In his column today, Paul Krugman tallies up some of the history of the financial meltdown that we experienced in 2008/2009. There is no doubt that the President inherited an economy teetering on the brink of financial apocalypse. His actions were decisive, bold and saved this country and possibly the entire planet from yet another Depression, one that could have been as devastating as the first.
This meltdown was the direct result of irresponsible policies by the Bush Administration, including two unnecessary wars, massive tax cuts for the undeserving wealthy, an expensive, unpaid for Medicare extension, and financial deregulation. President Obama stepped in and corrected the ship of state, a monumental task for a young, untested President.
One of the consequences of Bush policies was the rapidly collapsing housing and mortgage market, which devastated the net worth of the Middle Class, a falling stock market that destroyed their savings, banks refusing to lend to borrowers, even those with sterling credit scores. It was President Obama that pulled us back from the brink.
Due to his actions, the stock market recovered in spectacular fashion, rising strongly throughout 2009. Companies racked up record profits. Those profits, however, were not used to aid the job market or the recovery. Instead, companies hoarded the cash, fired people, exacted stringent work hours on their employees and did all in their power to prevent job seekers from obtaining employment.
Republicans, did everything in their power to ensure that there was no financial recovery, obstructing anything that might have created jobs or gotten people back to work. They forced in Simpson-Bowles, then refused to ratify, made pledges, then refused to vote to pass them. Their whole aim during these four years has been to ensure that Obama would not be re-elected. They wanted to drive him out of power and bring back the same ineffective policies they had during the Bush years.
Republicans want to introduce the same austerity measures that have brought Europe to its knees, thrown people out of work, and ensured that a generation of workers will be lost to the job market.
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