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Bush's failed economic policies ?

  1. Nov 23, 2008 #1
    Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    I keep hearing about these "failed economic policies". Anyone have any idea what specific Bush economic policies they're talking about?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2008 #2
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

    When you cut taxes for a group of people, someone else has to make up for it. Guess who that is?

    But, it honestly doesn't matter. Anything he did is completely overshadowed by this bailout frenzy that I will have to pay off for the rest of my life.
  4. Nov 23, 2008 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Pity this descended into sloganeering so quickly.
  5. Nov 23, 2008 #4


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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    let's start with No Child Left Behind. I must first say that I'm giving an intuitive response based on what I've heard in my area. This is not easy research, but I'll look into it while people respond (edit: cited criticisms added at bottom).

    Most of the teachers and a lot of parents in my state have issues with the economic result of this policy. Basically, the federal government saves money by not spending it on education by making it more difficult to get funding for education for each state.

    Of course, certain states hold power over the federal government (by their lobby force or they have the people on their side or however) so they can maintain good funding from the feds. They wouldn't have a problem with No Child Left Behind.

    There's also likely states who naturally fit the requirements.


    Gaming the System (faculty manipulating student test scores for more funding)
    Incentives against low performing students (this one should be obvious)
    State Cuts (states that receive federal funding for education cut back too far on their own education spending, often outweighing the funding with cuts!)
    Narrows Curriculum (obvious)

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  6. Nov 23, 2008 #5


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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Also, are there any policies that aren't economic? Policy decides who gets what.

    Bush decided (and tricked congress if you recall) that our tax dollars should go towards a War on Terrorism. [speculation] He wanted the US to take the whole burden and go swooping in instead of waiting for a plan, either to be heroes or to cover up something before our allies picked it up, or just to take the biggest claim in the plunder?

    By the way, this is basically a blank check if you speculate on "Emergency Powers", but let's pretend I didn't say that and just look at something like this:[/speculation]

    The Protect America Act is an act that takes away our privacy so that the federal government can protect us from terrorism (that's stated outright by the bill). The reality is that it basically allows warantless searching and spying in our own country.

    here's a biased fact sheet (i.e. they are facts, but only the ones supporting my side). Think about this though... if you're browsing the internet and you go to a foreign site, the federal government is probably tracking your history (of course, they're not analyzing your data because they don't care about your porn addiction or that you look up how to grow hydroponics... or do they?) Most likely, they're just passively recording your information.

    Now, this doesn't worry me because I don't have anything to hide, but it's still kind of creepy that we keep going this direction of reduced privacy for increased security. How is it a failed economic policy? That's our tax dollars being spent on creeping me out.
  7. Nov 24, 2008 #6
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Hi Pythagorean,

    I would agree that government spending in general is harmful to the economy, but the examples you give are just insignificant in terms of dollars spent. The extra money spent on war is somewhat significant, but still pales in comparison to other government spending.

    Also, I have to point out that the Bush tax cuts actually shifted the income tax burden from the poor and middle class to the rich. The top 5% pay a larger percentage of the total tax burden today than they did before the tax cuts, even though their marginal tax rates were "reduced". And the bottom half pay a smaller percentage of the total tax burden than before. This is just a matter of publicly available data that most people don't bother to research, preferring instead to just listen to politicians.

    I was really looking for specific and significant economic policies of Bush that some might claim led to economic problems. Whether they are true or not. I just think it's strange that no specific policies are ever even mentioned on TV.
  8. Nov 24, 2008 #7


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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    If they're taxed a lesser percentage of their income, but they're paying more in taxes.... that just means they get paid more. So you think the widening income gap is a good thing?
  9. Nov 24, 2008 #8


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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Somewhat significant? I've recently worked as an intern for a group that works for the DoD. There's quite a bit of spending involved in the War on Terrorism. You may be restricting it to overseas, but there's plenty of R&D going on right here in the states. From intelligence gathering to technology, medical, and energy (and combinations of these elements, even! Government scientists aren't the only ones that work for the federal government in R&D; they do lots of outsourcing to private companies and state universities. A lot of science/technology/intelligence fields have been stimulated by the current war and the dabbling of Republicans in the middle-east... it's actually been a good source of income for war racketeers like Rumsfeld.)

    If you're talking about the current recession, that's a bit different; I've only recently got into examining the financial market. I don't know Bush's particular financial policies, but if you're talking about the recession, I think that both parties (democrats and republicans) use policy to help their rich friends out (either through regulation or deregulation). You can't blame any one person. Those two parties, at the higher administrative levels, help each other out more than they help the average US citizen out. Ask any US third party how their media deals are working out... ask them how easy it is to get in on the debates with the other two parties.

    This recession was a result of people taking imaginary money for granite, more or less. Deregulation (and loophole regulation) allowed financial institutions to take advantage of lending (hey, if you lend this poor bastard 1000 bucks, you get 2000 bucks back in five years... better start lending now!). This came in the form of mortgages, no hassle loans, cash advances, etc.

