Or is it cyclical? 9/11? Clinton’s fault?
This is perhaps one of the most important questions of the upcoming election cycle.
Democrats, of course, are quick to blame President Bush for the ailing economy. And in reality, who could fault them for trying to do so. Any party not in power during such an economic downturn, of course, would try to blame the party in power – any party that didn’t should resign from politics.
The Republicans, as expected, try to blame the Democrats. Their line is that the economic problems were inherited from the Clinton era. Of course partisan party types, as with the Democrats, are required to come up with some explanation that blames the other party, and this is the Republicans’ claim.
But for us moderate independents, simply throwing blame for the sake of making this or that side seem the good or bad guy has no point – we only care about finding the truth and the best candidates, in whichever party they may lie.
So what is the reality? Is Bush truly to blame for this economic downturn? Is Clinton? Or is it simply a combination of cyclical downturn and 9/11?
We, at The Moderate Independent, have the answer.
Unlike most news sources, which are so afraid of sounding partisan that they simply present arguments from supposed representatives of the left and the right, ending up with an article that pisses everyone off, drives people deeper into their partisan bickering, and reaches no useful conclusion, we are not afraid to say what is simple and true.
This economic downturn, quite simply, is the fault of President Bush.
It wasn’t his tax cut, as the Democrats claim. The tax cut has not had enough time to have any positive or negative effects it will have.
What caused this economic downturn goes back to when George W. Bush was merely President-elect, waiting to take office, and continued on through his first six months in office.
Repeatedly, President-elect, and then President, Bush talked about how the economy was in trouble. Arriving in office following the longest continuous economic upturn in generations, President Bush seized on a stock market that had faltered some in the uncertainty following the 2000 Presidential election.
The “bad” economy, he talked about. Again and again. The “bad” economy.
You know what happened as a result? I can tell you from my personal experience, the CFO of the corporation I was working for called a meeting and said, “The President keeps talking about the economy being ‘bad.’ Now, things don’t seem bad, but let’s just hold off on any new hires until we see how this pans out. And, let’s hold off on all non-vital purchases, just for the time being.”
And you can see right there how simply the words of President George W. Bush started slamming the breaks of the economy.
This, of course, all snowballed. First, people held off on hiring and purchases to see if the President’s bleak prediction would come true. When this happened, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Less hiring and corporate spending created a measurable slowdown in the economy, which led people to say, “Hey, maybe the President is right,” and tighten up even more. Each report grew worse and worse due to this, and a nation that was being told to expect the worst slowly came to believe it.
So, to put it simply, President Bush’s constant talk about the economy being “bad” led it to be so.
The argument that Clinton is somehow to blame is the most comical thing we at The Moderate Independent have heard to date. The people who make this argument – partisan Republicans – invariably also claim that Clinton was not responsible for the prosperity during his two terms in office. That, they say, was just lucky timing.
Think about this: they say Clinton was not responsible for the economy while he was in office, but is responsible for the economy when he is not in office. Anyone with a basic grasp of logic knows these two things can not go together. Either the fate of the economy is luck or someone’s responsibility. To make this argument, that Clinton, who presided over prosperity, should not get credit for that, but should get blame for a recession under President Bush is clearly unsupportable, illogical, and just childish partisan nonsense.
What makes it even clearer that President Bush, and not President Clinton, was to blame for ruining the economy, was that the downturn caused by Bush’s actions did not come without warning. Both President Clinton and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman warned President-elect Bush that if he kept talking down the economy as he was, he would create a bad economy.
“‘What you’re seeing is President-elect Bush and his team actually talking down our economy, (and) injecting more fear and anxiety into the economy than is justified,’ said Gene Sperling, an economic advisor to President Clinton.” (BBC article – “US ‘Recession’ Row Deepens”)
The article continued, “Analysts agree that the US economy has slowed in recent months, but some warn that the Bush team risks turning a dramatic downturn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“They say negative comments, which they believe have caused the markets to fall sharply this week – can often feed on themselves.”
Remember, these are not arguments being made now at the tail end of things. These were warnings given to then President-elect Bush and Vice President-elect Cheney before the economic downturn ever began. The market got nervous, jumped downwards. CEO’s and CFO’s got nervous, and froze or cut back spending.
Senator Lieberman warned, “The American economy seems to have a slight head cold right now; if we take the medicine President Bush is offering, I’m afraid we are going to have a bad case of pneumonia.” (article from Digital Library And Archives from Virginia Tech)
To put it simply, if you go against someone’s advice, how can you blame them for the result? Answer: you can’t, unless you are lying and blaming inaccurately for political ends.
Why was President-elect Bush claiming the economy was bad if it wasn’t?
Simply, the American people, those that voted for him and those who didn’t, didn’t support his enormous tax cut. So he set out to try and convince people that the economy was bad – which in Republican terms means in need of stimulation through tax cuts. If he could make everyone think things were starting to go in the crapper, he believed he could justify his larger tax cut.
Even better, since the President knew the economy was truly in good shape, once he got his tax cut passed, he could stop pretending there was a bad economy looming, and instead claim there would have been a downturn, but his tax cut saved the day.
Problem was, that A) his constant “bad economy” claim truly began to wreck the economy B) 9/11 came along, and furthered the snowball.
9/11 in and of itself is in no way to blame for the economic troubles. President Bush set people on edge, put the economy in a downturn, and then, when 9/11 happened, it simply cemented the damage he had set in motion. In his book, it gave him something else to blame, as well, for the growing and growing economic downturn.
Now, Clinton was to blame. And Osama was to blame. Everyone except the man who clearly talked the economy into the ground to get his tax cut passed.
President Bush and his downtalking game were the cause of the economic downturn. President Clinton is responsible for the economic record of his terms, not of President Bush’s. And had President Bush not gone through with his tax cut, the economy could have survived 9/11 in much better shape. The deficits were looming while the Twin Towers still stood.
So, we at The Moderate Independent kindly request that the President stop using the horrible events that killed thousands of our innocent citizens to try and escape blame for the bad economy he caused. Those people, their families, and all the good people of this nation deserve more respect.
And to those who still want to blame President Clinton or Osama for the mess that President Bush created, we say, you are clearly not moderate nor independent, but caught up in partisan rhetorical nonsense. We who could care less about party and care first about America lay the blame where it is deserved. President Bush, this recession is on you.