The stimulus: compare and contrast.

Gene Lyons:

Faced with a mild recession in 2001, George W. Bush contended that “a warning light is flashing on the dashboard of our economy, and we just can’t drive on and hope for the best. We need tax relief now.” His answer was a $1.35 trillion tax cut targeted largely at the wealthy,i.e.. more than 50 percent larger than the Obama initiative.

Enacted with numerous Democratic votes, the Bush tax cuts were supposed to invigorate a sluggish economy. Eight years later, with the aid of a chart prepared by thinkprogress.org, the results are clear. Unemployment has grown from 4 to 7.6 percent and continues to increase frighteningly fast. The economy lost 3.6 million jobs last year, and 600,000 inJanuary alone. The number of persons living in poverty has risen from 12.7 to 17 percent. In 2001, 17 million Americans relied on food stamps; today, 30 million do.

Contrary to GOP dogma, Bush’s tax cuts also failed to pay for
themselves. As Obama pointed out during his Feb. 9 news conference, the national debt doubled on his predecessor’s watch. The Iraq war alone cost several times more than Obama’s stimulus plan. Republicans like Sen. John McCain who voted to spend billions rebuilding Iraqi roads, schools and power plants now call it “criminal” to rebuild them here at home.

GOP politicians stood quietly by when Bush’s Coalition Provisional
Authority air-lifted $12 billion in cash, 363 tons of crisp, shrink-wrapped $100 bills, to Iraq. Then reportedly couldn’t account for almost $9 billion of it. As in, the money vanished. Permanently. Odd how quiet the allegedly liberal media’s been about it, don’t you think? Imagine the uproar had a Democratic administration done that.

Lots more and worth your time to read, if only to be prepared to counter all those “work is not a job” and “FDR actually created the Great Depression” memes that the wingnuts are passing around.

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