The Bush Economy

While President Bush was assuring Americans that the “fundamentals” of the economy are in good shape, the US labor department reported that consumer prices rose 1.1 percent in June, the highest one month rise in 26 years, and the 12 month inflation rate at 5.0% the highest since may 1991.

Foreclosure filings surged 53 percent in June with 252,363 homes receiving at least one foreclosure-related notice and more than 71,000 properties were repossessed by lenders nationwide in June. Additionally, it’s now reported that more than 75 million or 42% of all working age Americans either had no health insurance during 2007 or were under-insured, up from 35% in 2003 and almost 16 percent of Americans or 47 million people have no health insurance at all. The jobless rate stayed at 5.5% percent in June after soaring in May to the highest rate in 20 years, and is expected to reach 6% next year.

It’s not all bad news, of course. For example, Rush Limbaugh just recently signed a $400 million deal that will see him comfortably employed until 2016.

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21 Comments

Filed under Economy

21 responses to “The Bush Economy

  1. DMS

    And Wachovia just announced an enormous quarterly loss, proving that the banking industry isn’t out of the subprime-mortgage woods yet.

  2. While President Bush was assuring Americans that the “fundamentals” of the economy are in good shape, ………..where did I hear that before.

    Oh my, it’s the exact same phrasing the Flaherty uses…..do they use the same fool the public text book?

  3. David Frum was on CNN last night… he’s moonlighting…

  4. I think Gordon Brown has used it too. A non-partisan catch-phrase, it seems.

    The Daily Show had a funny bit the other night cross-cutting between Bush’s speech and Fed Chairman Bernanke’s testimony to Congress, both of which took place at the exact same time. Talk about a night and day contrast…

  5. SW — He shows up on the Reliable Sources program quite regularly these days too. Man that guy is a putz.

  6. Northern PoV

    I have always thought that David Frum disgraces his mother’s good name.

  7. jermo sapiens

    Right, the “Bush” economy. What you fail to mention is the role Clinton played in the subprime mortgage crisis, by encouraging lending institutions to sign off on mortgages to people who could not afford them, in the name of racial equality. That those chicken came home to roost during the Bush years is not Bush’s fault.

    Im no fan of Bush, and there’s plenty of material to criticize him legitimately, but I guess here as soon as you start on a anti-Bush rant, nobody will question you.

    Also, the inflation rate is driven largely by oil prices. Not only is this not Bush’s fault, high oil prices is what liberals/democrats want.

  8. You mean like where Clinton said this:

    Today, the United States is fortunate in that our homeownership rate is at an all-time high, and low interest rates continue to encourage millions of Americans to become first-time homeowners. Although a record number of Americans own their own homes, we continue to see a gap between the homeowner-ship rates of minorities and nonminorities. By a significant margin, minority families are less likely to own their own homes. Therefore, I have called upon the entire housing industry to join with my Administration to expand minority homeownership across the Nation. Our goal is to help at least 5.5 million minority families become homeowners by the end of this decade, and our Blueprint for the American Dream Partnership is taking bold steps to make this a reality.

    Only thing is, that was George W. Bush in 2003 talking about his Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program and “Dream Downpayment Fund” but hey… don’t let me stop you from pulling shit out of your backside.

  9. Last gasp of the rabid right-wing rethuglican fan boi- when all else fails, blame Clinton.

    Earth to jermo – Clinton hasn’t been president for 7.5 years and Bush has.

    Maybe if you try hard, you can blame Carter or FDR…

  10. Skeptik_59

    This is just a temporary down-turn though, once the positive effect of the Bush tax cuts kicks in, all will be great. After all, it’s not like Voodoo economics could ever fail, right?

    Just now of course, it does look like the average American has been pretty much “trickled-down” to death…. ;)

  11. Johnathon Tory

    Ahhhh, another great post from the most patriotic American in the USA?

    …..I forgot, Red Tory is ACTUALLY a left wing socialist Canadian import from the U.K.

    Amazing the role that America plays in the lives of people like Red Tory.

    That’s why America is loved around the world.

  12. jermo sapiens

    Red Tory: I was referring to Clinton’s changes to the Community Reinvestment Act in 1995.

    What did Bush’s plan entail?

    Anyways, glad to see that true to form for a liberal blog, your army of yes-men have come to attack someone who dares question the orthodoxy.

    Arent’ blogs so much more fun when everybody is all in agreement.

    “Bush is stupid”

    “yeah, yeah, Bush is really stupid”

    “yes, but Obama’s awesome, he’s gonna stop climate change”

    “dude, I love Obama as much as I hate Bush”

    “yo man, that’s so progressive, not like stupid republicans”

  13. Donny Brasco

    Don’t you love Canadian Liberals.

    About as smart as a Canadian muslim.

  14. Hey Johnnytard, shouldn’t you be going over to SDA and about EVERY ONE of the Blogging Tory sites for posting material about U.S. politics and various affairs south of the border?

  15. Hmmm. Is everyone agreeing here? It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me.

    What’s this “army of yes men”? I had no idea.

    You mean like the one at SDA that will dogpile on anyone with an opinion that’s even remotely “liberal” and rip them to shreds? Like that you mean?

    Sheesh. A couple of people take issue with your comment and it’s an “army”… Exaggerate much?

