As a former professor of finance at the University of Illinois, I am humored by political pundits who suggest that the state of the economy is President Barack Obama's fault. The facts do not support this assertion.
Under the George W. Bush administration, the national debt increased by 78 percent, from $3.2 trillion to $14.4 trillion. Under Obama, the debt has increased 13 percent, from $14.4 trillion to $16.5 trillion. Much of this debt hangover came from Bush. Even if you increased this rate through an eight-year Obama term, it would be a 26 percent increase or less than half that of Bush.
The collapse of subprime lending and the resulting Great Recession occurred under the Bush administration, which provided $5 trillion to bail out banks and $20 billion for bank executive bonuses, who caused the economic crash. Additionally, the banking industry contributed about $5 billion to lobby Congress and Bush for deregulation. Under Bush-Cheney, unemployment increased by 38 percent, from 5 percent in 2000 to 8 percent in 2008. Unemployment is at the same level under Obama from 2008 to present and declined by 30 percent from 2010.
Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction, resulting in America engaging in three wars: Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror. To date, we have spent more than $1.5 trillion for these efforts, which was added to America's national debt and cost more than 6,600 lives, and more than 46,000 wounded. Obama has America out of Iraq with the promise to exit Afghanistan in 2014 at substantial economic savings for taxpayers.
William A. MacPhee
Hilton Head Island