The Atlantic

Image: The Atlantic

Here’s a pretty cool graphic by the Atlantic depicting the changes we have seen during the Bush Administration. The graphic should be titled Bush’s LaLa Land because he is obvious to any problems caused by his administration or policies other than his war and his legacy of course.

Some of the data is trivial but a few numbers stood out at me.

  • Hate Groups that operate in the U.S. –  2000 – 602 / 2008 – 888
  • Hedge-Funds assets under management  – 2000 – $407 Billion  / 2008 – $1.04 Trillion
  • Consumer Credit Card Debt – 2000 – $683.7 Billion / 2008  – $965.6 Billion
  • Manufacturing Employment growth –  2000 – 2.9 % / 2008 -22.2 %
  • Family Coverage Health Care Premuims – 2000 – $6,438 / 2008 – $12,680
  • Mortgage Backed Securities Issued – 2000 –  $684.4 Billion / 2007 – $2.05 Trillion

The comparision data is amazing if not surprising especially the numbers relating to healthcare which doubled, but even at his FINAL Press Conference this morning, Bush said he will continue to defend his record as President and that he believes his record ” is a good, strong record”.

Here’s an excerpt from his final Press conference regarding his popularity and how he will be judged by us.

Q: In the past, when you’ve been asked to address bad poll numbers or your own popularity, you’ve said that history will judge that you did the right thing, that you thought you did the right thing. But without getting into your motives or your goals, I think a lot of people, including Republicans, including some members of your own administration, have been disappointed at the execution of some of your ideals, whether Iraq or Katrina or the economy. What would your closing message be to the American people about the execution of these goals?

BUSH: Well, first of all, hard things don’t happen overnight, Jake. And when the history of Iraq is written, historians will analyze, for example, the decision on the surge. The situation was — looked like it was going fine and then violence for a period of time began to throw — throw the progress of Iraq into doubt. And rather than accepting the status quo and saying, oh, it’s not worth it or the politics makes it difficult or, you know, the party may end up being — you know, not doing well in the elections because of the violence in Iraq, I decided to do something about it — and sent 30,000 troops in as opposed to withdrawing.

And so that part of history is certain, and the situation did change. Now the question is, in the long run, will this democracy survive? And that’s going to be the challenge for future Presidents.

In terms of the economy, look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession. In the meantime there were 52 months of uninterrupted job growth. And I defended tax cuts when I campaigned, I helped implement tax cuts when I was President, and I will defend them after my presidency as the right course of action. And there’s a fundamental philosophical debate about tax cuts. Who best can spend your money, the government or you? And I have always sided with the people on that issue.

Now, obviously these are very difficult economic times. When people analyze the situation, there will be — this problem started before my presidency, it obviously took place during my presidency. The question facing a President is not when the problem started, but what did you do about it when you recognized the problem. And I readily concede I chunked aside some of my free market principles when I was told by chief economic advisors that the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression.

So I’ve told some of my friends who said — you know, who have taken an ideological position on this issue — why did you do what you did? I said, well, if you were sitting there and heard that the depression could be greater than the Great Depression, I hope you would act too, which I did. And we’ve taken extraordinary measures to deal with the frozen credit markets, which have affected the economy. Credit spreads are beginning to shrink; lending is just beginning to pick up. The actions we have taken, I believe, have helped thaw the credit markets, which is the first step toward recovery.

And so, yes, look, there’s plenty of critics in this business; I understand that. And I thank you for giving me a chance to defend a record that I am going to continue to defend, because I think it’s a good, strong record.

Ah hem I’m just saying, to repeat the man resides in Lala Land.