    Anyway, to your “point” about the current mess being Clinton’s fault (oh, and those awful poor people of course), that seems a bit rich to me. Perhaps the CRA may have been somewhat of a factor contributing to the subprime meltdown, but I think that’s quite a stretch. Half of the loans made were by banks not even subject to CRA.

  16. jermo sapiens

    couple of points:

    i should have said, true to form for a partisan blog. i agree that conservative bloggers are no better in this respect. it’s unfortunate.

    its also unfortunate that whenever you even question whether a particular criticism of Bush is warranted, you get labeled a “rabid far-right republican”. i’ll concede that an “army of yes-men” was a hyperbole.

    also, please note that i never blamed those “awful poor people” – in fact I believe they are the primary victims of the crisis.

    finally, its not like im trying to take credit for the idea that Clinton’s changes to the CRA contributed to the crisis – its a widely held view. Im curious as to the Bush plan you mentioned though – I havent heard of it as a cause for the crisis, including from liberal sources. What did it do? Was it implemented?

  17. Jermo — Beginning around the year 2000, as part of Bush’s “ownership society” (the aforementioned programs were part of this general initiative) federal agencies like began aggressively purchasing subprime mortgages, effectively creating a market for them where they otherwise did not exist.

    Agencies like FHA and HUD, and pseudo-private agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were the government’s tool to manipulate the market for mortgages, and manipulate it they did: 40% of all mortgages are financed by lending companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold $5.3 trillion in outstanding debt, and receive tax breaks (read: subsidies) to the tune of $6.5 billion a year.

    Part of the irony of Bush’s “ownership society” is that it requires taxpayers to fund it. While on its face home ownership might seem like the paragon of private property and private ownership, it’s really not in very high demand in the actual free market. While America does indeed have very high rates of homeownership, it’s in spite of the market, not because of it. I can’t find the statistic at the moment, but I remember reading that only 10% of all Americans owned their own homes in the beginning of the twentieth century. After WWII, mortgages subsidized by the VA (which accounted for, I believe, over half of all mortgages) became the primary vehicle for the widespread fleeing the white middle class from rented apartments, and into the suburbs. These subsidized mortgages were often cheaper than rent, despite the fact that renting doesn’t give any permanent rights to the property, while mortgage payments due – a dead giveaway that the proposal was anti-market. After the immediate post-WWII era, homeownership was encouraged with the mortgage interest tax write-off, and the surfeit of lots zoned exclusively for single-family homes, regardless of what the market might actually demand in those locales. The aforementioned federal agencies and pseudo-private corporations also play a role, extending subsidized mortgages to people in the name of encouraging homeownership, which politicians and pundits have for some reason deemed a better option than renting. And, to complete the picture, most recently those left behind from the subsidies – the poor, and especially poor blacks – have had their incentives manipulated through subprime mortgages, increasing (at least temporarily) their rates of homeownership. Only, while in the past the government accounted for the full cost of this subsidy, during the subprime crisis, all the government did was allow the mortgages to be made, but isn’t going to be left holding the bag when the payments don’t come.

  18. They’re running out of people to blame – perhaps it was the butler – or, Col. Mustard.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  19. jermo sapiens

    thank you red tory that was instructive.

    i guess the conservative principle holds true: government should not intervene in the free market lest it creates more inequities than it solves. too bad this so-called conservative president didnt apply it.

  20. Jermo — The law of unintended consequences strikes again! Contrary to regularly being accused of being a “socialist” around here, I’m not all that keen on government meddling in the free market for the reasons you stated. Especially not when the regulatory oversight component is woefully lacking as has been the case with this administration even more than others in the past.

  21. Stimulus Package “Deja vu”, Not really!

    As the brains of our economy continue to brainstorm how to get us out of the mess the real estate market first got us in and now high gas prices and a declining economy over all the easy way out seems to be again, an economic stimulus package.

    Not so fast, not again.

    First president bush opposes it.
    Second, according to the experts only 20 percent of the people who got stimulus package number one said the rebate led them to spend more and the rest, well it seems that the rest just took the money and put it into their savings account.

    Economic stimulus package number one was suppose to get our slow economy going, by then president bush had not heard of a 4 dollar a gallon of gasoline.
    By now that’s old news and as he put it on he’s own words “he’s heard of it now”.

    Well now mr president one gallon of gas almost hits the 5 dollar mark, have you heard of it?

    Anyhow, the 100 billion dollars in checks that circulated among many Americans (600.00 for singles, 1,200.00 for couples) apparently didn’t help.
    The money went out on time and gas prices went up just on time as well.
    With gas prices, food prices also went up.
    Isn’t that how it usually works?
    Gas prices go up everything goes up, after all business have to make up for the extra expenses and they just pass the check onto us.

    Here’s an idea!

    How about lowering the tax on gasoline?
    Do we really know how much money we pay on gas taxes in the u.s?
    Aren’t this taxes imposed by our government, well maybe our government can really give a stimulus to our morale and lower the taxes we pay on gas prices.
    A lower tax in gasoline prices will stimulate business and consumers, it’s not rocket science!

    Source for this quote: Wikipedia
    “Fuel taxes in the United States vary by state. For the first quarter of 2008, the average state gasoline tax is 28.6 cents per US gallon, plus 18.4 cents per US gallon federal tax making the total 47 cents per US gallon”

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