Harry Truman once said: “If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic.” Let’s take a look at the record going back to 1989 and see if Harry Truman knew what he was talking about.
During George H.W. Bush’s one term, only 2.7 million jobs were created. Median household income declined during his term as President. That was because the country went through a recession between 1990 to 1992.
During Bill Clinton’s eight years in office, more than 22 million jobs were created in eight years — the most ever under a single administration, and more than were created in the previous twelve years. Unemployment dropped from more than 7 percent in 1993 to just 4 percent in November 2000. After falling by nearly $2,000 between 1988 and 1992, the median family’s income rose by $6,338, after adjusting for inflation, during Clinton’s two terms.
According to the Wall Street Journal in 2009, George W. Bush had the worst jobs record of any president since World War II. (Trump will soon shatter Bush’s dubious record.) Only 3 million net jobs were created between 2001 and 2009. At the time Bush left office, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month. .
While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and eight million Americans lost health insurance. When Bush left office after 2008, the median income had fallen to $50,303. That’s a decline of 4.2 per cent. That leaves Bush with the dubious distinction of becoming the only president in recent history to preside over an income decline through two presidential term.
During the Obama Administration, the unemployment rate was reduced from 10% to 4.7%. In 2016 alone, the economy added 2.15 million jobs. Moreover, since the Bush recession ended in 2009, the economy had added 15.6 million jobs by the time Obama left office. President Obama had the best record of job creation since Bill Clinton’s second term.
Beginning in 2015, the economy began to create good jobs and working families experienced real wage growth for the first time since the Clinton Administration. According to the Census Bureau, real median household income increased by 5.2% between 2014 and 2015, while the official poverty rate dropped from 15% to 13.5%. The 5.2% growth was the largest, in percentage terms, since the 1960s. In 2016, hourly pay increased 2.9% from a year earlier, the biggest increase since 2007.
By 2016, median family household income was higher than it was at the onset of the recession in 2007. “We have recaptured all of the income losses that have occurred since the beginning of the last recession in December 2007,” according to Sentier Research’s Gordon Green, a former U.S. Census Bureau official.
Since Trump has taken office the unemployment rate has soared from 4.6% to 17%. Trump has increased the deficit from $585 billion to $3.7 trillion. (Remember all of that deficit fear mongering from the GOP during the Obama Administration? Where is the Tea Party?) Trump destroyed the economy in less than one term — it took Bush 43 two terms to do that.
Trump’s argument is that the economic collapse isn’t his fault and he was simply the victim of bad luck. (That was Hoover’s theory in 1932.) Trump didn’t cause the pandemic but his inept response made everything worse.
It didn’t have to be this bad. Trump did nothing for two and a half months after he was repeatedly warned by our intelligence services. The economic rescue packages were inadequate and a disproportionate amount of the money went to the rich. Other 1st world country rescue packages prioritized workers — not corporate bailouts. But for the Democrats in Congress, all of the money would’ve gone to the rich. Even then, the likes of Ben Sasse complained that workers got too much money.
It is no coincidence that this is the second consecutive Republican administration to lead the United States into disaster. This is the direct result of the GOP’s bankrupt governing philosophy that rejects science, expertise and government itself. The Republicans like to tell us that government doesn’t work and then they wreck government in order to prove it.
Can anyone look at the record of this Administration and say: Job well done! Keep up the good work! Let’s have 4 more years of this!