Where’s the Growth?

It’s the 10 year anniversary of the Bush tax cuts, so where’s the growth?

Republicans sold the tax cuts as a plan to increase long-term economic growth, but there’s no results to show for it besides a bigger deficit and stagnant wages. Is this a 20 year project? A 30 year project? Come on. It doesn’t work.

And yet House Republicans are doubling down on this agenda, and Tim Pawlenty is tripling down on it.

Why?

How Bush Lost bin Laden

Malou Innocent at the right-leaning Cato Institute explains why we should not be giving the Bush administration any credit for the death of Osama bin Laden:

A few months after Tora Bora, as part of the preparation for war in Iraq, the Bush administration pulled out many of the Special Operations and CIA forces that had been searching for bin Laden in Afghanistan, according to several U.S. officials who served at the time.

Even the drones that U.S. forces depended on to track movements of suspicious characters in the Afghan mountain passes were redeployed to be available for the Iraq war, Lt. Gen. John Vines told The Washington Post in 2006. Once, when Vines’s troops believed they were within half an hour of catching up to bin Laden, the general asked for drones to cover three possible escape routes. But only one drone was available — others had been moved to Iraq. The target got away.

That’s right folks! The Bush White House lost whatever opportunity it had to get bin Laden by diverting scarce resources to Iraq. Of course, it should go without saying that even if America hadn’t gone into Iraq, it would’ve been difficult for Bush to have captured or killed bin Laden. But what really “grinds my gears” is to hear members of the Bush team claim credit for bin Laden’s recent demise—torture was “critically important”—while simultaneously ignoring their culpability for not helping to capture bin Laden when they had the chance.

And no, torture did not “work,” and was in fact counterproductive in both an operational sense and in undermining the United States’ ability to portray itself as morally superior in the fight against al Qaeda.

Voters Correctly Believe GOP Will Return to Failed Bush Policies

NYT poll:

If the Republicans win control of Congress in November do you think they will try to return to the economic policies of George W. Bush or won’t they try to return to the policies of George W. Bush?
Return to policies of George W. Bush 47

Won’t return to George W. Bush policies 36

National Journal poll:

By a plurality of 45 percent to 33 percent, poll respondents were more likely to say that congressional Republicans are offering an economic agenda similar to Bush’s than to say they are proposing something different.

Voters are correct. NRCC Chair Pete Sessions, who is responsible for getting more Republicans elected to the House, says we need to go back to the exact same policies as George W. Bush.

Republicans think the economy we had in 2007 was just great, even though all the gains went to rich people, and the growth didn’t create any jobs or increase wages for the middle class. Here’s the record Republicans want to return to.

The Republican ideas for “pro-growth” policies are the same old discredited trickle-down economics. Use tax policy to concentrate wealth at the top, they say, and the whole economy will experience strong growth. Except that’s not what happened at all, and middle class incomes stagnated:

The Republican approach to financial deregulation also concentrates wealth at the very top of the income scale:

As we have cut taxes for rich people, they have captured a much greater share of productivity gains, which is exactly what you’d expect to happen.

This is the Bush record Republicans want to return to, only more so – another round of tax cuts for the top 2%, even less oversight of the financial products that nearly collapsed the financial system. Bush screwed up the economy because he wasn’t conservative enough!

"Exact Same Agenda"

Do Americans want to go back to the “exact same agenda” of the Bush administration? Republicans are betting that they do:

CORNYN: Look, I think President Bush’s stock is going up a lot since he left office…I think a lot of people are looking back with a little more — with more fondness on President Bush’s administration, and I think history will treat him well.

But most Americans have a different view:

Clearly, though, the American public is still sour on Bush’s record. A recent Time poll found that 61 percent blame Bush for the “balky economy,” versus 27 percent who blame President Obama. By a whopping 53-to-33 percent margin, Americans favor Obama over Bush.

As for Cornyn’s claim that “history will treat” Bush “well,” the Siena Research Institute this month released its latest poll of presidential scholars, who ranked Bush as the worst president of the modern era and in the bottom five overall.

The Bush jobs record was terrible. Bush had the worst job creation record since they started keeping records. And yet Republicans haven’t learned a thing, and are unabashedly running on the same plan for the economy that Bush tried from 2001 to 2007.