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But it was broken when I got here!
August 7, 2002 3:44 PM   Subscribe

But it was broken when I got here! New numbers indicate that the recession started before Bush came to office. Do Bush's statements succeed in making him less responsible for the recession in the eyes of the public? Do these kinds of statements restore people's faith in the economy?
posted by rks404 (24 comments total)

 
No, they just show what brazen scam artists Bush and Cheney are. It'll catch up with them, hopefully sooner rather than later.

"The economy's fine! We're turning around! Pay no attention to that downward-spiraling stock market! And oh yeah, the screwed-up economy isn't my fault."

I guess if the American people on average or as a whole are stupid enough to swallow this whole, maybe they (we) deserve what we get?

I dunno, it's just really depressing anymore.
posted by beth at 3:56 PM on August 7, 2002


Yeah...if the economy had anything to do with the Executive Branch, I'd love to give credit to Clinton for the boom and the bust, which both occurred under his terms in office. Sadly, the President is simply the winner when the money is good and loser when the chips are down.
posted by BlueTrain at 4:01 PM on August 7, 2002


I claim no real knowledge of how policy affects the economy, but I've always heard that it takes 8-10 years to see the effects after changes have been made. How true is that?
posted by ligeia at 4:04 PM on August 7, 2002


I've always heard that it takes 8-10 years to see the effects after changes have been made. How true is that?

This depends. Are you a liberal or a conservative?
posted by rocketman at 4:10 PM on August 7, 2002


Inasmuch as Bush and Cheney spent two years spouting off about how we were in recovery and playing the violin as the economic Rome burned, they must be considered culpable. Apparently, though, they believe that the American people are stupid enough to let them have their cake and eat it too.
posted by shagoth at 4:11 PM on August 7, 2002


Sadly, the President is simply the winner when the money is good and loser when the chips are down.

Reminds me of something Vonnegut wrote, I think it was in "Jailbird", that when it comes to "guiding" the nation (and in this case, the economy) the president is essentially sitting in a baby-car seat with a plastic steering wheel and little tootie horn, pretending to drive. That's an oversimplification, especially now that we are in an era where perception can mean so much to actual economic health, but I love that image.

That aside, i think Bush and Clinton share culpability for the ever-bursting bubble, Clinton for aiding and abetting the corporate finaglers, and Bush for his blatant Enronization of the federal budget.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:13 PM on August 7, 2002


excuse me, share some culpability.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:13 PM on August 7, 2002


I'm sorry, but the buck stops where?
All they can do is blame Clinton--maybe they could try actually doing something.

And speaking of Enronization-this was rich:
The current Bush administration's claim that it inherited a recession from Clinton became somewhat more credible last week, when the Commerce Department REVISED its estimates of GDP...hmm....revised the estimates...we know they know how to cook the books
posted by amberglow at 4:26 PM on August 7, 2002


I agree that presidents in general have little direct power over the economy, but they do affect things like consumer confidence and investor confidence and can certainly affect markets negatively with ill-timed comments. So, when a president just passes the buck and indulges in finger pointing, it strikes me that he doesn't really have any answers or even any insight in solving the problem and is just covering his ass.
posted by rks404 at 4:27 PM on August 7, 2002


So, when a president just passes the buck and indulges in finger pointing, it strikes me that he doesn't really have any answers or even any insight in solving the problem and is just covering his ass.

You mean like these threads, where Gore and Clinton are pointing their fingers at the Republicans? I find it amusing that left-leaners here are constantly pointing fingers toward the right for anything, but when the right points back, the only defense is, "They should do something and stop pointing fingers!" Please stop with the hypocritical politicking and lead by example.
posted by BlueTrain at 4:36 PM on August 7, 2002


To put it bluntly, BlueTrain, I agree. I think that finger pointing is a bad thing and just because one person does it doesn't make it right for someone else to do it. So this is the time when Bush can show his moral superiority and not indulge in finger pointing.

By the way, I'm not a "left-leaner". I'm pretty much independent in my political views.
posted by rks404 at 4:45 PM on August 7, 2002


The Bush administration has blamed Clinton for any and every problem that has occurred since he took office. Personally, I don't care to listen to the excuses; they're pretty derned predictable, to say the least.

What I would like to know is: what has Bush done well since he took office? Name one area where he has demonstrated good judgement that led to even mediocre results.

To me, this presidency has been predictable: Duh-Bya has been fucking up since he was at Yale, where he definitely would never have gotten in without his connections. From there he went and fucked up a bunch of oil companies that were handed to him by connections. Now he is fucking up the entire country, which was handed to him through connections.

Fortunately he's now run the entire gamut, and I think by the time he leaves office (crosses fingers) we will be at our all-time low, a GREAT TIME TO INVEST!
posted by zekinskia at 4:56 PM on August 7, 2002


There happened to be a number of bills sent to Congress that would have clamped down and regulated the coroporations and the GOP managed to kill them.
But to the point: When the Clintonites got the economy going and the deficit gone, the GOP claimed that that too had begun unde theRepublicans! Hey, wait. What about those tax give backs and the grand deficit we now have--the GOP, alas, blames it all on the war on terror but we were in fact going well into deficit before 9/11 because of givebacks. And now, instead of clamping down on tax givebacks, the GOP is calling for still more!
Ah, well. I am old so I don't give a hoot. You young buckies, though, may pay a bit more attention as social security gets raided and then perhaps privatized--your money in this stable stock market!@
posted by Postroad at 5:20 PM on August 7, 2002


"I know there's a surplus around here somewhere.... It was right here under the national mattress.... Hey! Biff, Mindy - where'd you get that snazzy new Beamer?"

