million jobs lost. The economy has lost nearly 3 million private sector jobs since President Bush took office. The losses have been partially offset by an increase in government employment but total job losses under President Bush are still at 2.3 million.
Unemployment has increased by 2.8 million under President Bush. Today 8.8 million Americans are unemployed and the unemployment rate has remained at 6.0 percent for seven consecutive months. It was 4.2 percent when Mr. Bush was sworn in as President.
Worst job creation record of any modern president. No president since World War II has seen job losses during his tenure; President Bush is in danger of breaking this record of job growth. More than halfway through his term, he has lost 90,000 private sector jobs per month. From now on, the economy would have to create 197,000 private sector jobs per month to break even by the end of his term.
The worst job growth rate under any president since World War II came under the first Bush Administration. Job creation would have to pick up dramatically in order for President Bush to match his father's poor performance. The economy would have to create 326,000 jobs per month for this Administration to create the same number of jobs as the first Bush Administration.
Historically weak economic growth. The economy grew at a rate of 0.3 percent in 2001 and 2.4 percent in 2002. These are the worst two years since 1990-91. Growth did surge during the third quarter of this year. However, there was a similar - although smaller - surge in both growth and job creation a year ago that did not lead to a sustained recovery. So far, annual growth has averaged 2.1 percent under President Bush. Every President in the last 50 years has seen higher average annual economic growth rates over the course of their term, with the single exception of the President's father who produced an average annual growth rate of 2 percent.
Another jobless recovery. The recession that began a few months after President Bush took office has officially ended. However, the steady job losses and sluggish growth have produced a jobless recovery. Anecdotal reports in the press suggest jobs remain hard to find. The average length of unemployment, the percentage of workers unemployed, and the number of discouraged workers - those leaving the labor force for lack of jobs but not counted as unemployed - have all remained high in recent months.
The recovery after the recession that occurred under the previous President Bush was described as a jobless recovery. The current recovery is much weaker. Two years after the recession officially ended, we still have millions fewer jobs than we did when it began. By this point in the aftermath of our last recession, the number of jobs was back at roughly its pre-recession level. At our current rate of job growth, we have another year and a half to go.
Poverty increasing. The poverty rate increased from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.1 percent in 2002. This increase means that 1.7 million more Americans were living in poverty last year than the year before. After falling for seven consecutive years and, in 2000, reaching its lowest level since 1974, the poverty rate has climbed for the last two years. Three million more Americans lived in poverty last year than in 2000.
Real income falling. Real median household income also fell last year, for the second year in a row. In 2002 dollars (i.e. adjusted for inflation), median household income fell to $42,409 last year - a nearly $500 drop from $42,900 in 2001, and $1,439 below the 2000 level of $43,848. Median income provides a measure of the typical household, where half of all households earn more and half earn less.
A record deficit. The budget surpluses that President Bush inherited have disappeared. Last year's federal budget deficit reached $374 billion - the largest deficit in our history, breaking the record set in 1992, under the President's father. It may be a short-lived record as an even larger deficit is expected next year. In August, CBO projected a deficit of $480 billion next year. That doesn't include the costs of military and other activities in Iraq, which could push next year's deficit beyond $500 billion.
A record debt increase. Earlier this year, Congress passed the largest increase in the debt ceiling in our history, a $984 billion raise in the limit. The previous high was a $915 billion increase in November, 1990, under the first President Bush.
Worst fiscal reversal in history. Unfortunately, this is not a temporary deficit resulting from an economic slowdown or the costs of the war on terrorism. Instead, the Administration is proposing deficits as far as the eye can see. The $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus that President Bush inherited is now a deficit of more than $3.5 trillion, for a total fiscal reversal of more than $9 trillion.
This change in our fiscal outlook will mean that we will have nearly $6 trillion more national debt in 2008 than previously expected, roughly $20,000 for every single American. That will force the federal government to compete with private businesses for investment capital, hampering future economic growth by increasing interest rates and diverting funds from the private sector.
$2.2 trillion in market value lost. The stock market has lost $2.2 trillion since President Bush took office. The declining market reflects investors' confidence in the economy. But it has also wiped out trillions in assets, including significant retirement funds, made it more difficult and expensive for businesses to raise capital, and reduced consumer spending.
GOP digs a deeper hole. The economy has remained sluggish despite enactment of tax cuts that the Administration claimed would revive the economy. Instead of reevaluating their failed policy, the Administration and congressional Republicans are simply offering more of the same. This year, Congress passed the President's proposal for yet another massive tax cut that is - once again - significantly tilted in favor of the wealthiest Americans. Democrats sought to pass a tax cut that was designed to create jobs now, when the economy needs a boost, without worsening our long-term budget problems. Unfortunately, Republicans blocked that effort and used budget gimmicks to mask the full costs of their plan.
Now, the Administration and congressional Republicans are repackaging pieces of their existing agenda - such as tort reform - that have relatively little impact on jobs as a new "jobs package." This acknowledges that their previous policies have failed. Yet, it will do little to actually create new jobs. Democrats, by contrast, are seeking to create jobs through proposals such as a manufacturing tax credit and a new highway bill.
Outlook. We have a very resilient economy that, sooner or later, will recover and resume growing at a rapid enough pace to create jobs again. Between the tax cuts, higher government spending, and interest rate cuts, there is significant economic stimulus in the pipeline. However, once steady growth resumes, the Bush deficits will begin to hold back our economy. Businesses will see renewed growth and investment opportunities, and increase their demand for investment capital. Meanwhile, the need to finance the deficit will force the government to compete with the private sector for a limited supply of funds. The higher demand for capital will raise its price - interest rates. Higher interest rates, in turn, will dampen the recovery and economic growth.
The long run impact of the Bush borrow and spend economic policies is deeply disturbing. The record deficits will force taxpayers to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year in interest on the debt, as well as pay higher interest rates on their own mortgages, car loans, and other borrowing. The higher debt and interest rate burden will inevitably mean that future taxpayers will also face a higher tax bill as a result of the Bush plan.