The partisan battle over President Barack Obama's stimulus package intensified Thursday, just as federal officials reported higher-than-expected claims for unemployment benefits.
Well, the "battle" should intensify further after today's hideous employment report showing six hundred thousand jobs lost during the last month of the Bush era, plus upward revisions to job loss totals in previous months. As Ritholtz notes, "For the first time since records began in 1939, there were three consecutive months of 500k+ job losses... Household survey showed a record 1.24 million job plunge (Since data began in 1950)". Again, where are the conservatives who waved the household survey numbers around during the mid 2000's, claiming it was evidence of the great "Bush Boom", and claiming the payroll statistics were undercounting the development of a vast "E-Bay nation" of self-employed entrepreneurs?
If we should judge a war by the peace that follows it, should we judge a "boom" by the recession that follows it? I don't know. Something to meditate on...
The T-P article continues
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, rejected Obama's arguments that the Bush administration tax cuts were a failure.
"History shows us that tax cuts have proven to grow the economy and increase revenues to the federal government while also creating jobs," Scalise said.
That's an interesting claim! Let's assess it in terms of recent history by comparing revenue growth after the Clinton tax increases of 1993 and after the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003.
And those 2008 numbers are preliminary, they will worsen with future revisions. The chart below is from 2006, the apex of the so-called Bush Boom, and it uses the Office of Management and Budget's (rosiest?) revenue projections.
Those 2000-2011 numbers will also worsen dramatically, but I wanted to show you how the comparisons looked during the "best" of the BushBoom era.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who on Wednesday failed in his attempt to trim more than $50 billion in spending from the $900 billion Senate stimulus package, said he worries the extra spending will put the country on a spiral of deficit spending for many years to come.
Isn't it funny how Republicans only act like fiscal conservatives when they are out of power? Not that trimming $50 billion from $900 billion will avert a "spiral of deficit spending" anyway, but isn't that rhetoric a nice touch? I wonder what Vitty-cent said to his so-called conservative colleagues in 2005 when he (and Landrieu) presented their $250 billion Gulf Coast recovery proposal in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? ("There's no pork in this! Why are you guys suddenly concerned with deficits? This is an emergency, we need to act quickly!")
"I'm afraid the president is reverting to partisan campaign rhetoric rather than forging bipartisan solutions. I don't know anyone -- Democrat or Republican -- who wouldn't trade in the current economy for the job growth that the Bush, Reagan and Kennedy tax cuts produced," Vitter said.
Vitty-cent, we're in a recession that started in December 2007. Bush left office a couple weeks ago. The current economy IS the one that Bush's tax cuts produced, you high-hung nincompoop!
So now, according to Vitty-cent, Bush-- Bush!-- is in the conservative pantheon of tax-cutting job growers. Recall that while he campaigned in 2000, Bush promised to create 5 million jobs between 2001-2004. He ended up with around zero net jobs. (I know, I know, "Nobody [except for those insiders at the Japanese embassy] could've predicted... etc".)
Now, if we include the preliminary January employment numbers in Bush's total (as we should), his net increase is around 2.3 million jobs over 8 years. That's less than a quarter of the net jobs total that occurred during the Carter Administration. In other words, more net jobs were created during one year of the one-term Carter Administration than during the entirety of the two-term Bush administration! Yet Vitty is now looking back on the Job growth during the Bush years as some sort of high point!
The reason? Bush cut taxes by $2.1 trillion and it is imperative for conservatives to revise history to make these tax cuts look "successful", especially in terms of revenues and job growth.
The simple truth is that the tax cuts were not successful. They were a failure. The tax cuts did not do what was promised in terms of revenue growth or job growth. (James Livingston goes much further, arguing that the tax cuts for the wealthy actually helped cause the current financial crisis.)
Do you want to know the dirtiest little secret about the nature of the job growth during the Bush Presidency? Look at the middle chart in this NYT graphic showing the growth in Federal Government jobs during the Bush administration versus Private Sector job growth. Then compare it to the Clinton administration. (Btw, this chart is a year old. The disparity is far greater now. Click to enlarge.)
In sum, what did the tax cutting Bush era deliver to us, in net terms? A paltry few government jobs... financed by China.
Vitty, you high-hung nincompoop, stick to the shit you know.
Well I don't know much about economics or Honeybees... but I suppose I could look into some matters where I do have expertise.