When George W. Bush took office in January 2000, he inherited from President Bill Clinton a thriving economy with 10 years of projected budget surpluses ahead of us. It took Bush and the Republicans in charge of Congress only two years to turn the surplus into a $200 billion deficit. Then things really went off the rails.
By 2008, the Republicans had deregulated our businesses and instituted policies designed to stimulate the supply side. Somehow, the GOP managed to take an economic policy (supply-side) that has never, ever worked and turn it into a truly horrendous disaster that took the Dow from 12,500 to 6,600 and put millions out of work in short order.
By 2003, Bush and the Republicans had us involved in two wars and had destabilized an already dicey region costing us trillions in cash, lives and lost opportunities. Many people still erroneously believe that Saddam Hussein really had weapons of mass destruction. He did not.
Along came Barack Obama and Democratic control of the senate. Now, unemployment is 5.9 percent, and the Dow tap dances around 17,000. Over 13 million previously uninsured Americans have health insurance or have stayed on their parents’ policies, and there is significant evidence that “Obamacare” is slowing the previously out-of-control yearly increases in health care costs.
This year, the federal government will run the lowest deficit since the GOP broke our economy in 2008. The Democrats are dedicated to protecting Social Security, Medicare, universal health care insurance, voter rights and the social safety net that protects the less fortunate among us.
The really good news is that, because of the economic progress of the Obama administration, we can have all that and more.
Considering the above, why in the world would the American electorate be falling all over itself to give the Republicans another shot at total destruction?
The prevailing theory is that President Obama’s unpopularity is causing voters to flock to the party that thinks of most of us as takers. How can a president who has accomplished as much as Barack Obama has be so unpopular? It wouldn’t bode well for us if the answer to that question were racism or stupidity on the part of voters. So I choose to believe that, for some reason, folks are just too willing to believe the lies of the Republicans.
Take Bill Cassidy’s recent anti-Landrieu ads, for example. Cassidy’s campaign propaganda is 90 percent false, 9.9 percent misdirection and about 0.1 percent true. One thing that he gets right is that Landrieu votes with the president 97 percent of the time. Given the course of our recovery from the bone-headed policies promoted by the Republicans, I’m really concerned about the other percent.