This Bush Versus Obama Comparison Will Make Everyone Who Voted Blue Proud They Did

The number one argument of the GOP and their base of fools is that they want America “back the way it was.” They contend that the Obama administration has destroyed our great country, shredded the United States Constitution and driven the economy into the ground. They’re sick and tired of it, and they want their country back.

Those sentiments have echoed through the empty heads of two Republican debates. The reality of our ascent from near-depression to an economy on the brink of exploding with growth is ignored and replaced with doom and gloom fear-mongering about the future they’d love to rob us of.

They want their country back.

Assuming that statement means they want to reverse everything that’s happened under President Obama, that means they want a return to the glory days of 2008, shortly after the giant bursting bubble that was the real estate market and the actual doom that happened when the Dow tanked. Ahhhh the good old days. When the rich were the only ones with any kind of future and the President was a white man from Texas.

The scorecard of President Obama’s short time left in office, versus where we were with George W. Bush on his way out, paints the perfect picture of just what will happen if America gives into fear again and elects another Republican willing to completely sell our children’s future down the river for some stock options and a bag of magic beans.

The unemployment rate.

Republicans love to twist the facts about unemployment on whatever they can invent to make it sound horrible. They count retirees and children under 16 and add them to those “not in the labor force,” or they claim all the jobs are part-time. The simple truth is that when Bush left office the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent and rising due the recession he caused. As of August, 2015, that number is down to 5.1 percent. The way that number is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t change because the president is black.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline.

The GOP base for some reason thinks that the President wakes up, reads the paper, has a cup of coffee and sets the price of gas for the day. That’s not at all true. The President has little to nothing to do with the cost of gas, unless his policies affect the areas where oil is abundant. Places like Iraq and Iran come to mind. There’s also some selective amnesia, with people remembering the price of gas being $1 per gallon under George Bush. Nothing could be further from the truth. On 15 July, 2008, gas hit an all-time high of $4.12 per gallon. AAA reports that on 22 September, 2015, gas averaged $2.28 per gallon.

The uninsured rate.

Obamacare was supposed to not only destroy America but replace the uninsured poor with the uninsured middle class. Premiums would be so out-of-control from the new law that hard-working people would pay for the poor to be insured for free while going bankrupt and losing their own plan. The repeal of Obamacare is a major part of the GOP’s plan to “take America back.” Back to what? Back to the more than 14 percent uninsured rate we had under Bush. Obamacare has dropped that number to 9.2 percent, with 17.6 million fewer people uninsured today than in 2008.

Teen Pregnancy rates.

When Republicans are in control, they remove the basic things that stop our teens from getting pregnant. They replace sex-ed and birth control programs with abstinence only nonsense. They defund clinics that “murder babies,” cutting much-needed birth control funding, causing spikes in the teen birth and abortion rates. Their archaic methods don’t work. The proof is in the raw data, which shows that under Bush, the teen pregnancy rate was 40.2 per thousand, down to 25.6 per thousand today. It seems a little bit of knowledge and a little less religious rhetoric go a long way.

GDP growth.

Republicans like to talk about the growth of the bank accounts of the wealthy when they talk economy. One of Bush’s favorite campaign slogans in 2004 was “are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” The answer for anyone who got a paycheck was yes. The answer for anyone who paid the lowered capital gains rate was yes. The reason wasn’t because of growth, it wasn’t because of a booming economy, it was because of payroll and income tax cuts we couldn’t come close to affording. Giving money away while financing two wars and a prescription drug benefit that was nothing but a gift to big pharma is a major factor in the cause of the Great Recession. Were you better off for a few years? Have a look down the road a bit and ask your retirement fund the same question. By the time Dubyah left, GDP wasn’t growing, it was declining. As he and Cheney smiled and waved on their way to count their war profits, GDP was at negative .03 percent. As of July 2015, GDP growth is at 3.7 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial average.

Perhaps the best gauge of the U.S. economy is the Dow. Republicans have nothing to say about the Dow…ever. Without anything to complain about they simply pretend it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately for every GOP Presidential candidate, it does exist, and when the time comes for the eventual Democratic nominee to stand behind the policies of the President, the Dow will be a strong point in an argument full of trump cards. On 16 January 2009, just before GWB left office, the Dow stood at $8,281. On 22 September 2015 it closed at $16,330, or nearly double.

A return to the America before Obama would be a complete tragedy. Unless we’re talking a return to January 2001 in an alternate universe where the Supreme Court hadn’t just appointed Dubyah the destroyer of the free world and anything that resembled respect for America.

Who knows if Al Gore would have lived up to the hype, but living through what we lived through, there’s little doubt things would have been very different.

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