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Old 01-12-2009, 05:29 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
The biggest economic mistake Bush made was to increase social spending while lowering taxes. He also showed a lack of leadership in economics because he deferred everything to economists regarding the bailouts without any critical analysis on his part. Too much reliance on experts mean you take the blame for wrong expert opinion.
If you could have done it again, you would have told Bush not to rely on experts so much? Should have followed his gut.....

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Fewer people, if any, over the next few decades are going to be claiming that it would have been better for the United States and the world if Saddam's regime were left in power in Iraq. As those opposed to the removal of Saddam's regime decrease in number, its likely that Bush's approval numbers will increase as well.
Put aside what abstract merit of toppling Saddam:

Bush's legacy won't survive the reality of toppling Saddam: the trillion dollar cluster-fuck reconstruction full of cronyism, lies, corruption, and American/Iraqi civilian deaths in exchange for establishing Iran's new BFF in the Middle East. That's the 10 ton anchor pulling him down. It'll be news clips of the Administration telling us we'd be greeted as liberators, news clips of snide officials guessing that it would cost 1, maybe 2 billion dollars.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:45 PM   #222
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If you could have done it again, you would have told Bush not to rely on experts so much? Should have followed his gut.....
It would be good to develop his own opinion. It's possible for politicians to learn economics. In fact I hope every politician learns a good deal of economics.

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Put aside what abstract merit of toppling Saddam:

Bush's legacy won't survive the reality of toppling Saddam: the trillion dollar cluster-fuck reconstruction full of cronyism, lies, corruption, and American/Iraqi civilian deaths in exchange for establishing Iran's new BFF in the Middle East. That's the 10 ton anchor pulling him down. It'll be news clips of the Administration telling us we'd be greeted as liberators, news clips of snide officials guessing that it would cost 1, maybe 2 billion dollars.
Like I said we will have to see in the long run what happens in Iraq to judge properly. Speculating daily on how Iraq turns out won't mean much until the U.S. is out of there after the handoff. Then we will see if it falls apart into another dictatorship or not.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:51 PM   #223
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Like I said we will have to see in the long run what happens in Iraq to judge properly. Speculating daily on how Iraq turns out won't mean much until the U.S. is out of there after the handoff. Then we will see if it falls apart into another dictatorship or not.
Eh, not even a dictatorship. Iran is a democracy, after all. Maybe to see if it turns farther away from western-liberal values.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:19 PM   #224
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considering that 69% of the American public strongly disapproves of Bush, it's clear that only the fringe believe he's done a good job -- it's the highest disapproval rate in history.

there's really no question here. only the self-deluded fringe approve of Bush's job.

the viewpoints expressed in FYM are quite representative not only of the US at large, but the world at large as well.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:53 PM   #225
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still, who needs poll numbers when you have evidence?



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Economy Made Few Gains in Bush Years
Eight-Year Period Is Weakest in Decades

By Neil Irwin and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 12, 2009; A01

President Bush has presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, and economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly view his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation's thorniest fiscal challenges.

The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush's tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans' incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush's father.

Bush and his aides are quick to point out that they oversaw 52 straight months of job growth in the middle of this decade, and that the economy expanded at a steady clip from 2003 to 2007. But economists, including some former advisers to Bush, say it increasingly looks as if the nation's economic expansion was driven to a large degree by the interrelated booms in the housing market, consumer spending and financial markets. Those booms, which the Bush administration encouraged with the idea of an "ownership society," have proved unsustainable.

"The expansion was a continuation of the way the U.S. has grown for too long, which was a consumer-led expansion that was heavily concentrated in housing," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a onetime Bush White House staffer and one of Sen. John McCain's top economic advisers for his presidential campaign. "There was very little of the kind of saving and export-led growth that would be more sustainable."

"For a group that claims it wants to be judged by history, there is no evidence on the economic policy front that that was the view," Holtz-Eakin said. "It was all Band-Aids."

