The Bush Boom?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Orange_Juice, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Orange_Juice
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    Orange_Juice Senior Member

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    McCain will continue with these failed policies? That's anti-American in my book


    Bush 36,000

    I'd never go as far as conservatives do in attributing economic growth to tax rates. But that's the right's game, so let's see how the Bush Boom measures up, now that it's gone to macroeconomic heaven. A recent paper by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) compares the Bush Boom to the ten previous periods of economic expansion since 1949. If you measure it from the peak of the previous business cycle, the Bush Boom ranks eighth out of the last ten expansions. If you measure it from the trough of the recession, Bush's preferred gauge, it ranks dead last.

    And the meager growth that did occur accrued almost entirely to the rich. One of the few categories where the Bush Boom really did boom was corporate profits, which rank, depending on which measure you use, second or fourth. But wage and salary growth ranks last out of the ten previous expansions. Median family income actually declined. As the EPI paper notes, "this marks the first time this has happened since World War II in a business cycle lasting anywhere near as long as the most recent cycle." So, from the standpoint of making most people better off--which, of course, is the whole point of economic growth--the Bush Boom was a staggering catastrophe.

    The Bush Boom was accompanied by frantic attempts to convince Americans that things were actually going better than they thought. One comical subgenre of Republican argumentation was to explain away polls showing persistent economic pessimism as a kind of false consciousness. If polls showed that people thought the economy was bad, it wasn't because their incomes hadn't risen--it must be the fault of the liberal media playing up bad news and ignoring the glories of the Boom. Ubiquitous right-wing economic commentator Larry Kudlow even coined a catchphrase to describe the press's suppression of the Bush Boom: "The greatest story never told."

    When Phil Gramm recently remarked that we were becoming "a nation of whiners, " he gave voice to what had become the standard Republican view. What's the matter with you people? Can't you see that Phil Gramm and everybody he knows are making out like bandits?

    Now that the Boom has ended, the new GOP line is to acknowledge the bad times but proceed on cheerfully as if all conservative economic precepts have been borne out. Bush recently declared, "the economy is not doing as well as we'd like to do--like it to do today, but there's no question that the tax cuts provided economic vitality." John McCain asserted, "Raising taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing you could do because it will kill even more jobs when what we need are policies that create jobs." (Last year, remember, you couldn't raise taxes on the rich because the economy was growing, which proved the tax cuts worked.)
     
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  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Giving cozy government contracts to the already too wealthy, and lip service to the working class is as American as apple pie and (unwed) motherhood, sport.
     
  3. Orange_Juice
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    Orange_Juice Senior Member

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    Along with bankrupting the government and giving the wealthy a free pass, not to mention pissing away trillions on a foreign adventure
     
  4. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Well, OJ, the Neo_Cons openly declared their intention to "starve the beast".

    The "beast" being the national government, of course.

    Then they ramp up the anti-liberal hate mongering by foisting completely meaningless issues into the national discussion which bring out the nutters who will vote against their nation's well being so long as they can have their guns, bash women and homos and minorities.

    So perfectly patriotic Americans (mostly Republicans) end up voting into office the very people who have nothing but contempt for the American way of life, the middle class, and anyone who is NOT either a billionaire of one of their loyal servants.
     
  5. Zoomie1980
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    Zoomie1980 Senior Member

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    Some economic axioms. These are simple facts, not partisan rhetoric.

    1) Tax rate adjustments either way have very little real impact because they are never changed in big enough increments to ever have a significant impact as compared to general business activity. And are often offset with loopholes which further mitigate their effect

    2) The wealthy pay a higher burden of the total tax revenue than at any time in our history. The top 1% pay 39%, the top 5% pay 58%, to top 10% pay 72% the top 50% pay 97%. And that is ALL taxes, not just income.

    3) Government fiscal policy has very little impact on economic activity. The main reason is, like tax rates, the policy changes are always so small as to have negligible long term impact. The global economy is a beast all of it's own and it simply cannot be affected by any one government's policies.

    4) All our economic "booms" are accompanied and even caused by some sort of excess that takes a recession to cleanse. In the 1980's it was excesses in the Savings and Loan industry, in the 1990's it was excesses in the tech industry and the silly .com market, in 2000's it was excesses in housing market and it's mortgage industry. In the 2010's it will be something else, and it won't matter which party is in power, the economy doesn't care.
     

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