Progress, Regress- Economic Performance Under Presidents Clinton and Bush

The following report by the Center for American Progress lays out perfectly why progressive economic policies, under President Clinton, created economic growth while supply side economic or Republican style economics, under President Bush, created economic growth for the lucky few, the rich. Makes, I think, a great argument against trickle down economic policies and a great argument for progressive economic polices.

To summarize:


President Clinton took office at a time of large deficits and high unemployment. The country was heading in the wrong direction after more than a decade of supply side economics. President Clinton turned the country around by adopting progressive economic policies that focused on reducing the budget deficit, halting the widening gap between rich and poor, and spurring innovation and investment. By the end of his term, these progressive policies had yielded the longest sustained period of economic growth in American history and more than 23 million new jobs.


Despite the clear success of progressive policies in the 1990s, President Bush returned the country to the failed economic strategy of focusing on the very wealthy under the theory that their success would “trickle down” to everyone else. It didn’t work out that way. President Bush cut taxes repeatedly for high-income earners and on capital gains, with the promise that those cuts would result in impressive growth for everyone. The rich were doing very well after eight years of supply side policies, but everyone else was falling back. Median incomes and wages were down, poverty was up, job growth was anemic, and unemployment was beginning to soar.

The report looks at job,economic growth, household income, wages, poverty, child poverty, health coverage and pensions, business investment, deficits and debt, and spending and revenue. It lays it out in simple graphs and charts. Personally I believe these graphs and charts speak louder than words do. These particular graphs and charts speak extremely loud and make a solid argument for progressive economic policies. I will update this blog post later (hopefully, depends if I can find the graphs and charts) and compare past presidents, Democrats vs. Republicans. I want to see if this is true throughout history.

Full report.

Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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