13 July 2008
We Paid This Guy Twice What We Paid Clinton and Reagan?
The main stream media reported that the economy has performed pitifully under George W. The S&P 500 is down 11% in this, his first 7.5 years. You would have done better putting your money under a rock in the backyard than you would have done with it in the stock market. Under Bush, only 5.1 million jobs have been created. This in stark contrast to the 23 million created during Clinton’s 8 years. Under Reagan, 16 million were created. (During the elder Bush’s 4 years, only 2.5 million. It is not just the English language that seems to give the Bush men trouble.)
But it does not take much for the numbers to look even worse under this most recent Bush president. For all his talk of a smaller government and the importance of business, the growth of jobs in the private sector is terrible. Under Reagan, the total number of jobs grew by 18%; private sector jobs grew by 20%. Under Clinton, the total number of jobs grew by 25%; private sector jobs grew by 24%. Not only was job creation robust during Reagan and Clinton’s terms, but the growth did not much rely on the expansion of government.
By contrast, Bush’s anemic 6% growth (less than a fourth of what it was under Clinton and a third of what it was under Reagan) drops by half when the growth in government jobs is factored out. Private sector job growth under Bush has been only 3%.
Given how much government work has been privatized, I’m sure that this anemic number would drop even more if I could factor out the jobs technically in the private sector but paid for by government contracts.
Not only has Bush failed to address looming financial shortfalls in entitlement programs as baby boomers begin to retire – reversing the budget surpluses of Clinton’s administration and turning them into record deficits – he has failed to put in place any kind of economic policy that stimulates job creation. His incessant mantra of tax cuts has not just been proven to be no panacea – it scarcely seems to work.
And even sadder, Bush's annual salary has been twice that of Clinton or Reagan. Bush is the first president to make $400,000 a year. In other words, we paid Bush as much as we paid Clinton and Reagan combined.