Voters Still Blame Bush For The Economy

David Weigel passes on this internal from the CBS/New York Times Poll:

Bush has been out of office for nearly 31 months and yet more people still blame him for the state of the economy than they do the President of the United States. As Weigel says, there’s a reason why Democrats continue to bring Bush’s name up and this poll is one of them.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.


  1. DaTechGuy says:

    Doug that poll had a grand total of 24% of republicans in the sample of COURSE you are going to get the blaming bush meme.

  2. john personna says:


    Maybe only 24% are willing to self-identify as Republicans at this point 😉

    (Sez John, the independent, technically registered Republican)

  3. Dean says:

    The question doesn’t ask who do you blame for the current economy. It asks, “who do you think is mostly to blame for most of the current federal budget deficit?”

    The economy and the budget deficit are two different things.

  4. john personna says:

    Yikes, I was right. That poll shows the highest rate for self-identified independents in years.

    They pulled both from Republicans (-2%), Democrats (-1%) and undecideds (-2%) to reach an all time high of 39%.

  5. Dean says:

    Here’s the question that never gets asked in these polls: Are you willing to pay higher taxes to reduce the federal budget deficit?

    In that poll, only 13% had a household income of $100,000 or more, yet 63% of the total said those making $250,000 or more should have their taxes raised. In other words, “you can raise other people’s taxes, you just can’t raise mine.”

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    You can’t really fix terminally stupid.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    In other words, “you can raise other people’s taxes, you just can’t raise mine.”

    As if those who make less than $100,000 a year are the only people who think that way…

    You can’t really fix terminally stupid.

    Indeed, which is why we have Tea Party types yelling for the government to get its hands out of their Medicaid or why we have wealthy people whining about taxes when they are paying taxes at the lowest rates in decades…

  8. PJ says:


    Doug that poll had a grand total of 24% of republicans in the sample of COURSE you are going to get the blaming bush meme.

    45% blame Bush and 15% blame Obama, a 3 to 1 ratio, sampling more republicans wouldn’t have “helped” fix the difference.

  9. Blaming Bush for the economy is like blaming only one parent for spousal abuse when they’re beating the shit out of each other like it’s Gatti vs. Ward. They both drank too much.

    Though I place a *little* more Blame on Bush for one reason: we haven’t really found a responsible way to get out of the illegal wars that he started, which have drained us more than anything else I can think of combined

  10. JayR says:

    It’s true that I only partially blame Bush for the economy. While he is responsible for creating the mess, the Republicans in congress deserve a share of the blame for sabotaging and obstructing anything that the Obama administration does to try and fix it.

  11. Terrye says:

    People do not blame Obama for what was going on when he won the election 2 years ago, but he gets crappy numbers for what he has done since then.

    I do notice that not even a majority still blames Bush…just wait. The longer Obama is in there and the worse it gets..the more the people will blame him.

  12. Phomp2 says:

    B-b-b-But It’s HIS Fault

    The Washington Post babbled again today about Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush. Amazingly enough, a lot of people swallow this BULL. So once more, a short civics lesson

    Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.

    Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for FY 2008 & FY 2009 as well as FY 2010 & FY 2011. (FY = fiscal year)

    In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.

    For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi ..& Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

    And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period: (below)

    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, including Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

    If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

    In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

    There is no way this will be widely publicized unless each of us sends it on!