Such Short Memories: The Worst President Since World War II? Uh, Guess Again!

Reblogged from

When George W. Bush was inaugurated president of the United States on January 20, 2001, the unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent. By the time Dubya completed his second term in office on January 19, 2009, the unemployment rate at risen to 7 percent. When Dubya took office in 2001, he was left with a budget surplus of $127.3 billion. When he completed his second term, he left a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion.

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The Numbers

I’m located in “Humboldt County, NV.”  There’s also a “Humboldt County, CA” and I frequently have folks from Humboldt County, CA follow me on Twitter and on the Humboldt Dems site.

Today, I had a Candidate for Congress who wants to represent the people of Humboldt County, CA “follow” me on my Twitter account.  It’ took me about 2 seconds to figure out which party ticket he’s running on — Republican.  Up front on his blog is the following banner:

Technically, he’s not totally wrong, but it’s important to understand how we got there.  To do that, let’s take a look at “the numbers”  the National Debt numbers and the Federal Budget Deficit Numbers from 2000 forward thru the end of the 2011 fiscal year (9/30/2011).

We were doing pretty good and almost had NO budget deficit.  We handed the Republicans a budget that was in line to deliver a budget surplus with which we could have begun paying down the national debt.  Instead of doing that, the previous Administration instead elected to provide the wealthiest Americans with unwarranted tax breaks, create a new Medicare drug benefit … and start two “off the books” wars so they wouldn’t have to tell the American people just exactly what was happening to our National Debt and Federal Budget Deficits.

For those of you who may not be all that good with numbers, here it is in pictures:

So, as you can see, the Budget Deficit was driven over $1T during the final year of the Bush Administration. And, on 10/3/2008, before President Bush left office, they enacted TARP which drove the budget deficit up to almost $1.8T.  Despite what you’re hearing on the right, the budget deficit is declining, as can be seen in both the graph on the numbers above.

If you’d like to check the numbers for yourself, you can use the links below to view the actual documents from which the numbers were taken:

Nat’l Debt Links

Deficit Links



Under the Reading Lamp — 5/15/2012

Colonized by Corporations

Chris Hedges, Truthdig Op-Ed: “We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called ‘the wretched of the earth,’ including African-Americans.”

The National Security State Wins (Again)

William Astore, Op-Ed: The president and his campaign staff are no fools. Since any sign of “weakness” vis-à-vis Iran and similar enemies du jour or any expression of less than boundless admiration for our military will be exploited ruthlessly by Romney et al., Obama will continue to tack rightwards on military issues and national defense. As a result, once elected he, too, will be a prisoner of the Complex. In this process, the only surefire winner and all-time champ: once again, the national security state.

Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase: Why It’s the Scandal of Our Time

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Op-Ed: “The JPMorgan Chase story is the story behind the financial crisis that has thrown millions of people out of work. It’s the story behind our ever-growing wealth inequity. It’s the story behind Washington’s inability to prosecute criminal bankers, regulate reckless ones, and propose the economic solutions the rest of us urgently need. Depending on the day and the measurement used, JPMorgan Chase is now the largest or second-largest bank in the world.”

JPM Chase Chairman, Jamie Dimon, the Whale Man, and Glass-Steagall

Nomi Prins, Op-Ed: Financial history has a sense of irony. JPM Chase was the post-Glass-Steagall repeal marriage, 66 years in the making, of Morgan Bank and Chase. Today, it is the largest bank in America, possessing greater control of the nation’s cash than any other bank. It also has the largest derivatives exposure ($70 trillion) including nearly $6 trillion worth of credit derivatives. It is the size of a bank holding company’s deposits that dictates the extent of the risk it takes, risk ‘models’ not withstanding: the more deposits, the more risk, the more potential loss.

America’s G-Zero Moment

Ian Bremmer, Op-Ed: “U.S. foreign policy may be as active as ever, but it is downsizing and becoming more exacting about its priorities and as a result, many global challenges – climate change, trade, resource scarcity, international security, cyber-warfare, and nuclear proliferation, to name a few – are bound to loom larger. Welcome to the G-Zero world, a more turbulent, uncertain environment in which coordination on global policy issues falls by the wayside.”

America as a Shining Drone Upon a Hill

Tom Engelhardt, Op-Ed: “In the service of this war, in the midst of a perpetual state of war and of wartime, every act committed by these leaders is, it turns out, absolutely, totally, and completely legal. We have their say-so for that, and they have the documents to prove it, largely because the best and most elevated legal minds among them have produced that documentation in secret. (Of course, they dare not show it to the rest of us, lest lives be endangered.)”

