Originally Posted by jimmac
Ok. You don't remember all the things we said about Bush while he was in office. How he didn't seem to be exactly a model conservative or moreover he seem to not know what the hell he was doing. He seemed to care more about seeking revenge on Saddam than anything. And here we are or more to the point there we were at the end of his 8 years in office with a huge mess.
Actually I've shown my memory was pretty darn good about what was said during those times. I can tell you exactly what you said and show how people were critical of Bush but that the bar has completely moved when compared to Obama.
First Bush had a very early recession, it had already started when he entered office. The tech bubble was popping right as he was inaugurated. We all remember the endless (selective) recounts and the Supreme Court decision that ended them. Then Jeffords switched parties and gave the Democrats control of the Senate. Bush decided to very much cut a middle ground. He got his tax cuts passed through as a recession fighting measure including a 50-50 vote in the Senate broken by the vote of the Vice President. The vote was so close that reconciliation was used and that was why, per the Byrd rule the tax cuts could only last ten years.
The economy went into recession but quickly came back out. We had 9/11 occur and went to war with the vote of Congress. Bush also pressed for and had passed No Child Left Behind, overseen in the Senate by Ted Kennedy and the Medicare Part D. We went from surpluses to deficits of 200-250 billion a year. There were jobs galore but you specifically called them McJobs and declared that every had to have three of them to get by.
Bush was reelected and had in 2002 and 2004 managed to improve the fortunes of his party both times in both the Senate and House bucking historical trends. The left began to lose their minds at losing so much and were more than willing to attempt to out conservative conservatives in an attempt to get elected. There was also some rot on the vine. There was a string of ethical lapses that helped damage the brand. Democrats in 2006 ran on cleaning up ethics, instituting PAYGO to get rid of deficits and were elected by claiming conservatives were no longer good conservatives and they would actually be better than them at fiscal responsibility.
The yearly deficits instantly went up to $400 billion a year starting in 2006. Obama won his parties nomination and the Republicans ran John McCain who was not an inspiring nor especially conservative candidate. Obama ran on promising a small tax cut, promised to end the war and bring the savings from it home to address fiscal matters aka a peace dividend. He promised health care reform without a mandate (a point he specifically used to beat Clinton with) and he promised to get our fiscal house in order while improving the economy.
We have three official wars, more unofficial war powers, trillion dollar deficits and a stimulus that was a political payback rather than building infrastructure.
Now I've never thought this recession, downturn, or what ever label you want to put on it was something that anyone could solve in just a few years. It's not like any of the recessions we've experienced in our lives. More like something our parents or grandparents ( depending on how old you are ) experienced in the early 1930's.
This recession is not unique but did have more to work through in terms of reallocating resources because housing and construction had become such a bubble. The government has not attempted to allow these bubbles to properly deflate and to let the economy reallocate the resources. It has spent billions attempting to reinflate the bubble with massive cash grants for buying housing and cash for clunkers as examples. This stops the economy from healing itself. Also multiple bills, all unread and thousands of pages long have created what amounts to a hiring strike as businesses and others cannot tell what is going on and do not act on uncertainty. Will they be able to get a line of credit? No one knows because no one knows or understands the outcome of the financial reform bill. The same is true for health care. So spending trillions to stop the economy from reconfiguring itself and passing thousand page unread and unknown bills is what has created this prolonged recession rather than letting the economy recover. There is all the belief that government borrowing and spending is somehow different and better than private spending and does not crowd it out of the marketplace. This clearly is wrong on several levels.
You seem to be indicating that only Democrats are to blame for it's start. I think there's enough blame to go around to everybody.
Economic cycles do happen and when Bush had his to address, he did. He did not do it in a fiscally conservative enough manner for all Republicans, myself included but he did address it. The economy righted itself. Bush had to face reelection in 2004 having dealt with a bubble popping as he was entering office. He did address it and thus was reelected. He could not have, nor did he claim that it was impossible to address due to Clinton having been in office for eight years. Likewise the War on Terror could be viewed much the same. We had been lobbing things at Iraq, dealing with terrorism and dealing with specific leaders and countries in the Middle East for decades before Bush was elected. He couldn't declare a lack of resolve to address or attempt to fix the matter because of the prior time-frame.
