The Democrats’ central premise for the 2008 Elections was that Republican policies had caused the recession and therefore must not be allowed to retain the presidency. Their premise for the 2012 Elections is similar: it would harm the economy to elect a Republican and return to the same policies. The Democrats are thereby using the same old tactic they used during the Great Depression, for which they falsely blamed President Herbert Hoover.
Now, the Democrats have similarly been falsely attempting to blame President George W. Bush and the Republicans for the Panic of 2008 and the “Great Recession.” As a result, they won the 2008 election. However, their success was short-lived, as they lost the 2010 midterm congressional elections. Nevertheless, they intend to continue to fool American voters uninformed about macroeconomics, fiscal and monetary policy, into wrongly believing that the Republicans are responsible not only for initiating the recession, but its continuation to this day.
A key difference between
Hoover and Bush was that
the latter came into office during an economic downturn and the economy began
to recover after the enactment of his policies.
It not only recovered after Bush cut income taxes, which stimulated economic
growth, but prospered for several years, with numbers similar to those during
the Reagan and Clinton booms, with even lower interest rates. Millions of jobs were created, income
increased and poverty decreased while inflation was held down, all despite the
September 11 Terrorist Attacks that represented a trillion-dollar blow to the
economy. Prosperity was one reason why
Bush was reelected, unlike Hoover.
The Democrats are trying to make the American people forget the Bush boom or somehow to conclude that his tax cuts, which they themselves have extended, for example, caused a recession five or six years after their full enactment. Indeed, there is another parallel between the Democratic campaigns against
and Bush. The Democrats use the end of
the boom-and-bust cycle to stand for the entire period. Thus, the Depression, which began in October
of 1929, is meant to stand for the entire Roaring Twenties, as if to make
people forget the prosperity under Republican Administrations of that
decade. Similarly, after the Reagan boom
of 1982-1990, Bill Clinton and the Democrats did not limit their criticism of
President George H.W. Bush’s record to his specific policies, but blamed the
entire period of record-long prosperity on Republican policies in general, as
if the 80s were something other than a period of growth.
Economists, except for Marxists, agree that income tax cuts stimulate the economy by allowing people to keep more of their money to spend, while supply-side economists also recognize that tax cuts incentivize more work and investment. Income tax cuts have led to prosperity and increased government revenue every time they have been tried in American history: by Presidents Warren Harding-Calvin Coolidge, John Kennedy-Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Even after the Panic of 2008, the Bush Administration’s bold policies, although controversial, are credited by economists for deftly avoiding a depression. In fact, the economy was poised to recover by mid-2009 without further governmental intervention, and did by June of that year – before President Barack Obama’s policies were fully implemented and despite his early practice of undermining confidence in the economy.
See also my last four posts, in which I explain why presidents receive too much credit or blame for the economy and why Bush was not responsible for the recession, as well as how certain Democratic policies exacerbated it and that Obama has continued many of the Bush policies he and his liberal Democratic supporters criticize. See also my post from April of 2009, Obama Did Not Inherit the Economy from Bush, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2009/04/obama-did-not-inherit-economy-from-bush.html and from May of that year, The Economy, Deficit and Debt at George W. Bush’s Inauguration, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2009/05/economy-deficit-and-debt-at-george-w.html.