On today’s edition of The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, a conservative asked the question, “Can we all admit that this is no longer George W. Bush’s economy?” It’s a fair question. We are, after all, about to begin the sixth year of the Obama administration. So I, for one, am more than willing to concede the point. Even though Bush’s policies crashed the economy, slashing federal revenue through tax cuts for the wealthy and leaving us mired in two unfunded wars with annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion along with massive unemployment, this is no longer Bush’s economy.
It is now quite clearly President Obama’s.
So let’s review what has happened over the past five years. To begin, President Obama signed a stimulus plan that helped stem the bleeding. He gave loans to GM and Chrysler to save the US auto industry and tens of thousands of jobs. He withdrew troops from Iraq and has promised to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan this year. He lifted American spirits by giving the order to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. He expanded health care access to millions more Americans and stemmed out-of-control inflation of health care costs.
Under President Obama, we have seen a consistent rise in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and the stock markets. At the same time, we have seen a substantial drop in umemployment despite substantial cuts to the number of employees at all levels of government. Finally, under President Obama, we have seen the most rapid drop in the federal deficit in modern history!
And most of this has been accomplished despite a recalcitrant GOP-led House that would have us believe that the way to deal with a struggling economy is to cut federal spending and revenues. Counter to the advice of most every economist, the Teapublicans in Congress have voted against bills that would create jobs, bills that would rebuild infrastructure while interest rates are at historic lows, and programs that stimulate the economy while helping those who most need it.
So, yes indeed. This is President Obama’s economy. And it would be even better if the GOP would get out of the way!