It’s six months before the 2012 Presidential election here in the US. Six months of droning pundits, rallies, and millions of dollars spent on advertising. For me it is all a waste of time and effort. I’m ready to vote now – the person to vote for is obvious because I sure don’t want to go back to the dark days of President George W Bush economic policies.
If you listen to the mainstream media you would think that 2001-2008 didn’t happen. That was the eight years we had President George W Bush in office. Remember the 2008 election when President Obama won. If Bush’s policies had been so great then why did Obama win by such a large margin. He got 10 million more votes than John McCain in one of the largest turn outs in decades.
In case you do have some memory loss here is what it was like during the Bush administration:
In breathtaking disregard for the most basic rules of fiscal propriety, the administration continued to cut taxes even as it undertook expensive new spending programs and embarked on a financially ruinous “war of choice” in Iraq. A budget surplus of 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (G.D.P.), which greeted Bush as he took office, turned into a deficit of 3.6 percent in the space of four years. The United States had not experienced a turnaround of this magnitude since the global crisis of World War II.
Agricultural subsidies were doubled between 2002 and 2005. Tax expenditures—the vast system of subsidies and preferences hidden in the tax code—increased more than a quarter. Tax breaks for the president’s friends in the oil-and-gas industry increased by billions and billions of dollars. Yes, in the five years after 9/11, defense expenditures did increase (by some 70 percent), though much of the growth wasn’t helping to fight the War on Terror at all, but was being lost or outsourced in failed missions in Iraq. Meanwhile, other funds continued to be spent on the usual high-tech gimcrackery—weapons that don’t work, for enemies we don’t have. In a nutshell, money was being spent everyplace except where it was needed. During these past seven years the percentage of G.D.P. spent on research and development outside defense and health has fallen. Little has been done about our decaying infrastructure—be it levees in New Orleans or bridges in Minneapolis. Coping with most of the damage will fall to the next occupant of the White House.
Although it railed against entitlement programs for the needy, the administration enacted the largest increase in entitlements in four decades—the poorly designed Medicare prescription-drug benefit, intended as both an election-season bribe and a sop to the pharmaceutical industry. As internal documents later revealed, the true cost of the measure was hidden from Congress. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies received special favors. To access the new benefits, elderly patients couldn’t opt to buy cheaper medications from Canada or other countries. The law also prohibited the U.S. government, the largest single buyer of prescription drugs, from negotiating with drug manufacturers to keep costs down. As a result, American consumers pay far more for medications than people elsewhere in the developed world.
But that was President Bush right not Mitt Romney – the all but official GOP candidate for the 2012 election.
Romney’s economic plan is a repeat of Bush’s MBA economic mastery that gave over $4 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy and deregulated the financial sector paving the way for the economic crash heard round the world. Willard promises to give $6.5 to $6.7 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations and repeal the Democrat’s financial reform law so Wall Street and corporate banks can repeat the practices that created the Great Recession. Romney asked the President, “Where are the jobs,” and said the President’s “policies have failed.” Willard claims the economy would be creating 500,000 jobs each month if his policies of heaping more tax breaks on the wealthy and giving the financial sector free-rein were implemented and besides being absurd, it is an insult to Americans to assert that returning to Bush’s economic policies would have any different effect now, than they did four years ago. Romney also said “undoing the damage you’ve done will be a daunting challenge” and that “I’ve learned a thing or two about how government policies can kill private investment and stifle job creation and I have a plan to get government out of the way.” Here’s Willard’s problem; Americans have lived through his plan for eight long years, and using his self-professed business acumen will not produce different results than the last MBA president.
Not to mention that Mitt Romney was against the bail out of the auto industry and the stimulus that stopped us from going into a depression.
The only people who want to “return” to those dark days of the Bush administration are wealthy people, CEOs, oil barons, and white men.
The rest of us – the 99% – want to give President Obama another term. We have to re-elect him or the rest of us will see a regression in our economic and social lives. We also need to elect members of Congress who will support all of us and not just the people with the money.
Who do you want to run the country? “We the people” or the check books of Wall Street?
I’ve made my choice. I’m ready to vote now.