Now if I were to take what you've said at face value I'd have to conclude that the Republicans have been extremely ineffective. The reason is that they've had the Whitehouse for 32 out of the last 63 years and in more recent times ( say oh since the Carter administration ) they've had it for ( measuring from 2008 approx. ) 20 out of 27 years! What happened? They've had ample time to fix things. They've had plenty of time to fix anything those evil democrats have done. So why are things so fucked up? Now you can say that part of that time congress and the senate have been contolled by the democrats but not all of it and they have had large blocks of time when the government had republicans controlling all three arms of government. So what happened?
Part of it is pretty simple. Having the presidency isn't the same as having Congress. The majority of that time we not only had a Democratic Congress, it was profoundly majority Democrat. Republicans did not control the House until 1994 for the first time ending over 40 years of Democratic control there. They did not have large blocks of time when they controlled all three blocks of government. They never controlled the House under Nixon, Ford or Bush I. They had control of the House for six years under Bush II and control of the Senate for 4 years.
The third arm, which I'm hoping you mean as the Judiciary, is not very conservative. Republican presidents did not hold the house as I mentioned and often had either the slimmest of majorities in the Senate or none at all which meant a very hidden or moderate ideological candidate. Bush I gave us Clarence Thomas when there was a Senate majority (and we all remember how those confirmation hearings went.) The second nomination was David Souter who ended up voting with the liberal wing of the court.
Here is what Wikipedia notes on Reagan and judiciary.During his 1980 campaign, Reagan pledged that, if given the opportunity, he would appoint the first female Supreme Court Justice. That opportunity came in his first year in office when he nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Potter Stewart. In his second term, Reagan elevated William Rehnquist to succeed Warren Burger as Chief Justice, and named Antonin Scalia to fill the vacant seat. Reagan nominated conservative jurist Robert Bork to the high court in 1987. Senator Ted Kennedy, a Democrat of Massachusetts, strongly condemned Bork, and great controversy ensued. Bork's nomination was rejected 5842. Reagan then nominated Douglas Ginsburg, but Ginsburg withdrew his name from consideration after coming under fire for his cannabis use. Anthony Kennedy was eventually confirmed in his place. Along with his three Supreme Court appointments, Reagan appointed 83 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 290 judges to the United States district courts. His total of 376 appointments is the most by any president.
Reagan also nominated Vaughn R. Walker, who would later be revealed to be the earliest known homosexual federal judge, to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. However, the nomination stalled in the Senate, and Walker was not confirmed until he was renominated by Reagan's successor, George H. W. Bush.
That is a man who won 49 states batting .500 on nominees.
If they have all the answers or are superior to democrats or even if you want to put the primary responsibility on them for the bad times we are experiencing the numbers just don't add up.
The numbers do add up. Republicans have held limited and often fragmented power and when they do, have to engage in a moderate agenda often with the media going immediately to war with them due to bias.
What we need is for both sides to work together. As painful as that might be to get out of this situation that we've created for ourselves that's what we have to do. However what I'm seeing from the conservative side is that they are only interested in winning. That's their primary goal. Get Obama out of office at any cost. It doesn't matter who runs in 2012 as long as they're the one who'll beat Obama. Helping the american people is secondary.
There's no side to fiscal responsibility. The numbers are becoming bad enough now that we will either confront it or decline.
I've said Boomers will choose decline and that will be true regardless of party.
In my mind though one thing is certain. This downturn isn't something that could be fixed in just a few years by anyone. That's the hard truth. We came very close to real hard times. Not just businesses folding but bread lines etc. And if this recovery isn't handled correctly we could still end up there. The effects of the Great Depression lasted for more than a decade. What makes anyone think this was something that could be fixed in 3 or 4 years? I'm thinking we may see an end to this ( for the most part as some of the effects will be with us for a lifetime ) around maybe 2014. That's pretty quick considering what happened. And it could be longer if someone gets in there after the next election and does something stupid.
The economy could quickly get back on track. Large segments of housing are very close to being sorted through already but the uncertainty now is again, being created by government, not business. There is also the matter of currency destruction, possible bond downgrades due to the government not being able to stop spending, attempts to hold on rather than expand when crony-capitalism is more prevalent due to Obama, etc