    Anyway, my thoughts are underdeveloped on the subject, so I'm interested in professional financial input as well.
  10. Nov 24, 2008 #9
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    much of the current economic situation has both parties to blame. the legislation that enabled the naked credit default swap pyramid scheme was passed on Clinton's watch. where i fault Bush is on his ability to actually administer the executive function of government. there was simply no policing. someone should have seen the problem developing, and if unable to deal with given the current legislation, at least sounded the alarm to have the law fixed.

    part of it may have been so much focus on fighting terrorism that all domestic functions were just left to run themselves. i dunno, it is probably a good bit of incompetence, too, since he has a tendency to award people with plum positions based simply on loyalty, not competence.
  11. Nov 24, 2008 #10


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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    You can certainly fault the Republicans for not wanting to know that anything was wrong. It met their purpose to have at least the illusion that things were going great as they dismantled the balance sheet of the government. I suspect that they may have even naively believed that the markets would sort thing out better than any regulation would. All part of that getting the Government out of the way thing.

    Now it's time to pay off on their credit default swap chain letter.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  12. Nov 24, 2008 #11
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Vanadium, a question: You think the government can decrease revenue and increase spending and no one has to pay for it? Boy, you are a ready made liberal. Ralph Nader is your man. Go for it guy!!
  13. Nov 24, 2008 #12
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Passed on Clintons watch by a congress who apparently never read it.

    From WIKI:

    Congress needs to read what they pass.

    THe fact that the derivatives were so elusive was a big part of the problem. I remember watching the CEO of Moodys saying before congress: "We all drank the Kool Aid"

    Homeland Security spent a lot of time and money looking for imaginary terrorists. They should have been watching the investment banks instead of eavesdropping on soldiers calling home from the ME.
  14. Nov 24, 2008 #13
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Yes. I think that for everyone to make twice as much in real dollars than they did before would be a good thing. And it would also be a wider income gap in dollars, if Joe six-pack went from $30K to $60K, and Fred Lawyer went from $200K to $400K, the income gap between them would increase from $170K to $340K. Of course if the average Joe's income doubled while the rich man's income increased only 10%, the income gap between them would increase. Every time a politician talks about the income gap widening, they're referring to the latter, and they're referring to dollars, not percentage.

    So, in short, yes, I think a widening income gap, as defined by Democrats, is a VERY good thing.

    Also, you say they're just getting paid more, but the real point is that the lower tax rates result in more wealth being created overall. That's why revenue goes up overall.
  15. Nov 24, 2008 #14


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  16. Nov 24, 2008 #15
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Well, you might consider the primary reason for the mortgage crises, the Community Re-investment Act. This is the reason banks were making bad mortgage loans in the first place. And it's easy to see who's idea it was to make it easier for people to get loans who couldn't or wouldn't pay them back, who couldn't afford them, who had bad credit, were in too much debt already, etc. I'll give you a hint: they claimed that everyone who opposed their plan of relaxing the mortgage standards just didn't care about poor people.

    And on top of low standards, the mortgages were for amounts greater than the value of the collateral, up to 125% for second mortgages. And low interest rates. These loans were known to be money losers by the banks the whole time, but Fanny and Freddy were taking them off the banks' hands (and losing money on them instead of the banks).

    And Fanny and Freddy told banks that if they didn't have a certain percentage of these "bad" mortgages to sell them, they wouldn't do business with them at all. Of course there were some banks that didn't participate in this deal, and they are doing just fine now, despite politicians lambasting them for not caring about poor people.

    Of course Fanny and Freddy went under after a few years of buying mortgages that everyone (except delusional politicians) knew would lose money, leaving the banks that were going along with it stuck with the bad mortgages they got for Fanny and Freddy, and nobody left stupid enough to buy them. Except government. Now Uncle Sam will be stuck with these mortgages (at least U.S. got a discount on them), but the taxpayers will still end up losing money on them (but we will recoup most of it hopefully, after all these notes are worth something, just not face value).

    And now certain politicians are complaining that banks aren't loosening up their standards enough yet. Gee, maybe they came to their senses.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  17. Nov 25, 2008 #16
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    "If a member is not present at the reading, s/he will be required to sign a sworn affidavit saying that s/he has read the bill in order to vote in the affirmative."

    Somehow, I would have to expect some abuse of this clause.
  18. Nov 25, 2008 #17
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    unless there is a penalty for swearing falsely, it is meaningless.
  19. Nov 25, 2008 #18
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    One important set of economic policies that contributed directly to the subprime crisis was the relaxation of liquidity requirements for investment banks by the SEC in 2004:


    These changes were enacted at the behest of the investment banks themselves, by a receptive administration that was openly in favor of deregulation. The principles involved in this debacle, from the President on down, have already publicly admitted that their approach to financial regulation and oversight directly enabled a disaster of historic proportions.
  20. Nov 25, 2008 #19
    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Do you actually believe that last statement to be true?

    Also, do you really believe anything in the ny times??
  21. Nov 25, 2008 #20


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    Re: Bush's "failed economic policies"?

    Do you have a reason for challenging this report other than an over-riding desire to troll :rolleyes:

    Here's a transcript of the full statement from the chairman of the SEC from which the quotes in the NYT were extracted.

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