Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Poor Is the New Rich

republican, democrat, bush, clinton, poverty, health care,
Here's what I can't figure out about all the people who want their country back: the United States declined under President Bush. Declined. So, what they want back is decreasing wages and increasing poverty? What?
On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush's two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country's condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton's two terms, often substantially.
. . .
Consider first the median income. When Bill Clinton left office after 2000, the median income-the income line around which half of households come in above, and half fall below-stood at $52,500 (measured in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars). When Bush left office after 2008, the median income had fallen to $50,303. That's a decline of 4.2 per cent.
. . .
Bush's record on poverty is equally bleak. When Clinton left office in 2000, the Census counted almost 31.6 million Americans living in poverty. When Bush left office in 2008, the number of poor Americans had jumped to 39.8 million (the largest number in absolute terms since 1960.) Under Bush, the number of people in poverty increased by over 8.2 million, or 26.1 per cent. Over two-thirds of that increase occurred before the economic collapse of 2008.

The trends were comparably daunting for children in poverty. When Clinton left office nearly 11.6 million children lived in poverty, according to the Census. When Bush left office that number had swelled to just under 14.1 million, an increase of more than 21 per cent.
. . .

The story is similar again for access to health care. When Clinton left office, the number of uninsured Americans stood at 38.4 million. By the time Bush left office that number had grown to just over 46.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million or 20.6 per cent.
So, under Bush, 21% more children entered poverty, 20.6% more people lost access to healthcare, median income fell 4.2%, and all this after the exact same numbers had improved under Clinton.

I want my country back, too- the way it was when Bill Clinton was President.

11 comments:

  1. I know during the Bush years I was so incredibly sad that I had started thinking of the Clinton years as the good old days. They weren't that good but by comparison....

    I really hope I never end up like one of these guys and have to start thinking of the Bush years as the good old days. I am optimistic enough to think it won't happen but it certainly could.

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  2. "I want my country back"[....in the hands of white folk]

    I'm sorry, but I just can't get past the idea that nearly all of this is down to racism.

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  3. I think you are right ExPatMatt. The only upside to these people being so out of their minds is that it is very very easy to spot the racists now.

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  4. Especially easy now that they've decided to carry around signs identifying themselves as such.

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  5. "I'm sorry, but I just can't get past the idea that nearly all of this is down to racism."

    Oh please with the racism nonsense. The vast majority of people upset with Obama's policies would be equally disturbed if the whitest possible white person -- say John Kerry -- were president instead of Obama.

    Health care reform, which is driving the most significant opposition to Obama, is literally a life & death issue. I'm sure all the people who are worried about changes to the health care system are only agitated because the president happens to be black. All those ideas that bother them would be just fine if the president were white, right?

    Remember when President Clinton, a southern white man, had no problem getting his health care plan passed? Oh wait...

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  6. I don't argue that these people would be pissed at any Democratic President, but do you think they would be expressing themselves thusly were the person white? Of course not.

    There is racism in these movements. Stupidity and racism.

    I don't consider all Republicans racist, and I certainly don't think you're racist, UNRR, but don't deny the racism that is being exhibited by these morans.

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  7. And I what I find especially disturbing is conservatives trying to minimize or deny the racism in the GOP instead of openly denouncing it for what it is. Racism doesn't cease to exist because you pretend it doesn't.

    [gets off of soapbox]

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  8. "but do you think they would be expressing themselves thusly were the person white?"

    For the most part, yes. The sign above has nothing to do with race. There are some racists who have used specifically race-based attacks on Obama. But they are a small minority of all opposition, and even of the opposition as expressed by those who are protesting. Anyone can cherry-pick a few inflammatory signs out of a giant rally.

    "but don't deny the racism that is being exhibited by these morans."

    I don't deny real racism. But protesting against the president does not automatically equal racism, regardless of the fact that he's black.

    "And I what I find especially disturbing is conservatives trying to minimize or deny the racism in the GOP instead of openly denouncing it for what it is"

    It's not a matter of minimizing it, but rather pointing out that racism as a factor in opposition to Obama is being ridiculously exaggerated, over and over. There has been almost no criticism of Obama that hasn't been characterized as racist by someone. And opposition and protests aren't just part of the GOP. They include all sorts of people, including various fringe groups.

    Again, I find it completely illogical to pretend that the ferocity of opposition to health care reform is somehow based on racism, when there are far better and more obvious explanations.

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  9. black guy in whiteface, racist. and a popular image.

    confederate flag, racist. saw plenty of those.

    the whole birther debate? racist. mccain wasn't born in the united states, either, but no one cared about that. cause he's white.

    the whole muslim/terrorist thing? that's got some seriously racist undertones as well. it's a hatred of the "other", an other that is conveniently markedly different from "us", with darker skintones (though an awful lot of Arabs are as light as I am) and an identifiable accent.

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  10. "black guy in whiteface, racist. and a popular image."

    The Joker-Obama image? Arguably racist, arguably not. I've seen good arguments both ways. But any caricature of the president by the opposition is going to be described as racist by his supporters. It's just automatic.

    "confederate flag, racist. saw plenty of those."

    Way too simplistic view of the Confederate battle flag. It's certainly been used as a racist symbol, especially since it was adopted by segregationists. But it is also seen as a symbol of anti-government resistance -- states rights vs the power of the federal government. And again, even if it its considered a purely racial symbol, there were only a scattering of confederate flags. I've seen more Confederate flags on pickup truck windows driving around for a couple hours in the south.

    "the whole birther debate? racist. mccain wasn't born in the united states, either, but no one cared about that. cause he's white."

    Some birthers are racists, some aren't. I would say most aren't. They are conspiracy theorists. There are always conspiracy theories about presidents. Were all the conspiracy theories about Bush racist? How about Clinton? Racism is assumed because Obama is black. Incidentally, there were conspiracy theories about McCain too (not birther ones that I know of, but ones regarding what happened to him in Vietnam).

    "the whole muslim/terrorist thing? that's got some seriously racist undertones as well."

    I find that kind of assumption extremely speculative at best. As you know, being a Muslim isn't about race. People who think Obama is a Muslim, let alone a terrorist, are just morons. They don't have to be racists -- although some might be.

    But again, we are talking about the fringe elements. No one denies that there are racists among the anti-government/Obama protesters. But there are all sorts of reasons people are upset with the government. In my opinion, the vast majority of them have nothing to do with the race of the president. People aren't out screaming about health care & big government because the president happens to be black.

    I would bet anything that we'd be seeing the exact same thing if John Kerry were president instead of Obama, and everything else were equal.

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  11. Actually there were some "birthers" against McCain saying he wasn't a citizen also. They just weren't as vocal as McCain lost.

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