From 2002 to 2006, the housing boom generated about 600,000 to 800,000 jobs that otherwise would not have been created -- about 10 percent of total job growth in that span, according to the consulting firm IHS Global Insight. Such data, expert say, suggest the economy was not as fundamentally strong as it seemed.

"Some of the recovery, some of the expansion, was based on very shaky foundations," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight.

"It's sad to say, but we really went nowhere for almost ten years, after you extract the boost provided by the housing and mortgage boom," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com, and an informal adviser to McCain's campaign. "It's almost a lost economic decade."

The president's current aides say they are proud of their economic record. They note, for instance, that they attempted to rein in the growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing finance companies whose vast expansion they see as a central cause of the financial crisis. Independent analysts generally view them only as contributors to the crisis.

"It does look like a great eight years, aside from the last quarter, unfortunately," Edward P. Lazear, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a recent interview. "In the long term, things look good. The reason things look good is this economy will rebound, and it will rebound strongly. . . . We expect things to turn around, and I would say early in President Obama's administration."

Even excluding the 2008 recession, however, Bush presided over a weak period for the U.S. economy. For example, for the first seven years of the Bush administration, gross domestic product grew at a paltry 2.1 percent annual rate.

The administration also failed to gain traction on some of the fundamental economic and fiscal issues facing the nation -- including solidifying the finances of Medicare and Social Security, simplifying the tax code, or making health care more affordable. Resolution of those issues might have left the government more flexibility to respond to the current crisis by lowering the nation's future budget deficits.

The federal government had a modest budget surplus when Bush took office in 2001, but ran a deficit -- funding itself to a significant degree with borrowed money -- of 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2004 and 4 percent in 2005, even as the economy was growing at a healthy pace.

Bush did not steer the country toward a more sound long-term fiscal position. After winning reelection, he made a failed push both to tweak Social Security to stabilize its long-term finances and create private accounts for Americans to invest in the stock market. Democrats aggressively fought the plan, but indicated they were willing to work on a compromise to ensure the program's long-term financial stability if Bush would take private accounts off the table, which he declined to do.

Keith B. Hennessey, Bush's chief economic adviser, said the administration "tried everything" it could to broker a deal on Social Security, including sending subtle signals to Democrats that it would negotiate on private accounts.

Changes to Medicare were also elusive for the administration. When Bush entered the White House, the program faced a long-term funding deficit. It still does, and its cost is expected to balloon in the years ahead. In fact, the administration's addition of a prescription drug benefit enlarges Medicare's long-term funding imbalance.

The administration had planned to try to deal with the problem after a successful overhaul of Social Security. That day never came, though, and officials figured that if they couldn't reach a deal on the relatively simple problem of fixing Social Security, they would have no shot at fixing the vastly larger and more complex problems facing Medicare.

Bush made a more concerted effort in 2007 to overhaul the health-care system, with a plan that many independent experts thought could make care more affordable for poor and middle-income families. But by the time the president made the push, he was already highly unpopular. The proposal went nowhere.

"The retirement of the baby boom is not a distant thing, and the rapid rise in medical care costs goes on year after year," said Alice Rivlin, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and senior economic official in the Clinton administration. "It's easiest to fix those things when the economy is doing well, and we didn't fix them when we had the chance."

A Bush-created commission proposed a detailed overhaul of the tax code in 2005 that aimed to make taxes more fair and less complex, also winning plaudits from tax experts. But passing such a plan wasn't a high priority for the White House, and the effort stalled.

"On tax reform, I think they themselves were not very interested in it," said Kevin A. Hassett, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an adviser on Bush's reelection campaign.

As achievements, Bush and his advisers point to the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which many analysts credit for keeping the last recession mild, even as the cuts contributed to the large deficits that followed. Bush and other administration officials play down the role of the tax cuts in feeding the deficits, arguing instead that increased spending on counterterrorism, national security and the military after the Sept. 11 attacks was the primary, and unavoidable, cause.

Bush also boasts about his record on trade, including the signing of 11 free-trade agreements with countries in Asia, Africa and Central and South America. But he also failed in bids to land several other prominent trade pacts and saw the collapse of negotiations to curb global agricultural subsidies, known as the Doha Round.

