found on p. 2 of this pdf. The debt forecast for 2019 was $15.4T, not “$20.004 trillion.”

    So this person is a hack with no credibility, but the video has now been seen over a million times, and there are lots of people like you citing his meaningless numbers. Welcome to the wonderful world of the modern fact-challenged GOP.

    This is absolutely insane!

    What’s “insane” is you citing fictional numbers, especially when you don’t lift a finger to tell us where you found them.

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  63. superdestroyer says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    If you are going to score it that way, the President Obama should receive credit for the first year of the Andrew Cuomo Administration in 2017-2018.

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  64. superdestroyer says:

    @WR:

    The only way to score budget cuts is how much is being cut in this years budget and how much is being cut before the next election. Any promise of a budget cut that occurs after the next election is worthless.

    If Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the House in January 2013, then none of the promised future spending cuts will occur and now program will be ended. Thus, it is pointless to consider any promised spending cut that occurs after an election. Congress can make no law that is binding of a future Congress so the only important cuts are real time cuts.

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  65. Bob says:

    There are no Bush Tax Cuts, only Obama tax cuts as Obama agreed to extend them

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  66. sam says:

    @mannning:

    Nice little chart, but it is fatally unrealistic. The Bush tax cuts expire this year, uinless Obama signs into law another jot. This would mean that Obama owns the tax cuts at that point, whic h takes Bush totally off the hook.

    Can somebody, anybody, explain the logic in that?

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  67. Ben Wolf says:

    @Bob:

    There are no Bush Tax Cuts, only Obama tax cuts as Obama agreed to extend them.

    This is why the Obama Administration is such a disappointment. It has continued the sme failed economic policies of the Bush Administration.

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  68. rodney dill says:

    This is why the Obama Administration is such a disappointment. It has continued the sme failed economic policies of the Bush Administration.

    Which is a failure of the Obama Administration.

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  69. john personna says:

    @jan:

    You said “bravo” to this?

    George Bush was a lousy President. Obama is even worse and by next year, the blame for the state of the economy should be sitting squarely on his shoulders.

    That’s the classic right-wing nitwit shuffle. You believe in free markets, right? The invisible hand? Businesses out there, large and small, making the right decisions?

    But the state of the economy is squarely on the shoulders of one man. Not the government-industrial complex as a whole. Not Congress, for all their crazy tax and spending policies. The executive, who has narrow authority to execute the laws of the land.

    That is just stupid, and tribal. It’s “big chief” thinking. If things are bad, it must be the big man. Throw him in a volcano, and regain the favor of the gods!

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  70. WR says:

    @john personna: It’s not stupid, it’s merely convenient. When the conversation turns to earlier problems, you’ll find Jan lecturing us on how the Democrats controlled Congress after the 2006 elections, so it’s all their fault.

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  71. john personna says:

    @WR:

    I’m sure part of it is what you say, primitive rhetoric, but I think it also highlights our limitations. We are 307,006,550 people, and yet we focus so much on the big chief. Insert evolutionary sociobiology if you are willing.

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  72. WR says:

    @john personna: I’m with you on that in many cases. It’s amazing how much of our behavior is ruled by instincts that haven’t changed since the cave man days. (Or for the Jay Teas of the world, since Adam and Eve stopped riding dinosaurs.)

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  73. jan says:

    @john personna:

    That’s the classic right-wing nitwit shuffle.

    …and, what you’re saying is not classic left-wing nitwit shuffle? You have continuously blamed Bush for everything that has gone wrong in this century, including water on the driveway that you may have slipped on yesterday.

    Now, when a liberal progressive democrat, like Obama, is in office, he becomes one man and apparently, according to you, undeserving of the same “the buck stops here’ normally attributed to any president reigning in the Oval Office? Oh, come on, don’t be stupid! Just the new EPA standards alone have set the government on course for derailing business, let alone Obama’s health care bill costs, which looms in the wings. During Obama’s administration jobs have been lost, spending is unabated, business confidence in the toilet, the NLRB is running amuck with new dictatorial powers it is trying to lord over business. The list of Obama’s overreaches and failures is long and uncomplimentary. So, yes, I agree that Bush may have been a lousy president, however, Obama is far worse, and does carry the weight of our struggling economy on his shoulders.

