Brad, why not assign some responsibility for damaging the economy to bush? What, does that notion of taking personal responsibility for failures only apply to non republicans?
Individuals don't make or break economies, long term strategies, material realities, global flows of capital, plus resource constraints etc are massive levers. These issues don't fit into sound bites and talking points.
Once you get out of the US centric view that particularly us corporate media promotes, you'll notice that economic issues are global today, not regional, and that's because we have entered into a new phase of global economic stress. The actual question, which neither side can address because to do so guarantees their loss in the elections, is how to deal with some rapidly altering global resource and climate and other major issues, including oil production having basically peaked globally, which is why global economies are crashing and grinding to a halt. You can't 'fix' this in 4 years, that's a childish view, like, oh, daddy, why haven't you fixed my broken toy yet. You can adjust to it, and begin moving to make things adapt and slowly deleverage, you can break apart huge corporate entities, and relocalize economies, but you can't do that today and get elected in most parts of the country on a national level, no corporations will fund that activity.
Some very perceptive observers have noted that the move to debt based state, corporate, and personal economics, which is what we have in the US to a sick degree, but which most of the first, second, and third world also are engaged in, is / was caused by an event that is unfolding ongoing, ie, essentially hitting the top of global resource consumption/production, which means stuff gets more expensive, harder to mine/drill, and you have to use more of the resources of an economy just to aquire and extract resources, which leaves less for everyone else. When you combine this with an aggressive redistribution of wealth, such as the US has undergone since the 80s (which is why those tax numbers listed above show that, the rich control more capital, assets, etc, the actual fair representation is to compare apples to apples, income taxes paid, corporate taxes paid, etc, then the picture changes radically). It's doubtful the US, and maybe most of Europe, have had actual 'growth' since the 90s, and it's certain that what we are now calling 'growth' is actually a non admitted inflation. You can see this in food, fuel, and resource prices, the dollar buys less, so do most currencies that float freely on the global market.
The technical thing that Bush, and Obama, were/are doing wrong, besides not aggressively prosecuting financial industry criminals, is continuing the zero interest rates, which encourages irresponsible speculation, particularly in a radically underregulated financial sector. To understand this, you have to be able to grasp that when you can get free money, ie, no interest, or almost zero interest, any speculation you do with that money that can generate more than 1 or so return annually is pure profit. So if you take that money, leverage it, then use that to buy a real company, then sell off the assets, or combine it with another one that sort of fits, and cut out a bunch of jobs in the process, you have not 'created' a dime of wealth, you have extracted already existing wealth, siphoned off some of the top part, used the capital to pay off the loan, then you pocket the difference. That's what Baine capital, and almost all large scale investment groups, do today. That's not wealth creation, that's simply redirecting the wealth into fewer pockets, which does the society that supports that action no good at all. But that's just a symptom of the above larger trends, ie, when growth per se stops, capital continues to seek out ways to generate returns, and begins to cannibalize its host nations and economies. That's roughly where we are today. Doesn't mean all capital does this, just a lot of it. That's why in the 2000s we'd reached the insane situation where finance as an arm of our economy was alleged to be 'creating' or 'producing' I believe it was 40%, at the worst bush years point, of the money in t6he usa. I believe it was 40%, correct that if it's wrong. That's insane, since all capital d0es in a real sense of wealth creation is fund actual enterprises that create things, when capital begins to spin its own webs, like CDOs, tranched mortgage securities, and other, even more abstracted constructions which I'll try to explain to republicans here if they want, and I'll source the data and information, but only if requested, ie, only if people in this thread want to skip the kindergarten fantasy stories they keep repeating and get back to actual reality.
However, part of the bigger picture is that the US has now allowed capital, cash, money, to have an unprecedented degree of raw influence over our political system, this is a fact, not a fantasy. This creates a situation where you have corporations, which are by law mandated to maximize shareholder value (shareholders, by the way, now increasingly are also the people who run them, since they hold so much stock, options etc), following the course mandated by laws that they themselves are creating and lobbying for, to maximize profits. And the best way to do that currently is not investing in new production, but to lobby for advantage from the state. Nothing returns higher yields at this point. Microsoft gave a few million to both sides during their anit trust penalty phase that resulted in a change of judge, and a mere slap on the hand. Those few millions saved them many billions.
That's also why regulations fail, when you have industries writing the regulations, which they often do, for example, to discourage competitors who maybe can't afford to comply, that has a really good result, in that the smaller people then point to the regulations, and vote right to get rid of them, rather than focusing on the real problems at hand.
Bush wasn't a tough guy, what a load, he evaded his military service, he was a drunk, he only did work that his rich / powerful dad's connections created for him, and he was one of the laziest guys around. And he involved us in two 'wars' that are much better seen as a massive and ongoing transfer of wealth from the american tax payer to a bunch of highly profitable defense contracting corporations, who of course now are able to lobby for never leaving since it's so darn profitable to keep these low level conflicts going, they eat up materials, most of the staff are mercenaries, aka 'contractors', not real soldiers, something that is creating morale problems in the military, since you will have food servers in bases making far more than the soldiers they are feeding, etc.
Now you guys can return to your junior high popularity contest version of reality, yes, Romney was a better actor than Obama in the last debate, better coached, more focus group work done to work on pr problems, great. Neither party is going to deal with the real problems we face, and there won't be any real chance of that happening until full campaign finance reform, not superficial, happens, and that's not going to happen now that the corporations and the political system got carte blanche to go ahead in the citizen's united act. The only chance we have at this point is to remove corporate personhood as a legal construct, and remove them from politics, then maybe we can have actual political discussions that talk about real problems again, that will be nice.
Of course, the antienvironment, anti regulation, pro becoming a second world country party remains the most bizarre thing to see anyone here on a backpacking form supporting, as the slightly less bad of two bads, at least the democrats pay lip service to our ecological issues, and national parks, and so on, and now and then actually try to support them.
The thing I've noticed is the total contempt the right is developing for history and facts, I find that extremely worrying, and for science, and various other non ideologically oriented ways humans have come up with to understand their world. Romney is one of the biggest flip floppers I've ever seen, yet the same party that was attacking someone in previous elections for being a flipflopper, well now it's ok, you know, because really what counts is to destroy the government as quickly as possible, which is the largely stated aim of the neocons, well, except for all the money, our money, they like to funnel to their supporters in quantities never before imagined as possible. Good times, lol.
The main problem of the democratic party is that they aren't representing people anymore, increasingly, though they do have to support certain views to get elected, this puts them in a tough spot, being the lesser of two bads is not a great selling point, but it is real, and less bad really is less bad than more bad, at least it is last time I checked.
Now let's return to sound bites, junior high sloganeering, and of course, repeating verbatim whatever fox news and rush have decided are today's talking points, all, of course, dutifully and uncritically reproduced in threads like this under the guise of 'being critical'.
John Muir would puke.