Monday, September 14, 2009

Teabagger Education Project: Bushonomics an Epic Failure

Yesterday we reposted an item meant to provide a simple fact in the midst of all the teabagging madness this weekend. Since many teabaggers are claiming that they are "outraged" over our national debt, we decided to remind them that 82 percent of that debt was spent by Republican presidents. We simply don't remember such wild Astroturf movements when Republican presidents were running up the national debt. Now thanks to the release of an annual Census Bureau report we can add yet another lesson in what we are calling the Teabagger Education Project. This time it focuses on the epic failure that the Bush Economy was for average Americans.

On Thursday the Census Bureau released a report card on the well-being of the average American during the dreadful eight years of the George W. Bush administration. The report card specifically takes a look at income, poverty and access to health care. The Atlantic published a very simple summary of the data and also compared the records of Reagan, Sr. Bush and Clinton on the same categories (Clinton does the best across the board). Here are the basics on how Bushonomics "performed" for average Americans(all amounts are in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars):

  • When Bill Clinton left office after 2000, the median income was at $52,500. When Bush left office after 2008 it had fallen to $50,303, which is a decline of 4.2 percent. That makes George W. Bush the only president in recent history that presided over an income decline over two full terms.
  • When Clinton left office in 2000, the Census counted almost 31.6 million Americans living in poverty. When Bush left office in 2008, the number of poor Americans had jumped to 39.8 million (the largest number in absolute terms since 1960.) Under Bush, the number of people in poverty increased by over 8.2 million, or 26.1 per cent. Over two-thirds of that increase occurred before the economic collapse of 2008.
  • When Clinton left office nearly 11.6 million children lived in poverty, according to the Census. When Bush left office that number had swelled to just under 14.1 million, an increase of more than 21 per cent.
  • When Clinton left office, the number of uninsured Americans stood at 38.4 million. By the time Bush left office that number had grown to just over 46.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million or 20.6 per cent. (Under Bush, the share of Americans who received health insurance through their employer declined every year of his presidency-from 64.2 per cent in 2000 to 58.5 per cent in 2008.)

So what is the simple take away from this data? The George W. Bush administration was an epic fail, especially for the economic interests of average Americans. Most teabaggers were Bush zealots just a short time ago. Given the disaster that he left our country in, most of them have enough sense to now try and distance themselves from him. The problem is that they are still tied directly to his failed policies that put us in this awful spot in the first place. Hell, they are not just tied to them, they are still pretending that they are the answers to all of our problems. Maybe an education is not enough, maybe the teabaggers need a deliverance.

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