Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Via Matt Yglesias, check out this chart graphing job growth under the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Republicans are quick to point out that imputing Bill Clinton with all the credit for the economic growth during his administration is unfair and that it’s similarly unfair to lump all the blame for our current mess at the feet of George W. Bush. This is most certainly true, but it basically misses the point that if you’re willing to give presidents any credit (and since John McCain has a “plan” for the economy, Republicans do obviously believe the president has power over the economy), you have to give Clinton’s policies some credit and Bush’s policies some blame and that it might be a good idea to fashion our future policies accordingly. And yes, I realize you could make the argument that the economy grew in spite of Clinton’s policies and that Bush’s policies staved off even worse maladies, but this is a non sequiter akin to David Frum suggesting that the War in Iraq made America safer because terrorist attacks have lessened in sophistication since the time when George W. Bush roundly ignored a memo titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Anyway, even if you do subscribe to this sort of illogic, you would still be forced to admit that Democratic policies like the ones proposed by Barack Obama are not anathema to the economy. Of course, this being politics, John McCain doesn’t believe in any such admissions and still thinks Obama’s plan will cause “economic disaster” while Bushonomics on steroids will right the ship.

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