Monday, August 20, 2007

The things you think are precious I can't understand

Kevin at The American Street does the work so you don't have to:
With the housing bubble collapsing and the stock market in a serious correction, many economists believe the US faces a recession early next year. As I considered the actions impacting the US economy made by the Republican president, Republican Congress (in 2006, when the housing bubble collapse began) and the Fed - led by Republicans for at least the past quarter century -I began to wonder what the long term economic record was under Republican presidents. Here’s what I discovered:

Worst economy in US history: the Great Depression. Began in 1929 after nearly 9 years of Republican presidents (Harding, Coolidge, Hoover).

Worst recessions since the Great Depression: The worst was in 1982, under Ronald Reagan, which included unemployment above 10%. The second worst was in 1974, under Nixon, then Ford.

How bad is the current housing bubble collapse? The drop in national home sales and median home prices in March of 2007 was the worst since 1989, when George HW Bush was president following 8 years of another Republican, Reagan. Some analysts say if it continues, it could be the worst housing bubble collapse since the Great Depression.

Biggest previous spender, as President: Ronald Reagan, who spent more than all previous Presidents combined.

Biggest spender, all time, as President: George W. Bush, who’s spent more than all previous Presidents combined, like Reagan, and including Reagan’s record-breaking spending. The only expense that comes anywhere near the type of spending these two presidents did in all of US history was the cost of fighting World War II.

Total Aug 6 2007 national debt: $8.94 trillion, up $3 trillion from the debt Bush inherited. He never vetoed a single spending bill he received from the Republican Congress in his first six years, increasing annual spending by almost 50%.

In our current president’s first term budget requests (2001-2004), how much did the Republican Congress provide him in non-defense (domestic program) spending? $91 billion more than Bush asked for.

President Bush and the Republican Congress have doubled our foreign debt to more than $2 trillion. It took 42 presidents 224 years to build up the same level of foreign debt. For the first time ever, over half of our national debt is held by foreigners. In Fiscal Year 2006, the Republican government spent $406 Billion on interest payments to the holders of the National Debt.

Two presidents who produced budget surpluses that reduced the national debt three years in a row: Bill Clinton (1998-2000) and Harry Truman (1947-1949). The last time a Republican president came close, doing it twice: Dwight Eisenhower (1956-1957). The last time a Republican president did it at least one year: Ditto, Dwight Eisenhower (1957).

Largest unemployment increases within a one or two year period in the past 50 years:

1974-75 (Nixon/Ford): 3.6 million jobs lost
1991-92 (George HW Bush): 2.6 million jobs lost
2001-02 (George W Bush): 2.5 million jobs lost
1981-82 (Reagan): 2.4 million jobs lost
1970-71 (Nixon): 2.2 million jobs lost
1958 (Eisenhower): 1.7 million jobs lost

Americans living in poverty, 2001: 33 million
Americans living in poverty, 2007: 37 million

By playing with percentages or by counting the surplus held in the Social Security trust, Republicans often try to fudge the numbers to divert attention from these sobering facts. Yet under the Republican Congress, people earning the minimum wage waited a decade without an increase and, adjusted for inflation, minimum wage fell back to 1942 purchasing power levels before this year’s Democratic Congress finally pushed through an increase. That’s what they’ve done to the poorest workers in the country. For the rest of the country, most of the economic damage has been caused by overspending.

If every member of your household (including newborns) wrote a check today for $1,331, how much would your household write? That’s how much it costs your household for this year’s interest owed on the national debt. That’s not for a new bridge or levee, not for national defense, not for retirement, not for food to the hungry, not for education or healthcare, and not to pay down the principal on that national debt total. That’s for interest alone, paid to the people who hold our national debt. And 52% of that debt is held by foreigners now. It was less than 25% just two presidents ago.

The biggest spenders and the biggest borrowers in US history. That’s the real Republican economic record. That’s why we refer to the states that always vote Republican as ‘red states’. That red ink just leaks everywhere and is tougher than the dickens to get rid of.

It’s gonna be hard getting you and your kids and grandkids to write all those interest checks to the Japanese, the Communist Chinese government and those Saudi sheikhs, especially if job growth ends and wages don’t keep up. But I suppose you could always get a visa and go to China and India for work, where our big spenders sent so many American jobs.

Copied and pasted almost in its entirety, because it's just too good. Voting against one's own interest is an American right, sadly.

By the way, Lincoln's inclusion on the tie is truly dishonest, as the newly founded Republican Party was the liberal party during his time, and the Whigs were the more conservative party.

And Eisenhower, as represented by his timeless "military-industrial complex" quote, wouldn't recognize his party today.

And the bastards know both of those facts.