The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by solvs, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #1
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/12/bush200712

    It goes on to talk about the squandered surplus, and expands from there. It's long, but an interesting read. One that, sadly, as usual will probably not be read by those who need to read it the most. And for anyone else who thinks the economy is doing great, here's more:

    Inflation Is Getting Worse

    Unless you're very rich:

    Report Says That the Rich Are Getting Richer Faster, Much Faster
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    We will be cleaning up many messes after BushCo. Its a good argument to elect Clinton who else is better qualified then the Clintons to clean up and undo all the progress BushCo destroyed?
    Bush has his legacy and thats a needless war and a empty Bank.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Nuthin' like a little rewrite of history: In FDR's first campaign, he castigated Hoover for spending too many tax dollars in "pump priming". The rewrite is that Hoover didn't spend enough. Sure, it might not have been enough, in reality; but he did not have an unlimited amount available to him. Remember how large (or small) the sources of income were.

    Anyhow: Employment figures have long been skewed; unemployment numbers don't count under-employed or those who are discouraged and not seeking employment.

    Bush and Congress (both parties) share the blame with the Fed for many of the factors which have been coming together these last several years. Just as Clinton was not at fault for the eight-trillion-dollars of losses in the pop of the dot-com bubble, Bush is not solely to blame for the housing crunch.

    But that's beside the point: IMO and of many others, we've merely seen the tip of the iceberg. The next president is gonna be dealing with a worsening economic situation through the first two and probably three years of the first (only?) term.

    To judge the propriety of the reduction in tax rates, the thing to examine is the income to the federal government: If it's risen over these last six years, the change was an improvement. Odds are that it has; that's what occurred under JFK and Reagan. Lower tax rates always have led to more economic activity. The increase in activity leads to an increase in the tax-take.

    'Rat
     
  4. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #4
    How anyone can look at the economic prosperity of the past 7 years (heck the past 20 years) and look at it as something to clean up after I'll never understand.
     
  5. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #5
    How you can say that the last 7 years have been prosperous is beyond me.
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #6
    The actual question would be if the revenue for the federal government has grown more than it would have without the tax cuts, and also what would have happened to US GDP without the tax cuts. Economies tend to grow.
     
  7. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #7
    Must be all the record low unemployment, the rise in housing prices, the stockmarket, the low inflation, low interest rates, etc. You're not saying that the recent downturn in some of these things negates the benefit that millions have had on the upswing I hope.

    But don't just trust the government numbers. Just open the mutual funds pages and look at how many funds are doing well. Certainly there are sectors that aren't, but it's obvious which ones are making gains and which ones aren't.

    I only wish we could suffer this kind of economy for the next twenty years. We could if we'd stop loaning money to people that can't pay it back.
     
  8. solvs thread starter macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #8
    Because he only cares about how it's been for him, not for everyone. Overall, it hasn't been great and will only get worse. Had a he read the links, he'd know that.
     
  9. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    You mean the economy that has Greenspan talking about recession? General indicators tell us the US economy is severely weakening. Record low dollar vs. euro, falling interest rates, foreclosures left and right.

    We can't suffer this kind of economy for the next 20 years. Doing so will allow China to become more of an economic powerhouse than America.

    If you want a real index to look at, take a look at the CPI when food and energy is included.
     
  10. solvs thread starter macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    I wonder if anyone who grouses over "all" the money we spend on social programs, have a problem with this evidence of fiscal conservatism:

    Billions in Aid to Pakistan Was Wasted, Officials Assert

     
  11. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #11
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    "...some American officials now acknowledge that there were too few controls over the money."

    That's the history of ALL our foreign aid programs. That''s why the leaders of many thugocracies have fat Swiss bank accounts.

    Regardless, we've spent far more on internal do-good than on all our foreign aid programs combined.

    As far as Bush's policies and our economy, outsourcing began long before Bush I or Bush II. When high-dollar/hr jobs are replaced by low-dollar/hr jobs, it's not the president who's "sending those jobs overseas".

    miloblithe, money taken as taxes is not available for savings or investment--which are what makes an economy grow.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    The Bush tax cuts have not even managed to pay for themselves.

    The idea that they have is a myth propagated by those with a vested interest in being at the top of the Voodoo Economics Pyramid.
     
  14. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #14
    Speaking of Voodoo Economics, how darkly ironic is it that W's own father came up with that phrase? And that it was prophetic, given what the 1980s brought us.
     
  15. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #15
    The economic theory is solid. You just can't have congress siphoning off the surplus faster than it comes in though which is what happened.

    I guess I'm the only person in America that's benefited from the last 20 years of economic expansion. Amazing. :D
     
  16. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #16
    Government spending can be and often is investment (infrastructure, health, education, technology). A healthy economy makes the best use of both government and private investment.

    and savings? well, in terms of economic growth, savings are important in that they are used for investment.

    And Rat, if you're serious about this stuff, you'd know that the US has a terrible savings and correspondingly low investment rate. The fact is, you give people in the US more disposable income, they use most of it to buy imports (ok, that's hyperbole--they use if for consumption).
     
  17. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #17
    I wonder how much of that is due to Social Security and people believing the myth that the 15% of their income they contribute to it their entire working lives is not saved for their retirement.

