A reader sent me a link to a report by the Democratic Policy Committee entitled Middle-Class Life Under Bush: Less Affordable and Less Secure.
The report notes the following (hopefully I got them all):
1. Health care premiums have increased by over 80 percent.
2. Gas prices have more than doubled.
3. College education costs have risen by 44 percent.
4. Housing affordability has reached a 15-year low.
5. While families work harder, their wages continue to decline.
6. Earnings for workers with college degrees declining.
7. Worst job creation record since Hoover Administration.
8. Unemployment has increased 7.1 percent and long-term joblessness has nearly doubled.
9. Bush’s deficit-financed tax cuts have widened the income gap between millionaires and middle-class workers.
10. More American families and children face severe financial problems.
11. Bush Republicans turned record budget surpluses into record deficits.
12. Bush Republicans, addicted to borrowing, increased the national debt by $3 trillion.
13. Enormous trade deficit is undermining U.S. competitiveness.
14. Debt owed to foreigners climbs to record levels.
15. Record government and personal debt levels threaten economic future.
16. Average student loan debt soars to more than $19,000.
17. Erosion of employer-provided pensions threatens Americans’ retirement security.
Now, its all heavily footnoted with sources, etc., and most of the sources seem to be pretty unbiased (i.e., US government) which is a good sign though I’ll admit I haven’t checked the numbers.
Some items on this list have both positives and negatives (lack of home affordability presumably means rising prices for home owners). Some are trends that started before GW (the trade deficit). But a lot of this is due to the Bush economy.
Consider the second item, gas prices. Remember the super secret Cheney energy task force? Well, at the very least its hard to see that much was done that would benefit the consumer of gasoline. And very little was done to help wean Americans off the product.
Consider health care costs… I had a few posts some months back showing that starting in the 1970s, health care costs rise a lot more under faster under Republican administrations than Democratic administrations, and that they generally rise more slowly the greater the government’s share of the healthcare dollar.
Some problems belong unambiguously to GW and the Congress that enabled him thus far… the budget deficit, for example.
As to the rest… I am not one of the those that believe the President doesn’t affect the economy. Certainly GW and his supporters didn’t think that was the case in 2000 and 2004. And he’s claimed credit for job creation since 2003. Presumably he can claim credit for most of the items on this list.