A state of panic and denial has gripped the Republican Party, as they now fear that the economy might recover, before they get the chance to exploit it for electoral gain. A prime example of this is Rush Limbaugh, who on his radio show today, congratulated George W. Bush for any economic growth that will occur during the Obama administration.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “I’d like to take a moment here during the discussion of the lost decade to congratulate George W. Bush for any and all economic growth that has or may occur during the Obama administration, not Obama. How do I mean that? Very simple, if Bush is responsible for the downside of the economy, he deserves credit for any upside as well.”
He continued, “I want to thank President Bush for saving or creating between 1.6 and 2.4 million jobs as well, which he genuinely did, and took the unemployment rate down to 4.7%, and it started skyrocketing up as soon as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took control of the House in 2007.”
Limbaugh is correct that during the Bush years, 1.6-2.4 million jobs were saved or created, the problem is that the nation lost a net 3 million jobs during his presidency. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, Bush’s job creation numbers pale in comparison to the 23 million jobs created during the Clinton administration.
Bush had the worst record in job creation of any president since 1939, yet here is Rush Limbaugh trying to sell the new GOP line that the Bush administration was the good old days. In terms of unemployment, Limbaugh didn’t tell his listeners that the unemployment rate when Bush took office was 4.2%. The number was steadily rising during his presidency, and it can be argued that his economic policies added to the problem.
Republicans are absolutely terrified that the economy will continue to pick up steam and ruin their chances for a big electoral victory in November. You can expect to hear the Rush Limbaugh used on his program today repeatedly in the run up to the elections later this year. In terms of the economy, Bush will get no credit for the Obama recovery, because he doesn’t deserve any. Rush Limbaugh may lie, but the numbers don’t.