August 28, 2008

Is George Bush The Worst President In America's History?

As the Presidential elections begin to enter the home straight we can take a look at the legacy of eight years of the GW Bush presidency. The popular image of a buffoon in the Oval Office does not necessarily do justice to President Bush. To get a fair assessment we need to look at the evidence and then draw our conclusions. After all an inability to string sentences together is not necessarily an indication of poor statesmanship. This week's Independent
published a very interesting ledger weighing up the legacy of the GW Bush years.

The view of America held by foreigners fell from 58% favourable in January 2001 to 39% favourable in January 2008. But what do non-Americans know about the US? Of more importance is how the Bush Presidency impacted the daily lives of ordinary Americans. The cost of health premiums increased from $US6230 per year to $US12,106 per year; household income actually fell by $1,100. Personal savings rates fell 0.5% compared to an increase of 2.3% to January 2001.

Beyond the household and from the nation's perspective Real GDP growth had been 4% to January 2001 when Bush came into office. Over the past seven years GDP has increased by just 2.6%. The Budget balance went from a $US431bn surplus over the previous three budgets to a $US734 deficit over the previous three budgets in January 2008. National debt increased from $US 5.7trillion to $US 9.2trillion. The number of Americans living in poverty rose from 31.6million to 36.5million.

There are a host of other statistics on the costs of college, price of petrol and the number of new private sector jobs created which all point to a real failure under the watch of the Bush Administration. Sounds like a time for change.

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