Monday, May 08, 2006

Of Knights and Grinches: How George Bush Stole Christmas and Lost Camelot!

Not too long ago when the United States was at peace, there was a budget surplus, the economy was growing, the unemployment rate was low, and there was hope.

The Census Bureau was able to report that lower and middle income earners had made gains, having lost ground precipitously throughout the back to back Reagan/Bush debacles. For one brief shining moment, a privileged elite was no longer making gains at everyone else's expense. People were optimistic. Peace, if precarious in Palestine, seemed achievable.

But there was trouble in Camelot. An evil plot was hatched. The conspirators would impeach the President and install a modern day Mordred as Der Fuhrer. And they would steal the votes to do it! And, by DieBold and SCOTUS they did!

Not everyone, it seemed, liked peace and prosperity. Some were envious of scholarship and talent. Others were put off by sex —or so they said. Others coveted oil and empire and would murder for it. Even amidst prosperity it was quipped: a Republican is never so miserable as when times are good.

There were teeth grinding grinches who looked down on the whos in whoville and determined then and there that it was time to put an end to the good times. An entire group of people said with one voice: we have a scheme!

Let the rich get richer, they said in codes and propaganda. Let corporations get away with murder; let a never-ending war be started; let the Congress be castrated; pack the court and attack the independent judiciary and let the lobbyists dictate the agenda. Wealth, they knew, would trickle UP! To them!

These grinches were known as "Republicans".

They have all but succeeded:

In normal times it would be obvious that there is something seriously wrong with an entire class that wishes for bad times. And wishing for bad times is bad enough; but, historically, the GOP not only wishes for bad times, it gets them. Let's take a look at the history before it gets re-written:

  • Any Democratic President has presided over greater economic growth and job creation than any Republican President since World War II.

  • When Bush Jr took office, job creation was worst under a Republican, Bush Sr, at 0.6% per year; best under a Democrat, Johnson, at 3.8% per year. The GOP record hasn't gotten any better over the last five years. Senior's record will either stand or be replaced by Jr.

  • Economic growth under President Carter was far greater than under Reagan or Bush Sr. In fact, economic growth in general was greater under Johnson, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton than under Reagan or Bush.

  • The job creation rate under Clinton was 2.4% significantly higher Ronald Reagan's 2.1% per year.

  • The "top performing Presidents" by this standard, in order from best down, were Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy. The "worst" were Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush being worst with Reagan in the middle.

  • Half of jobs created under Reagan were in the public sector--some 2 million jobs added to the Federal Bureaucracy. Hadn't he promised to reduce that bureaucracy?

  • Reagan, though promising to reduce government and spending, tripled the national debt and left huge deficits to his successor.

  • By contrast, most of the jobs created on Clinton's watch were in the private sector.

  • Put another way: Any Democratic President chosen at random beats any Republican President chosen at random since World War II.

Even now, however, you will often hear a "grinch" repeat one of the most absurd lies to ever cross the lips of a Republican. That is, the Reagan tax cut of 1982 caused the Clinton prosperity of the middle to late 90's! In effect, we are asked to believe the fairy tale that the bad effects of Reagan's tax cut for the wealthy in 1982 were to be felt in the form of a 16 month recession then, but the "good" effects of the same tax cut were not to be experienced for a full generation later under Clinton! Absurd!

GOP Fairy Tales told to li'l GOP kiddies to help them sleep at night!

Even if it were true that Reagan's tax cut stimulated the economy, the effects adjusted for inflation over some 20 years is negligible. Wealth, we were told, would "trickle down"! But having to wait some 20 years for that to happen is a lousy return on investment. Time is money and lost time is lost money. But the GOP spin machine expects you to buy into their charade.

But Bush's numbers continue to slide into oblivion. He has "negative" coat tails, meaning GOPPERS are running from him. It's already at the point where the GOP would benefit more from his impeachment than would Democrats. Nancy Pelosi promises that, as Speaker of the House, she will use the power of the subpoena to fully investigate Bush's mal-administration. At this point, I would think the Republican party would be happy to see his sorry back side and wince.

And almost as soon as I finished the above post, a highly interesting update appeared:

Bush approval rating hits new low of 31%

Only four presidents have scored lower

By Susan Page, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.

The survey of 1,013 adults, taken Friday through Sunday, shows Bush's standing down by 3 percentage points in a single week. His disapproval rating also reached a record: 65%. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission

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