When Bush took office America had a $235 billion budget surplus. Instead of continuing President Clinton’s successful policies Bush rolled out the Republican Party’s poisonous “trickle down” scheme and as usual the result was disaster. Bush squandered the Clinton surplus, gave big tax cuts to the wealthy, waged the Iraq war on the credit card and refused to provide government oversight in the mortgage-backed securities market which precipitated an economic crisis.
Bush’s legacy is the worst recession since the Great Depression. The auto industry floundered and the housing industry virtually collapsed. According to Market Watch the S&P 500 dropped 40 percent, the Dow Jones dropped 25 percent and the NASDAQ dropped 48 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the country had a net increase of only 1.3 million private sector jobs during Bush’s entire eight years and the unemployment rate rose to 7.8 percent. Moreover the Bush administration sent almost 5,000 young Americans to die in Iraq in an unfunded war based on deception about weapons of mass destruction. And all the while Osama bin Laden, the real perpetrator of 9/11, walked free. Instead of leaving a budget surplus for Obama, Bush left a $1.2 trillion deficit.
Contrast that with Obama’s record. According to the Congressional Budget Office the Bush rate of deficit spending has been cut in half from 10 percent of GDP under Bush to about 4 percent of GDP under Obama. Over 10 million private sector jobs have been created during 59 straight months of job growth and the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.7 percent.
According to Market Watch major stock indexes have averaged gains of more than 142 percent during Obama’s presidency. Under Obama the Bush recession has ended and the auto industry is strong and employing millions of workers directly and in supplier companies. The housing industry is recovering and corporate profits and stocks are at record highs. Gas prices are now about half as high as they were under Bush. Obama ended Bush’s unfunded $7 trillion war in Iraq and eliminated 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. More terrorists have been killed or captured under Obama than in Bush’s entire eight years.
So if it is bad policy and not race that has the Obama haters’ socks in a knot why don’t they hate the white president with the bad record instead of the black president with the good record? Obama is not perfect. No president is perfect and there’s nothing wrong with honest opposition. But the disgraceful Obama haters on the radical right who lie about his record and question his religion, his citizenship and his love of country are not honest opponents. They are petty bigots and they don’t have the courage to stand up and admit it.
Jerry Harkness lives in Shreveport.
The Roving Reporter