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Alex Wagner and Co. Wrong About Bush Record

NOW with Alex Wagner

The panel on NOW with Alex Wagner reverted back to the same bash Bush tactics the Obama administration, and that of the Democratic Party, have used to provide a buffer between the president and the criticism throughout this anemic recovery.  It’s been three years and Obama’s big government policies have only exacerbated our economic woes.  He has added trillions more to the debt, failed to reduce unemployment, and failed to curb our annual deficits.  Yet, in the panel discussion on June 8, 2o12, they touted Obama as having positive signs of economic growth, while Romney’s plan is “bushier than Bush’s” plan that got us into this mess.

The person who made these fatuous claims on the NOW panel was Princeton University Professor Justin Wolfers who stated “what we’re going to see—we’re going to see Romney talking about levels. So he’s going to talk about the level of the economy. The level of the unemployment rate. It’s at 8.2%. That is a bad economy. It’s a slump. We’re going to see on the other side, Democrats talking about changes. The unemployment rate is down two percentage points. And so every single talking point between now and November  I guarantee you  you’ll hear levels, changes, levels, changes.”  Where it gets hazy is when Wolfers claims that “the good news for Democrats is if you look at political science literature ,trying to predict election winners, changes predict who wins elections.  So the fact that he’s [Obama] brought the unemployment rate down, the fact the stock market is rising, the fact that employment growth is positive, all very strongly positive for the president.”

The stock market is rising, but as we’ve all learned, a high index on the Dow Jones does not translate into economic stability or signs of a recovery.  Hence, the correlation between the market and the unemployment rate.  Unemployment, until last August, was over 9% for 26 months.  It’s been over 8% for over 38 months. In addition, Mr. Wolfers seemed to have forgotten the fact that no American president, except FDR, has been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7.2%.

Catherine Crier tried to create the dichotomy between the Obama and Bush economies by stating “in a dead economy–in a dead economy Obama has, I hate to say it the president has created jobs, as we avoid congress, but more jobs created—3 ½ plus million in the three years, than in the entire Bush Administration. Quoting in the Wall Street Journal the lowest ra—we dropped taxes, we cut taxes– Everybody’s doing great. No. Job creation went down the toilet–The housing crisis–go through all this and yet Republicans are proposing the same economic platform that got us into this mess. I’m not hearing the Democrats make that argument.”

Well, the reason the Republicans want this platform is because it worked. The Bush economy, via tax cuts,spurred 50 months of uninterrupted economic growth and created 8.1 million jobs.  In fact:

The CBO incorrectly calculated that the post-March 2003 tax cuts would lower 2006 revenues by $75 billion. Revenues for 2006 came in $47 billion above the pre-tax cut baseline. Here’s what else happened after the 2003 tax cuts lowered the rates on income, capital gains and dividend taxes: GDP grew at an annual rate of just 1.7% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the six quarters following the tax cuts, the growth rate was 4.1%.The S&P 500 dropped 18% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts but increased by 32% over the next six quarters. The economy lost 267,000 jobs in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the next six quarters, it added 307,000 jobs, followed by 5 million jobs in the next seven quarters.

Perhaps that’s why Democrats, leaving ineptitude out of the equation, are not making the argument against the “platform” that grew the economy. However, liberals remain unfazed.  Wolfers actually stated that  “I think on the economic side what he [Obama] needs to do is force Romney to actually define a plan. And right now if you actually read Romney’s documents, it really is like bush, but bushier.”  Therefore, Romney’s economic plan is the blueprint for destruction and the left should tie that in with the Bush record and run on it.  After all, according  Joshua Green of Bloomberg Business Week, the plan has “fewer details how it will be paid for and what he’s going to actually cut, which is he politically difficult thing to have to do.”  Professor Wolfers wholeheartedly agreed that “absolutely run against the Bush record. And the Bush record, was really a dreadful record to the economy. Average jobs growth under Bush. 11,000 a month. We’re talking about a slowing economy right now when we got 69,000 and call it disappointing today so.

So, the bar on economic growth has been lowered dramatically in the disappointing, some would say disastrous, performance of this president.  To change the narrative, it appears some on the left are trying to spin job creation that doesn’t keep up with population growth as a net positive for Obama.

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Matt Vespa

I'm a staunch Republican and a politics junkie who was recently the Executive Director for the Dauphin County Republican Committee in Harrisburg. Before that, I interned with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2011 and Mary Pat Christie, First Lady of NJ, within the Office of the Governor of NJ in 2010. I was responsible for updating his personal contact list. My first political internship was with Tom Kean Jr's. U.S. Senate campaign in 2006.

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