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The Bush Administration Was Reckless

Mar. 18, 2009
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When the barn is on fire, the bold will take action to douse the blaze, and the useless will stand around, jaws agape and scratching their beards, wondering just how the heck this thing got started in the first place. I fall squarely into the latter category, and anyway, voluntary participation in extinguishing conflagrant agricultural structures would negate my life insurance policy, so I'll stroke my beard and hypothesize along with rest in regard to the cause of the current economic inferno.

Regardless of what you may think about the Obama team's efforts, no one is as yet blaming the crisis on the new President. I've identified two schools of thought here - those that blame either the Clinton administration or congressional Democrats, or those that assign fault to the recently departed Bush crowd. I prospered during the Clinton years, amassing a savings account large enough to support a drinking lifestyle, a fully pimped Vespa, and an annual pilgrimage to Graceland. I can only conclude therefore that the Bushies somehow dropped the ball. Former Vice President Dick Cheney recently cautioned against this, however, dismissing efforts to blame the crisis on the 42nd President as "interesting rhetoric."

So be it. Here's some rhetoric along those lines, but whether or not it shall rise to the level of "interesting," I leave up to you.

Here's some interesting math, which, taken out of context, completely proves my point. During the Clinton years, the Dow Jones industrial average went up 297.67%. Good times, noodle salad! Under the inept Bush administration however, the DJA eked out a shameful rise of only 1.96%.[1] To borrow a phrase from the despised French, Viva la difference!

I can hear the blood of the right wingers boiling already. This argument, much like my quarterly love-making sessions with my wife, will be greeted with shouts of derision and disappointment, followed by a request to "please expand on that, if you can."

Very well. I am but a low level employee at a cheese and sausage shop, but here's some more random, cherry-picked arithmetic to support my claim. In the year 2000, President Clinton announced a RECORD U.S. budget surplus of $230 billion dollars.[2] Seems to me they must have been doing something right. President Bush was booed off the stage this January, leaving in his wake a $482 billion DEFICIT. [3] So long, and thanks for the memories!

Following the tragic events of 9-11-01, Bush's supervisors decided to attack a country which had nothing whatsoever to do with the incident, a decision which cost the lives of thousands of brave American soldiers and countless Iraqi citizens, and which to date has cost $605,000,000,000. [4] Imagine if even half of that money had been invested domestically to grow the economy - we certainly would not find ourselves in the dire straits we now face.

The reckless spending of borrowed trillions by Bush and the neo-cons would be bad enough by itself, yet it was coupled with tax breaks for the rich (and nobody needs a tax cut like the rich!), and a don't ask, don't tell attitude toward Wall Street. Bush turned a blind eye to the crooked financial dealings of Wall Street fatcats (who paid handsomely to get him elected [5]), turning the savings and pensions of hardworking Americans over to the most notorious band of thieves ever to draw breath. But the Bush Administration and its financiers, like any criminal enterprise, would eventually be found out. We therefore saw an era of outright thievery collapse upon itself, with the death of huge multinational companies (Enron, Arthur Anderson, Lehman Brothers, etc.) The stunning effects of rampant greed, encouraged with the full knowledge of Bush, has now come home. It wouldn't be so bad if it affected only the felons involved, but Bush's idiotic economic policies have wiped out more than half the value of everyday Americans' savings.

Conservatives will argue that the whole mess is the fault of Barney Frank and Bill Clinton, who thought it might be nice to try and make home loans more available to working people. This is so erroneous as to make me choke on my delicious slice of gouda. If I, as a hardworking sausage maker, am presented misleading or outright false information about a home loan by greedy and unscrupulous lenders (many now bankrupt, under indictment, etc), is the fault mine for eagerly signing the document in order to attain the American dream? It is the same conservative argument of blaming the victim. "Just look at what he was wearing - he was asking for it!"

No, the blame cannot be assigned, by anyone who is serious, to the common American for trying to get ahead. It rather lies with the poor financial policies of the previous administration. As much as I hate to give Bush props for anything, in the case of the current economic meltdown, let us give the devil his due.

[1] http://thetimetube.com/page/2008/09/17/the-dow-jones-average-pit-bill-clinton-vs-george-bush.html


[2] http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/27/clinton.surplus/


[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/28/bush-leaving-next-preside_n_115335.html


[5] http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/10/18/politics/main242210.shtml


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