Daily Archives: August 19, 2009

Did Our Economy Go Backwards Under Bush? by Gregory Hilton

Many liberals believe our economy went backwards during the Bush Administration. Perhaps there will be a great expansion in the Obama years but we will have to wait for future data. Bush inherited a faltering economy but it took off after he cut taxes and capital gains. The global recession of the last quarter was significant and we will see if Obama can match Bush’s GDP growth.
The Bush years began and ended with recessions, but they were a time of low inflation. Our economy grew for the longest period in history under Bush. No other president ever had the sustained growth which was seen during the first six years of the Bush administration. The average unemployment rate was 5.6%, and much of the time, the rate was under 5% (full employment). We had sustained growth for over 24 quarters.
The economy started to crash the day Democrats took over the House and Senate in January 2007. As soon as they passed the minimum wage increase, unemployment started to rise and the ecomomy started to fall. I hope Obama will also have that experience. Average GDP growth of 2.1% during the Bush years was not gangbusters, but it was accomplished while fighting two wars and significant federal spending. Bush tried everything to achieve a social security, Medicare, health care and immigration compromise, and he did not ignore the tough challenges. Because of the recession, Bush did leave office with a deficit but it has been quadrupled by Obama.