Palin’s Rhetoric Torpedoed Medicare Savings

Wendell Potter, News Analysis: The Congressional Budget Office projects that the average annual growth in Medicare spending will be 5.8 percent between 2012 and 2020. It would have been one percentage point higher than that, according to the CBO, if not for the cost-constraining provisions of the Affordable Care Act, most notably the one that will gradually eliminate the bonuses the government pays private insurers to participate in the Medicare Advantage program.

Tar sands pipelines don’t just leak oil

Lorne Stockman: When Enbridge’s Line 6B burst open near Marshall, Michigan in July 2010 spewing over a million gallons of tar sands sludge into the Kalamazoo river watershed, funds were quickly released from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to mobilize Environmental Protection Agency staff and other federal employees to assist and monitor clean up. But the tar sands companies that produced the oil that is still polluting Talmadge Creek nearly two years later have never paid a penny into the fund. Why? Because when payments into the fund were reinstated by the 2005 Energy Policy Act following a hiatus, someone convinced the IRS that tar sands crude was not crude oil, and therefore did not need to pay.

Five Facts That Put America to Shame

Paul Buchheit , Op-Ed: Privatization simply hasn’t worked for health care, mortgage banking, higher education, or prison management. There is little incentive for profit-motivated firms to invest in disadvantaged or underemployed Americans. That’s why taxes are necessary — to provide for the common good, and to return some of the gains from 60 years of productivity to the great majority of Americans who contributed to our growth.

Our Guns and Butter Economy

David Sirota, Op-Ed: The result is that America has become the true "Lord of War," as the arms dealer motto goes. We are the leading arms supplier to the developing world and we are responsible for the majority of all weapons sales across the globe. Yes, we are so committed to selling instruments of death to the rest of the planet that military industries have almost tripled their share of the U.S. economy in just a decade.

GMOs and Whole Foods Market in St. Louis

Barbara Chicherio , Daniel Romano and Don Fitz, News Report: “Many say that GMOs should be banned from food because we do not know the true health and environmental consequences. A second response is that food-containing GMOs should be clearly labeled so that consumers can make an informed choice of whether they want to purchase it. As the world’s largest advocate for GMOs, St. Louis-based Monsanto is the company with the greatest interest in the debate. But an often-unnoticed player is WFM.”

EPA Grossly Misrepresents the Toxicity of Corexit Used in Gulf Of Mexico

Susan Aarde, News Report: What is the buying public to make of such conflicting data? Those who have medical conditions which require complete avoidance of toxic seafood need to know with certainty what they are eating. Likewise, the fishermen in the Gulf need to know the true condition of their catch. Swimmers and beachgoers need to know the state of the water, as well as the beaches. Boaters ought to be informed of the relevant risk factors when out in the areas of recently sprayed waters, whether surface or deep sea.

Climate Change Threatens Crucial Marine Algae

Stephen Leahy, News Report: The good news is this has slowed the rate of global warming. The bad news is oceans are now more acidic and it will get worse as more CO2 is emitted. This is basic, well-understood ocean chemistry. Gao and his team made several trips into the South China Sea taking samples from surface waters where phytoplankton are found. While still on the research vessel, those samples were made as acidic as the oceans are likely to be in 2100 without major emissions reductions (800-1000 parts per million compared to current 392 ppm).

CEOs of Tax Dodging Corporations Want to Cut Their Own Taxes Too

Pat Garofalo, News Report: “It’s bad enough that these corporations are contributing so much to the fact that corporate taxes are. But to then turn around and advocate for preserving the low rate on capitals gains — which is a leading contributor to income inequality — really adds insult to injury. Remember, it was conservative icon Ronald Reagan who completely equalized the treatment of wage income and capital gains income, rejecting the conservative argument that a lower rate on investment income is necessary.”

Boehner Threatens To Take The Debt Limit Hostage Again

Pat Garofalo | ThinkProgress: In a speech Tuesday, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) plans to address the issue of national debt, which will once again be nearing its legal limit in January, just as the tax hikes and spending cuts are due to hit.  According to advance remarks provided to The Post, Boehner will insist that any increase in the debt limit be accompanied by spending “cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase” — the same demand that pushed the Treasury to the brink of default during last summer’s debt-limit standoff.