It’s the Bush Record on Jobs (and His Role in the Deficit) Cheney Should Be Embarrassed About
Amanda Terkel has most of the story of Dick Cheney’s flip flop on the deficit: speaking to Rush Limbaugh today, Cheney expressed “embarrassment” about the debt limit fight.
“Now, these last few months have been pretty messy,” said Cheney. “I think like a lot of people I was embarrassed when they lowered our credit rating from AAA to AA. I literally felt embarrassed for my country.”
“But I also think that the fact that we’ve gotten to this point where we are faced with a crisis in terms of the debt problem, that that’s going to give those of us who want to address that issue and fix it the leverage that we haven’t had up until now, in terms of insisting on the kinds of policies that will be painful, but in the long run are necessary if we’re going to restore full faith and credit in the United States government.”
She goes on to note the atrocious Bush/Cheney record on deficits, and the quotes the passage from his autobiographical novel where he tries to explain away his “deficits don’t matter” comment.
In his new memoir “In My Time,” Cheney argued that that quote was misinterpreted.
“[O]f course I thought deficits mattered,” he wrote. “I just believed that it was important to see them in context, to note that while Ronald Reagan’s dramatic increases in the defense budget and his historic tax cuts did push the deficit from 2.7 percent of the gross domestic product in fiscal year 1980 to 6 percent in fiscal year 1983, his spending on defense helped put the Soviet Union out of business, and his tax cuts helped spur on the longest sustained waves of prosperity in our history.”
But that’s not all Cheney said about the tax cuts that created this deficit. On the following page, he made this even more absurd claim:
The Bush-era tax cuts helped grow the economy and create jobs, and I was glad to see them extended in December 2010 for two more years. If the Obama administration had reversed course and let tax rates rise across the board, the results would have been devastating.
Setting aside Cheney’s failure to consider the more logical choice–forcing Republicans to let taxes on rich people like himself go up–there’s the bigger problem with Cheney’s claim that the tax cuts “helped grow the economy and create jobs.”
(Both graphs from this post.)
The first Bush-Cheney giveaway was passed on June 7, 2001. After which, jobs kept disappearing (though 9/11 made things worse). The second Bush-Cheney giveaway was passed on May 28, 2003. And while those cuts did precede a period where jobs actually were created in some months, Bush and Cheney never created enough jobs to stay very far ahead of population growth. They had the worst job creation record in history.
So Cheney’s complete story is this:
1) He did too care about deficits even when he was telling his Treasury Secretary he didn’t and even when he was launching two unpaid for wars.
2) Those tax cuts created jobs (only they didn’t).
3) Now that the things Cheney himself did to create a deficit crisis (such as one exists) have turned a surplus into a deficit, he’s “embarrassed.”
4) But he still supports doing things–like extending those tax cuts that didn’t create jobs–that create an even bigger hole in the deficit.
I agree Cheney should be embarrassed. But he’s got far more to be embarrassed about than the hostage taking by his own party.
Dick really is living up to his name.
You know… I just get the impression that Papa Dick just is not that bright — or else lack of oxygen has hindered his mental abilities. I saw this same article and just had to wonder about him. He himself is the major embarrassment to our country…
“They had the worst job creation record in history.”
and real incomes and health insurance coverage slipped as well –
see the second and third graphs in
While the chart is striking enough as it is, I suspect that a chart showing jobs created per million of population would be even more striking and more strongly tilted in favor of the Democrats. After all, Truman was creating a million one or a million two jobs a year on a population a little more than half the size of today’s. Adjusting Truman’s numbers for population would show he was creating jobs at a pace similar to Clinton’s. And that while the country was absorbing the return to civilian life of about 10 percent of its total population, who had been in the military service, and many of them were out of the work force in college.
In short, the last several administrations have, by comparison, done jack shit when it comes to job creation.
ah, Dick Cheney. Sadistic as ever, and gloating over the ‘pain’ that will give him (and the GOP) ‘leverage’:
Must have a CRISIS in order to get ‘leverage’.
Will use leverage to inflict pain.
@scribe: The numbers you want are probably available as files and also graphable at the St. Louis Fed’s FRED(R) site. I’d love to whip up a few graphs and drop the links here, but I can’t seem to update edited graphs on their site all of a sudden.
[My inclination is to blame it on this oh-so-puntable toy of a windoze machine I’m forced to use temporarily (remember that storm-shortened UMich football game?), but I see the site is also being revamped.]
Anyway, you probably want Employment-population ratio, under the Household Survey, which is now found from the Employment & Population/Current Population Survey page. To get m-to-m or y-y changes in your variable, you have to edit the graph; then in the editing choices you can choose your units. I’ll probably get back to it later in the week when I have a real machine again.
I have not read “My Time” but I’m interested to see that Big Time does not deny that he said “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter” to then-Secretary O’Neill.” I figured Cheney would deny having uttered that statement; instead, he says it was misinterpreted. This makes me regard the Ron Suskind *Price of Loyalt* book from 2004 even more highly.