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  74. john personna says:

    @jan:

    …and, what you’re saying is not classic left-wing nitwit shuffle? You have continuously blamed Bush for everything that has gone wrong in this century, including water on the driveway that you may have slipped on yesterday.

    We all call out things we *don’t* like. I thought GWB’s attempts to means-test agricultural subsidies were excellent. His African AIDS initiatives were noble. His work-visa solution for immigration was pragmatic. His Pacific Ocean Protected Areas were wonderful.

    It’s just that at the same time he made all the wrong moves on the US economy, and oh yeah, lied us into a major and costly war.

    In terms of actual “moves” and not “big chief” fallacies, remember the analogy I use each time WRT Bush and the economy was that he should have seen the bridge out, but all he did was lay on speed. To make the wreck that much greater.

    His policies risked everything on the housing bubble lasting forever.

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  75. john personna says:

    (Add that the first war, the just war, should have been over faster, and funded by wartime taxes. It may have been ethical to go after the regime shielding Bin Laden, but doing it on credit was irresponsible.)

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  76. jukeboxgrad says:

    superdestroyer:

    If you are going to score it that way, the President Obama should receive credit for the first year of the Andrew Cuomo Administration in 2017-2018.

    Not exactly. Not the whole first year. Just the first 253 days. That is, the period between 1/20/17 and 9/30/17. Because if Obama’s term ends on 1/20/17, that means his fiscal term ends on 9/30/17 (just like Bush’s fiscal term ended on 9/30/09). That’s how the federal fiscal year works. Cato Institute explained this (you can find the article via the comment I linked).

    And not necessarily “credit.” Credit and/or blame, depending on the circumstances.

    And notice that the bogus analysis cited by mannning did something worse than make Obama responsible for the budget on 1/20/09. That analysis made Obama responsible for the budget on 10/1/08, before he was even elected. A more egregious form of hackery would be hard to find. Especially because nowhere in the entire video does he give any clue that this is what he’s doing. And in similar style, mannning didn’t give us any clue that he got the numbers from that video. It took some detective work to figure that out.

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  77. jan says:

    @john personna:

    Bush’s presidency was flawed. However, I don’t think his economic policies were as ruinous as Obama’s are. When he came into office it was on the skirts of a blooming dot.com bubble receding. Eight months later 911 slammed into our national consciousness. Both tested our economic resolve and resiliency. If either Gore or Obama were president at that time we would not have recovered as quickly, IMO.

    The housing debacle was a bipartisan adventure. However, it was Frank and Dodd who pushed the envelop and prodded banks to lend more to less qualified applicants, all for the sake of equality. Bush and McCain tried to introduce legislation that would have discouraged some of these practices. But, with a democratic congress in power, such cautionary legislation went nowhere.

    Going into Iraq is debatable. I always felt it had more to do with long range geopolitical purposes than for “oil” that progressives ranted about. As for GWB prematurely announcing victory — that banner was never his idea. But, he has been forever raked over the coals because of the imagery and political fodder it gave his political opponents. Also, the “lies” that progressives generously bestow his reasons for going to war, are another fallacy that is stretched way too thin by anti-war activists.

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  78. Scott O. says:

    @jan:

    Jan you ignorant nut.

    But, with a democratic congress in power, such cautionary legislation went nowhere.

    This lie has already been dealt with in this very thread,see @jukeboxgrad:

    Plus, the Democrats did not control congress in 2005. Grow up.

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  79. jukeboxgrad says:

    jan:

    it was Frank and Dodd who pushed the envelop and prodded banks to lend more to less qualified applicants, all for the sake of equality. Bush and McCain tried to introduce legislation that would have discouraged some of these practices.