    We have so many investment options here in the states - both tax free and tax deferred - that there is no reason for the low savings rates that people have.
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #18
    Swarmlord, that's not what investment means in economic terms.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investment#Economics

    (also, payroll taxes are 6.2% by employee and 6.2% by employer.)

    Undoubtedly, the existence of social security is a disincentive for saving for retirement, and accordingly is part of the savings picture. But the fact is SS has existed for what, 70 years? Young people today have less faith that SS will be around when they retire, and yet, savings rates today are the lowest they've been since the depression, (i.e., lower than when people had complete confidence in SS). So there are clearly many other and/or larger factors at play.
     
  19. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #19
    The percentage paid by the employer is money that is part of your compensation. Like taxes, the employer doesn't really pay them. Either you do as an employee or the customer that purchases the product. The 15% I quoted (rounded) includes the amount paid for medicare too. It's money out of our pockets that we could be using to pay for our own retirement and medical care.
     
  20. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    That's debatable. Who's to say whether employers would add the employer contribution to SS to our paychecks if SS were eliminated?

    But do you see my point about how even though people have less faith that SS will be around when they retire, they are still saving less? That doesn't exactly strengthen your argument, which is why, I guess, you're snipping the point.
     
  21. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #21
    It's calculated in the cost of the employee to the employer. Whether it's paid to the employee or to the government matters not to the employer.

    I agree that confidence in social security has dropped to about zero and that savings rates have dropped too. I think that the mindset that social security or some sort of "system" has been engrained in the subconscious so much in the past two generations that even the conscious realization that it really doesn't exist doesn't cause people to adjust their behavior accordingly.

    I also think that people believe that if enough of them screw up, the government will be forced to bail them out.

    Too many grasshoppers and not enough ants and I"ll be damned if I pay for them.
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    milo, I'm fully aware of the decline in savings rates in the U.S. We're one of the world's worst, among the developed nations.

    As far as real benefits in the marketplace from federal spending, NASA has the best record--and it's about the only one, insofar as significant numbers of dollars. So many of the advances in computers and in medicine come immediately to mind. Our need for miniaturization led to a helluva lot of brand-new high-tech methodology. We had to dream up the tools to make the tools to do the never-before-done jobs.

    I've often wondered if we'd be better at saving if there were no income tax on some basic amount of earned interest.

    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong: Is it factual that the "No Child Left Behind" program isn't much of a success? And, if so, isn't that pretty much wasted money?

    The "Free Pills For Old Pharts" idea that Bush stole from Gore doesn't warm the cockles of my heart, either. We, as a group, already control a helluva lot of the money in this country. Why set up a bunch of bureaucracy for us, other than the buying-votes issue?

    Ah, well. This probably all fades into insignificance compared to the unending pork barrel earmarks...

    'Rat
     
  23. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #23
    Yep, I think some people refuse to see what is right in front of them. Clearly the economy seemed "great" but this was just the economy coasting on borrowed time (and Chinese money). The only people that have actually gained from the Bush economic policies are the absolutely wealthy individuals and their corporate tools. Yes, we have more billionaires than ever. And corporations are more wealthy than ever. But it will all come falling down as the bedrock of the U.S. economy is swept away to China and India. You can't enjoy the low, low prices at Walmart if you don't have a job anymore.

    Additionally, the problem is thinking that 3% tax cuts help middle and low income individuals. After factoring basic cost of living, the "savings" is inconsequential. Yet the lost tax revenue forces the government to either cut services (at increased cost to individuals) or increase the debt. Either way, it is an inexcusably poor economic policy.

    All the reports I read say that the average american is barely able to tread water. This would be a fair description of everyone I know. Social Security SHOULD be reformed so that it is more like a savings account where what YOU pay in is what YOU get back (plus interest) at retirement. In this way, it is unphased by population bubbles and can be self sustained. Even still, our social services are not wasteful or the most expensive. The debt, unfair tax burden, and war making are destabilizing the national economy.
     
  24. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

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    #24
    The US economy has been running on credit - that is the only thing really supporting it - consumers borrowing money, and then going out and spending it. Of course employment will be up, as retail sales rise.. home sales rise.. etc.

    Eventually, everything catches up. It's already begun since the housing crash.. I find it amusing that you talk about how well a few mutual funds are doing. So? When Bear Sterns and Morgan Stanley made huge losses.. Goldman Sachs came out with huge profits.

    Don't judge the economical health on the stock market or mutual funds.. lol. If you ever traded currencies, you would know how stupid the stock market behaves. If employment numbers come out horrible, the stock market loonies think "Oh wow, this will force Bernie to make another rate cut - hoorah!" and it goes up. :rolleyes:

    I have to hand it to the optimists.. I don't know how they stay positive when the inevitable is about to occur (or, is already under way)
     
  25. solvs thread starter macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    But you don't grouse about having to pay taxes or that all social programs need to be abolished while supporting the wars no matter what, so I'm not talking about you. ;)

    Because he supports the people in charge. And he has his. You can point out all you want how it isn't good for the rest of us, he won't care. Anyway:

    Mild recession likely, Morgan Stanley says
    Fed Chief Warns of Worse Times in the Economy
    Dollar May Extend Decline Against Euro on Retail Sales, Housing
     

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