Bushonomics, revisited

A quick review of the economic legacy of the man the New Yorker calls the worst president since Reconstruction.

By Andrew Leonard
Published October 2, 2008 9:10PM (EDT)

You know what? Forget about the bailout. No matter how you slice it, the U.S. economy is in trouble, and Thursday's 350 point drop in the Dow just underscores the point. It's hard not to agree with this trader quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

"We've been focusing on the bailout so much in the last two weeks, it's almost like we haven't been paying attention to the economic signs that would usually be a big deal for us," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co. "The economic data look atrocious."

You know what else looks atrocious? The Bush legacy. Here are a few facts to chew on.

On Jan. 20, 1993, the day Bill Clinton was inaugurated, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 3,241, the national debt was 4 trillion, and the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. After eight years of Clintonomics, on Jan. 20, 2001, when George Bush took office, the Dow had reached 10,588, the national debt was 5.7 trillion, and the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent.

Today, the Dow closed at 10,482, the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent (and possibly higher tomorrow), and the national debt, this very week, crossed $10 trillion.

(Some more factoids along similar lines can be found at Talking Points Memo Cafe.)

I can't put it better than the the New Yorker's 4,211 word endorsement of Barack Obama did:

The Presidency of George W. Bush is the worst since Reconstruction.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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