Why would a logical person expect the Republicans to be able to or want to fix the economy? When the George W. Bush administration took over, the Clinton administration left them with a budget surplus that was due to wipe out the national debt by about 2010.
What did Bush do? He handed out tax breaks that benefited the richest people on the face of the earth. Instead of paying down the debt he handed out the budget surplus to the people who needed it the least. Bush claimed that the tax cuts were because the money belonged to the tax payers and not the government even though the country was trillions of dollars in debt. Bush could have used the excuse that he needed to cut taxes because of the busted internet bubble recession. Even if we give him that excuse he should have reinstated the taxes after the recession was over. Rescinding the tax cuts would not have caused another recession. The tax did not cause the recession. Taxes should have been raised back to where they were at the end of the Clinton presidency. The Bush tax cuts cost the country $$$$$3.5 trillion. Also it could be said that this extra money in the system helped lead to the “Housing Bubble”. The more money people had to spend the more the price of housing would be driven up.
The terror attacks on September 11, 2001 put a dent in the surplus as well. Surely that would have pushed back the projected national debt payoff date of 2010. What the problem is with the way Bush and the Republican majority congress handled it was that they went to war with not only Afghanistan but with Iraq. There is not much animosity about the attack on Afghanistan for obvious reasons but the unprovoked, unnecessary, ego driven attack on Iraq was a huge and unnecessary waste of money. Over a $3,000,000,000,000 (trillion) waste of money. If the Republicans and the Bush administration cared about the debt and the deficit (that they created out of the Clinton surplus) they should not have invaded Iraq.
Because of the unnecessary ego driven invasion of and war on Iraq, Bush took his eye off the Afghanistan ball. Al Qaeda was virtually non existent in Afghanistan and the Taliban were on the ropes and impotent by the time the fiasco in Iraq was under way. Instead of fighting two wars it was time to get out of Afghanistan and let them clean up the mess. They started it, they could clean it up. We should have just left and told the Taliban that if they were to try to come back and take over the country we would just “drone them.” If the Republicans and the Bush administration cared about the debt and the deficit (that they created out of the Clinton surplus) they should have exited Afghanistan when the getting was good and never started the ego trip war in Iraq.
If Bush and the Republicans cared about the debt they would not have created and voted for the prescription drug bill that was not paid for and cost the country $1.2 trillion. Sure it was nice to do this for seniors but it was not really needed and was it really necessary to give away $1,200,000,000,000 that was borrowed from China? It is just another example of how the Republicans do not care about the debt and deficit.
The Republican monetary policy led to more borrowing by consumers who could not afford it. The Republican monetary policy made it easier for consumers who could not afford it to borrow money. This led directly to the housing bubble and the economic collapse that has put the country (and world) into the position that it is in right now. The reason the Republicans liked this monetary policy is because it artificially stimulated the economy and made it seem like everybody was doing better than they were doing. It made people think they had more money to spend than they had. It let people borrow much more money than they could ever hope to pay back. It forced the price of housing to levels that were unsustainable. The monetary policies led directly to the housing bubble. If the Republicans cared about debt and deficit they would not have enacted the policies that drove the country into the economic disaster it is in right now.
So here we are. In an economic nightmare. Not much different than the Great Depression. We can learn a lot of things from the Great Depression. One thing that we can learn is the country should not try to reign in spending to early. Roosevelt did that in 1938 and caused another recession. We can also learn from the economic nightmare that the country exited the depression because of WWII. The country was forced to spend a ton of money to go to war. Of course the country had to borrow the money but it was all paid back because for years after the war the country was in good enough financial shape and grew. The country was taking in more money that it was spending and was able to pay the debt back. That is how we should be getting out of the economic nightmare we are in now. The country needs to spend like it did during WWII.
The Republicans will not allow that because they thing it is not good for their rich contributors. Their rich contributors tell them that they do not want to pay more taxes because they think it will make them richer if they get to keep their money. In the end that will be shown to not be true because the middle class will suffer with that kind of thinking. But so what? Their money is just sitting in an offshore account anyway. If we put it to work for the country then in the end they will make even more money.
The bottom line though, is why would we want to elect Republicans when all they want to do is take us back to the Bush years on steroids?