LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Economic woes of past decade are not Bush’s fault

The Democrats love to talk about George W Bush coming into office while the Federal Government had a surplus. While this is true, they conveniently leave out the fact he also inherited a recession. Spurred by the dot.com bubble the GDP began declining, unemployment began rising, and business investment slowed. All expanded upon by the September 11 attacks.

They have used several clever catch phrases.

The Bush tax cuts set the economy back. They choose to ignore six years of economic growth after the 2003 tax cuts were enacted. Total government revenue began to grow to a then record of almost $4 trillion dollars in 2007, while equaling almost 18% of GDP virtually even with the 1990’s. The wealthiest of Americans tax burden concerning the Federal Revenue grew to 70% up from 66%.

The deficits ruined the economy. The average deficits as compared to GDP from 2001-2008 was 2%, over the last 40 years the average has been 2.2%. Spending as compared to a percentage of GDP during the Bush Presidency was below that of Bill Clinton. The actual dollar terms of deficits were greater, that would only make sense with a larger GDP.

Bush deregulated the banks which created the housing bubble. There was actually a big increase in regulation under President Bush, including the Patriot Act and Sarbanes- Oxley—which created a new regulatory agency to oversee public accounting firms and auditors, and imposed new requirements for financial reporting and corporate audits. In actuality it was a bill passed by a bi-partisan Congress and Bill Clinton that did the most deregulation in the last 20 years with the passage of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. This allowed commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to consolidate. It also did not give any regulatory agency the authority to regulate large investment bank holding companies. President Bush certainly deserves some blame for continuing the policy that had been in place of encouraging home ownership among minorities, encouragement of housing tax incentives, first time home buyer subsidies, and the encouragement of low interest rates.

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars sunk the US economy. Exactly what metric do they base that on? There have been cost estimates of an initial $1.6 trillion dollars. Strictly speaking did the wars sink the economy? The facts are unemployment went down after the invasion, GDP went up, and so did tax revenue. All the measurable factors indicate the opposite.

I know it is easy for the Democrats and media to blame all the woes of the United States over the past 10 years on a Republican President. They are counting on an un-informed public. I think they have it.

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