"We got the Bush tax cut! Say goodbye surplus and hello conspicous upper class consumption!"
posted by owillis at 5:34 PM on August 7, 2002


Speaking as a liberal Democrat who admits it when he's wrong...

I thought at the time that the Bush tax refund was a bad idea. Bush's reason for wanting last year's tax refund was dubious. But the refunds came in the mail in the middle of last year's recession, giving taxpayers a little extra money to use as they saw fit. Can anyone argue in good faith that those early tax refunds did nothing to ameliorate the recession? No matter how much you dislike and disagree with Bush, you must admit that those tax checks kept the recession from being worse than it was.

I have talked with an economist who says the recession began in response to the Florida recount mess. If so, you can blame Gore, Bush or my county's moronic elections supervisor. Yes, I live in Palm Beach County.
posted by Holden at 6:09 PM on August 7, 2002


How can numbers be new?
posted by pekar wood at 6:19 PM on August 7, 2002


No matter how much you dislike and disagree with Bush, you must admit that those tax checks kept the recession from being worse than it was.

All you can say for certain is that it bolstered the consumer confidence numbers and hid the real recession until the productivity and other numbers could be really counted. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing and had there not been mounting deficits, corporate scandals and a war on shadows it might have made a difference in the economy today. However, it turns out to have been peeing on a forest fire in terms of impact and medium to long term effect.
posted by shagoth at 6:21 PM on August 7, 2002


Pekar, I feel very trivial for answering this, but ...
According to dictionary.com, definition #5 of number is:

A total; a sum:

So they added the revised numbers together and got a new sum.
posted by rks404 at 6:27 PM on August 7, 2002


the recession began in response to the Florida recount mess

Doesn't that make it Nader's fault?

(duck)
posted by hob at 6:49 PM on August 7, 2002


The President doesn't really have that much control over the economy, and it was already in a slide by the time GWB took office.

That said: I'd rather hear what he will try to do to fix the problem, rather than simply blaming Klin-ton.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:11 PM on August 7, 2002


"Do these kinds of statements restore people's faith in the economy?" That's the damn problem, trying to restore people's faith in the economy rather than actually restoring the economy! See the difference? If you can convince the people that the toilet isn't leaking then they'll sit down and crap on their own shoes, all the while thanking and reelecting you, while those with the special sunglasses (Hoffman lenses) refuse to sit on a broken crapper, and realizing it's never really going to get fixed, just go dig a hole in their backyard.
posted by Mack Twain at 8:50 PM on August 7, 2002


All politicians that have power are indebted to the monied classes, Dems or Reps, that is obvious, but some of them are absolutely blinded by greed and others only partially blind. Clinton was and is a total scumbag, but he did try and reform accounting practices in his second term (maybe Greenspan was clutching his arm and whispering desperately into his ear?) when the economy was so obviously inflating out of control. What rational person can believe that unlimited yearly double digit growth is feasible or even desirable? People in the know had to have at least suspected that the books were cooked. But the Republican controlled houses squashed those attempts and the scumbag (there are a lot of them in DC) that led the special interest lobbying groups that helped derail those reforms was then named by Bush2 and Cheney as the HEAD OF THE SEC! (his name doesn´t occur to me right now, but this is easy to research). Corporate responsibility, indeed.

Bush2 and Cheney have done nothing to help the economy (except to make their very exclusive class richer with tax cuts--number 1 on the agenda) and before they were in power they did plenty in the private sector to help bring us to our current mess (along with many other greedy multi-millionaire CEO's). Bush2 is particularly special in that his business history is marked by a constant and amazing ineptitude that inexplicably made him a millionaire many times over mostly due to people (suspiciously) bailing him out with ridiculously sweet deals for unknown reasons (oh, his daddy was president or vice president at the time, but I´m sure that has nothing to do with it because politicians never do special favors to help the retarded sons of idiot millionaires, especially if the politician doing the favor is the very idiot millionaire in question).

So blame Clinton, blame Bush1 or 2, hell, blame Reagan, his deregulation of the banking industry caused similar problems with the S&L meltdown in the 80's. That cost American taxpayers what, 150 BILLION dollars? And only a short recession that Bush 1 fixed up with a war...

I wonder how much these scandals are going to cost us not only in money but in human life.

I love this system, don´t you?.
posted by sic at 5:23 AM on August 8, 2002


Blame Canada.
posted by riviera at 5:31 AM on August 8, 2002


It's so good to know "the grownups are in charge now" and this is the "era of responsibility." I feel so good about it perhaps I'll go out and buy a bunch of Enron, Harken, Hallabortion and WorldCom stock!
What a relief to know that this too is "Clinton's fault." And I thought he was only guilty of getting a blowjob, silly me!

I am now totally convinced that the NYSE tanking every time Dubya speaks is totally coincidental and that the problems in Brazil are absolutely unrelated to Paul O'Neill opening his mouth and spewing forth garbage wisdom and that Argentina has problems totally unrelated to the regime's isolationist/unilateralist position on assistance.



What was I thinking that these "adults in charge" have any kind of influence on world markets? Well, duh!
posted by nofundy at 8:34 AM on August 8, 2002


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