One constant for Bush has been an optimistic, even rosy, economic outlook. Throughout much of past year, even as the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve began preparing for the worst behind closed doors, Bush and his aides trumpeted the fundamental strength of the U.S. economy and dismissed Democratic proposals for a second stimulus package. A White House fact sheet released on Sept. 5 was titled: "American Economy Is Resilient in the Face of Challenges."

Two days later, the administration announced the federal takeover of Fannie and Freddie, setting in motion the most sweeping government intervention in the economy since the Great Depression.

That takeover, experts widely agree, was necessary. But even those sympathetic to the president's ideas are skeptical of his overall legacy.

The highest praise Hassett offers for Bush's economic legacy is that "the economy was caught up in a storm while he was president, but it wasn't his fault."

"In the end, to the extent there ends up being a defense of the Bush presidency" on economic issues, "that's about the best you can get."
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:10 PM   #226
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I don't need to sort through 8 years of data to tell me what I already know.
Looking at such data helps prevent one from making incorrect statements on the issues.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:28 PM   #227
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Put aside what abstract merit of toppling Saddam:
The benefit to the United States, the region and the world is enormous, but only those who actually know and understand the history of what Saddam did prior to 2003 are going to appreciate that.


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Bush's legacy won't survive the reality of toppling Saddam: the trillion dollar cluster-fuck reconstruction full of cronyism, lies, corruption, and American/Iraqi civilian deaths in exchange for establishing Iran's new BFF in the Middle East.
Its been a war that has had several mistakes and large costs. Its also a nation building exercise. How are such mistakes, and costs, inconsistent with the history of war and nation building?

Iran has never posed the same threat that Saddam's Iraq did to the region and the world. Unlike Saddam's Iraq, Iran has not invaded an annexed any of its neighbors, attempted to sieze or sabotage much of the worlds oil supply, and use WMD on a mass scale against its neighbors. They have not launched ballistic missiles, unprovoked, at any of their neighbors.

Even if Iraq were Iran's new puppet state, as you incorrectly claim, it would not change the necessity of removing Saddam.

Today it is not Iran that has 150,000 troops in Iraq, its the United States, it is not Iran that has worked extensively with Iraq's military, it is the United States, it is not Iran that has essentially built the new Iraqi military that we see today, it is the United States, it is not Iran from whom the new Iraqi government plans to begin purchasing large numbers of weapon systems, it is the United States.

Iran will never be able to offer Iraq what the United States, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Egypt can offer it. That is why even the Shia Arabs with friendly ties to Iran are not going to become its puppet. Lets not forget that 40% of Iraq is not Shia Arab and has no desire to be a puppet state of Iran let alone have better ties with Iran than they would with the Sunni Arab countries, the United States and Europe.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #228
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considering that 69% of the American public strongly disapproves of Bush, it's clear that only the fringe believe he's done a good job -- it's the highest disapproval rate in history.

there's really no question here. only the self-deluded fringe approve of Bush's job.

the viewpoints expressed in FYM are quite representative not only of the US at large, but the world at large as well.
But as GALLUP recently said about that disapproval rating, it is not as accurate a measure as the approval rating numbers since several decades ago people were less likely to register their disapproval of a sitting President.

If FYM were representative of the USA at large, not only would Bush never have been President, but the Republican party would be smaller than the Green party is in reality today.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:47 PM   #229
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still, who needs poll numbers when you have evidence?
Not much evidence in the article which claims 8 year period is the weakest economically in decades!?!?!

Well, lets look at the raw averages of some economic numbers for Clintons 8 years VS. Bush's 8 years:


The Average National Federal Debt as a percentage of GDP:

Clinton Years 64.5%

Bush Years 61.9%





Average GDP growth rate:

Clinton Years 5.4%

Bush Years 4.8%





Average Annual Poverty Rate:

Clinton Years 13.3%

Bush Years 12.3%








Average Annual Inflation Rate:

Clinton Years 2.60%

Bush Years 2.69%






Average Annual Unemployment Rate:

Clinton Years 5.21%

Bush Years 5.20%






It should be noted that the average poverty rate under President Bush is the 3rd lowest in US history!
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:54 PM   #230
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Its been a war that has had several mistakes and large costs. Its also a nation building exercise. How are such mistakes, and costs, inconsistent with the history of war and nation building?
No One Could Have Possibly Foreseen This!

