This section adds more analysis to the other graphs that are included under 1990-2010 grouping that are shown HERE. As we have mentioned elsewhere on our graphs, the data comes from the (BEA) US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and we just copied the data itself exactly. Of course the analysis can be much more complicated. Is US Government profit and loss a function of the Presidents only? Or of Congress only? Or of the combination? And how much is due to external factors such as wars, hurricanes and recessions that they may have to deal with but may not have caused? The analysis is far more complex than just what the numbers may show at first. While there can be many interpretations of the US period from 1990-2010, here is mine. And in this case, I went further than just looking at presidential terms, but also periods of congressional controls and also a closer look at the recessions themselves. What I believe I see here, is that one cannot just look at the presidents. The Congress in power may even have more control. And also there is the question of who makes recessions happen. So this is my opinion - at least the second level in looking at this period of time. I of course would be very interested in the opinions of others.
THE ARGUMENTS FOR BUSH AND REPUBLICANS, 1990-2010, second level analysis
While Bush was likely not an economic genius, he also was not as bad as Obama
and the Democrats keep suggesting. As a second point, let us look even closer
into Congress control during the same period. While I have shown the below graph
before, let me give you another opinion of it. And that opinion was that while
Bush was not the best economist, he did far better I believe than the Democratic
Congress or Obama. Profit here of course is mostly total US income (mostly IRS)
minus money spent.
If you look at the beginning of Bush's term in office, he was
hit by two recessions, and I do not think he was primarily responsible for
either. The first was the dot.com recession of 2001, where stocks held by some
technical companies on wall street were felt to be inflated in value and the
market dropped quickly, losing a fortune for many. I do not think we can blame
that one on Bush, but he got to fix it. And right after that recession on
9/11/2001 came another. That one was also not his fault of course since he had
little to do with those who flew planes into buildings. While the dot.com
recession was a stock market one, the 9/11 recession was a travel recession one
where Americans no longer wanted to fly airplanes - at least for a time.
Meanwhile, travel and vacations were far lower to places like Las Vegas and
such. So, cumulative, the downward drop down to -600 billion per year was likely
not directly his fault. Now look at the recovery attempt from 2003 to 2007. That
period appears at the least "not bad". While I do not believe that governments
can fix recessions, the governments can make the environment for fixing better.
So the bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 seem to have made good progress -
allowing industry to fix itself. The slope of this curve in fact seems as good
or better than the good times of the Bill Clinton era. And this curve very much
looked like it would again get to profit except for the recession of 2008. And
so, the only real Bush concern I can see is - what about the recession of 2008?
Whose fault was that? Well, one thing literature on it seems to agree on is that
the 2008 recession was US caused based on bad housing mortgages. The problem was
made worse when bad housing mortgages to sub-prime lenders were bundled and sold
to many banks which caused many failures almost at the same time. While the
person at the top, Bush, must share some of the blame for this, recall that
after 2007 the Democrats now controlled Congress and specifically Chris Dodd and
Barney Frank were in charge of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So
the crash of those two mortgage giants contributed seriously to the 2008
If one were to label the areas by Congress control instead of by presidents (as also shown in the graph) then Democrats would be in control except for the years 1994-2006. Amazingly, those years of Republican Control from 1994 to 2006 were some of the better years except for the recession hits. And the two recession hits in that period at least appear to be mostly external to the US government.
So, what is true or not true? Obama says this week (9/8/10) that the war caused most or all of US debt. Looking at the graph, that is rubbish. The war money was in all of the years, and you can see 2007 was no worse than some points in the Bill Clinton era. Obama says that the Bush tax cuts were bad. No, clearly the Bush tax cuts were spurring a good recovery from 2003 -2007. Obama says 10 years of Bush economics damaged the US. While Bush does not seem to be an economic genius, his handling of the growth period of 2003 to 2007 seems decent. In general, we may never know who did what exactly. However, based on the economic facts, at this point, even Bush who I do not say was an economist seems to have done far better in my book than the group of Obama, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and the Democrats. Note also that in the huge Obama bill to control industry such that recessions never happen, oddly the bill did NOT include controls for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and also that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were among the writers for controlling OTHERS - while no one seems to be controlling them - who may have in fact caused the last recession.
And yes, I am sure others may have different opinions of the above, and of course I would love to hear them.