Forget about war and torture, we now have the definitive economic story of that sorry period:
“On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country’s condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton’s two terms, often substantially.”
Details after the jump.
* Median real income fell from $52,500 when Bush took office to $50,303 when he left. That’s a 4.3 percent decline.
* When Clinton left office, 31.6 million people lived in poverty. When Bush left office, it was up to 39.8 million, the largest increase in poverty since 1960. That’s a 26 percent increase. Oh, an two-thirds of it happened before the global financial crisis.
* Child poverty? Up from 11.6 million to 14.1 million (21 percent).
* At the end of Clinton’s term, 13.7 per cent of Americans were uninsured, this rose to 15.4 percent under Bush.
Every one of these indicators showed a positive improvement under Clinton.
These are from the Census numbers. We could also look at Bush’s fiscal record, and show that the budget deterioration today can be almost fully explained by the effects of the economic cycle, and Bush’s spending spree — especially on wars and tax cuts for the rich. And while blowing up debt, Bush’s fiscal policies didn’t do much at all for the average person, or for the poor, did they?