First my references. I believe I have one super liberal reference, one conservative reference, one very important economical reference and a reference I see to be roughly "moderate."
Before I begin, I encourage you to take a look at these links. Yeah, it is kind of a lot of reading but we're going to come to a conclusion about the economy once and for all so pay attention. :)
After you've reviewed this, the conclusion is easy. The recession officially began in March 2001. That would be 3 months in to Bush's presidency. That doesn't mean anything.
The Logical Fallacy
But unlike most blog writers I can back what I say. Firstly, to blame the recession on Bush simply because the recession started three months after he became president is taking advantage of the classic Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy. What that means is that you believe that Event 1 caused Event 2 just because Event 2 followed Event 1 chronologically. You drop a vase on the floor and the phone rings. Did you cause the phone to ring by breaking the vase? Obviously not. But Bush taking office could crash the economy in 3 months? If you want me to believe it you'll have to tell me what he did wrong. Simply saying "Well he came into office and the economy went south. Maybe it's because he's a 'Sutherner' haw haw haw he's so dumb" isn't going to convince me. In reality, turning the economy is like turning a battleship. Maybe worse. Do you remember what Greenspan had to do in 2000 to get people to stop investing stupidly? Do you realize how much effort we've put into getting us out of the recession?
The Lack of Economical Training
Three months. Do you really believe Bush is powerful enough to plunge us into recession in three months? If you think so, you haven't studied enough economics. Firstly, the Capitalist economy moves in cycles of boom and bust. We abandoned Pure Capitalism and adopted a Keynesian system to try to regulate the economy so that we could harness its power without suffering its whim. Now we have things like the Fed to raise and lower interest rates which raises and lowers people borrowing money which raises and lowers buying which raises and lowers the economy. Essentially. I don't have time here to teach it to you and I know there are people who understand it better than I do anyway.
So it is a problem of power. What could Bush possibly do to take a powerful economy like ours and trash it within 3 months even if he was trying? Wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume that we had it coming? I mean, the expansion (that'd be the period just before the recession) was really long..the longest on record. This was a long time coming.
I think it is plain that Bush did not cause the recession. He did help cause the recovery through tax cuts. I can't prove that here. Go study some more. Maybe you don't like who he gave the tax cuts to. When it comes to economics, it doesn't really matter. It might be beneficial but it would take too much space here to prove it and no one would listen anyway.
So, i'm confident enough to say: if you don't agree that we cannot conclude based on this evidence that Bush is Guilty of Economy Smashing then you don't understand. Go away and read some far left wing rants..it's safer.
The rest of us want to know who to blame. Many left wingers are screaming liar. This is ironic for obvious reasons, but I'm trying to avoid tangents. Many right wingers simply reiterate what they are told or what they themselves deduced. "Bush didn't cause this recession, it didn't start on his watch." These are also wrong.
So. Shame on the politicians, left wing and right, for ranting about things they do not understand or for lying about things they do understand. Shame on the presidential candidates for the same thing and for doing it for considerable political gain. Shame on the citizens for either being ignorant and loud or for being educated and silent. I personally feel that I must cut the right wing some slack. They were attempting to disprove through bad logic what the left wing was attempting to prove with bad logic. At least their goal was correct. Bush did not cause this recession.
Oh but we need someone to blame for the recession. I don't have a job (the author does not) and gosh darn it someone has to pay. Who can I blame the recession on?
Aww..I'm sorry..you wanted someone to burn. Well, I'm afraid there's no single person stupid enough and powerful enough to wreck something this huge. Our economy is cyclical. Our politicians have control over it. We went into recession. Our politicians passed tax cuts and economists nodded their heads in quiet approval. Things started getting better but not fast enough for us! We want our economy to work like a Microwave. Beep beep beep money! Sorry folks. The fact is that it took at least 8 months to get us out of the recession and it took that long or longer to get us into it.
So now some musings.
Even Worse. Do you remember 2000?
I do. 1999 was a year where I thought everything was going to pot. The Y2k bug was going to kill everyone and I was going to have to have a gun and a horse to survive. Well that didn't turn out to be true, somehow we employed enough programmers to fix our code and make it through. Then the year 2000 came around. People were giddy. Confident. People were putting money into stocks like mad. Analysts began warning that P/E ratios were getting out of hand. Greenspan started raising the interest rates to slow down the flow of money ..to prevent inflation. Economists started talking about a bubble that would have to burst eventually when people realized that stock prices were way too high. By the end of all this, people were wondering whether Greenspan had done too much to slow the economy.
If You Must Blame Someone, Blame Stupid People
Stupid people make the world go around. Stupid people vote and are easily swayed by politicians. Politicans speak loudly. Stupid people begin to get angry. So how do you tame a mob if you are Mister Bush? Well you aren't going to reason with it. Are you? Sure it isn't your fault, but how do you convince them of that?
On the other hand, the left wing is seeing a gift from above. The First Bush was taken down by a recession. We'll take the Second Bush down with a Recession too.
The Worst Part
The worst part is, if I remember right, some guy was predicting this would happen. He said to me "The economy moves in cycles. We have a recession every 10 years or so." I didn't believe him.