When the biography of the Bush Administration is written, I wonder what the over/under will be on administration officials using some variation on that trying to defend themselves against the painfully obvious, recorded, analyzed, and predicted events that actual experts discussed, from 9/11 to Iraq to Katrina to the recent financial meltdown. That will be another part of Bush's legacy. Anti-intellectualism until things go wrong, then it's the experts fault for never seeing it coming.

I did not mean to suggest a strong puppet state relationship, but Saddam's Iraq was a major regional counterpoint to Iran. Now they have a more friendly government, and certainly not the western-liberal ready ally to Israel that a few were bold enough to envision.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:01 PM   #231
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The poverty rate and unemployment rate are not very useful anymore. Every government in power has found it to their advantage to twist and redefine it to make the numbers look better for them. This predates both Clinton and Bush. Good for a very broad picture but I wouldn't be counting decimal places as a comparison.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:59 PM   #232
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But he also said he disagrees with those who say the federal response to the storm was slow.

"Don't tell me the federal response was slow when there were 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed. ... Could things been done better? Absolutely. But when I hear people say the federal response was slow, what are they going to say to those chopper drivers or the 30,000 who got pulled off the roof?" he said.
Just guessing, but I guess those 30,000 people would also be wondering why it took 2 days for those helicopters to start to arrive. Or why ice trucks were rerouted to Maine. Or why it took days for the FEMA director to even know about how bad the situation was. Or that there are people still living in FEMA trailers to this day. Or what happened at the convention center

They came seeking refuge, then suffered days in anguish

But hey, don't tell him the response was slow!
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:16 PM   #233
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STING, you act like anyone who disagrees with Bush must be unaware. We know exactly what the state of Iraq was before 2003.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:15 AM   #234
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Last of the Rock Stars,
when Hip Hop drove the big cars,
when the New Media was the Big Idea..
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:15 AM   #235
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No you don't, for that matter I don't, but I would accept it being a choice between bad and worse; and unlike people with convictions (such as financeguy) I expect you to be mute when it comes to a humanitarian intervention by the Obama administration.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:55 AM   #236
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I just can't believe what he said about Katrina

Revisionist history is a bitch
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:42 AM   #237
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Almost entirely disconnected?


Campbell Brown Rips Bush For Katrina Remarks (VIDEO)

Campbell Brown cut through George Bush's bull Monday night, taking the President to task for his remarks about Hurricane Katrina during his farewell press conference.

Brown "was taken aback" with Bush's statements defending his administration's Katrina response, statements she described as "almost entirely disconnected still from what really happened."

"Don't tell me the federal response was slow," Bush said, "when there was 30,000 people pulled off roods right after the storm passed."

"Many people will disagree over many aspects of the Bush legacy," Brown said. "But on the government's handling of Katrina? It is impossible to challenge what so many of us witnessed firsthand, what the entire country witnessed through the images on our television screens day and night.

"Mr. President, you cannot pat yourself on the back for that one," she then said. "We will debate the war in Iraq, debate national security, the economy, and the rest of your legacy. Those debates will continue for years to come. But on how you handled Katrina, there is no debate."
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:19 AM   #238
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No you don't, for that matter I don't, but I would accept it being a choice between bad and worse; and unlike people with convictions (such as financeguy) I expect you to be mute when it comes to a humanitarian intervention by the Obama administration.


the Iraq War was a humanitarian intervention?

some people are capable of making distinctions.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:55 PM   #239
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I love it.. a new bushism: "Misunderestimate"

i'm gonna miss these bushisms.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:08 PM   #240
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Watching snippets of that last press conference, I almost - ALMOST - felt sorry for him.

Then I remembered the last 8 years.
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