By Juan Cole, Informed Comment
It is breathtaking impudence that Republicans should try to campaign on whether we are better off than were were in the last six months of the Bush administration. I can’t believe we are even arguing about this. Seriously? The country had fallen off a cliff in the last years of Bush, or rather had been pushed off one by GOP policies.
In January 2009 we lost 600,000 jobs. In 2008 over-all, we lost 2.6 million jobs, the most in 6 decades! We’re now adding over 100,000 jobs a month.
Home mortgage foreclosures had spiked 80% in 2008!
We were at war in Iraq in January, 2009, with 314 American troops killed in 2008 in what had become a fruitless quagmire launched on false pretexts in contravention of international law. The US military is out of Iraq, despite the lobbying of the Republican Party and elements in the Pentagon to try to stay there in the teeth of Iraqi opposition.
Usama Bin Laden, despite having killed over 3000 Americans on US soil, was still at large and actively plotting further attacks in the US. The Bush administration had closed down the CIA Bin Laden desk.
In January 2009, US new auto sales fell 37%, the most in decades, and for the first time China sold more cars than America. The major automobile companies were heading for bankruptcy. Obama turned all that around, in the teeth of opposition from people like Mitt Romney.
Non-hydro renewable energy only supplied 3% of American electricity; now it is nearly 6%, in large part because of Obama incentives. Green energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions and so helps decrease the worst effects of global warming, and its increases US energy inedependence.
Some 30 million Americans lacked basic health care insurance, who will now be covered, including large numbers of children.
Our country had betrayed its most basic values by torturing prisoners. Obama called a halt to water-boarding.
George W. Bush was president.
Dick Cheney was vice president!