    This is baloney. Nevertheless, it gets repeated over and over again by GOP hacks like you. I already cited some evidence proving that your claims are false. More details are here and here. Let us know if you think the following statement counts as “prodded banks to lend more to less qualified applicants:”

    More and more people own their own homes in America today. Two thirds of all Americans own their homes, but we have a problem because fewer than half of the Hispanics and fewer than half of the African Americans own their home. That’s a home ownership gap, a gap we have to work together to close. By the end of this decade we will increase the number of minority homeowners by at least 5 and ½ million families. And of course one of the larger obstacles to minority home ownership is financing. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have committed to provide more money for lenders, they have committed to help meet the shortage of capital for minority homebuyers. Freddie Mac recently began 25 initiatives around the country to dismantle barriers and create greater opportunities for home ownership. One of the programs is designed to help deserving families with bad credit histories to qualify for home ownership loans. You don’t have to have a lousy home for first time homebuyers. You put your mind to it, the low income homebuyer can have just as nice a house as anybody else.

    Hey, what a great idea. Let’s loan money to “families with bad credit histories.” What could go wrong?

    You might want to look into who said that. Hint: it wasn’t Barney Frank.

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  80. WR says:

    @jukeboxgrad: If you really think a more egregious form of hackery is hard to find, you haven’t been reading the comments here by Jan and Jay.

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  81. jukeboxgrad says:

    Good point. They set a high bar.

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  82. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    The housing debacle was a bipartisan adventure. However, it was Frank and Dodd who pushed the envelop and prodded banks to lend more to less qualified applicants, all for the sake of equality.

    Oh for cryin’ out loud, could you give it a rest? This canard has been disproven and discredited a million times. Mae/Mac and Frank/Dodd had nothing to do with the housing bubble apart from the fact that they crashed along with everyone else. The housing bubble was created and maintained by the commercial banks (this can easily be demonstrated by a look on investments and net total losses). Mae/Mac got into the business way after everything was already running full tilt (and suffered badly for their folly).

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  83. john personna says:

    @jan:

    LOL, your August 26, 2011 at 12:46 post seems completely designed to waste my time.

    I won’t spend my time separating the unsupported assertions from the factual errors, though I must say those two main techniques are artfully woven ;-)

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  84. slimslowslider says:

    Mantis, Hey Norm, Jukeboxgrad, etc… I don’t know how you guys do it. But thanks for doing it. I have lost count of the number of times Jan has not replied to a specific question. Unreal.

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  85. mannning says:

    After a further and deeper looksee, I must apologize for using the numbers I scarfed up much too hastily. I don’t know what the correct numbers for Bush and Obama debts as projected really are. It would be instructive, however, to find out. I am sorry to have unwittingly propagated such incorrect numbers. Greater prudence in selecting resources is called for on my part, as well as citing the source. mea culpa!

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  86. Ben Wolf says:

    Look folks, Bush unquestionably made things worse, but in terms of economics he did little more than continue policies enacted by every president since Carter: financial deregulation, “voluntary compliance” models for corporations to police themselves and wholesale prostitution of the executive branch to the five industries which rule the country. It bemuses me to hear people talk about the Bush Administration as some kind of outlier when it acted in a manner very much consistent with Reagan, Bush the elder and Clinton.

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  87. jukeboxgrad says:

    mannning, thanks.

    I don’t know what the correct numbers for Bush and Obama debts as projected really are.

    Using a fiscal-year perspective, under GWB the debt increased from $5.8T to $11.9T. That increase is $6.1T. The increase so far under Obama (using a fiscal-year perspective) is $2.7T. You find the national debt on any day here.

    As far as the projected debt for the future, that’s more complicated because there are various different forecasts, so I’m not going to try to summarize that.

    =================
    ben:

    It bemuses me to hear people talk about the Bush Administration as some kind of outlier when it acted in a manner very much consistent with Reagan, Bush the elder and Clinton.

    Check this out:

    I think Bill Clinton was the best Republican president we’ve had in a while

    You’ll never guess who said that.

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  88. Ben Wolf says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I’d never read that quote before, but there’s a hell of a lot of truth to it.

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