I am glad that people are very interested in politics and paying attention.
But, I do think that we all need to keep a little perspective.
W. and the damage donehttp://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/01/08/damage/
President Bush inherited a peaceful, prosperous America. As he exits, Salon consults experts in seven fields to try to assess the devastation.
By Vincent Rossmeier and Gabriel Winant
Jan. 8, 2009 | After a couple of presidential terms, mismanagement in every area of policy -- foreign, domestic, even extraterrestrial -- starts to add up. When George W. Bush entered the White House in January 2001, he inherited peace and prosperity. The military, the Constitution and New Orleans were intact and the country had a budget surplus of $128 billion. Now he's about to dash out the door, leaving a large, unpaid bill for his successors to pay.
To get a sense of what kind of balance is due, Salon spoke to experts in seven different fields. Wherever possible, we have tried to express the damage done in concrete terms -- sometimes in lives lost, but most often just in money spent and dollars owed. What follows is an incomplete inventory of eight years of mis- and malfeasance, but then a fuller accounting would run, um, somewhat longer than three pages.
Until not too long ago, President Bush's supporters could be heard to argue that the economy was the unheralded success story of his administration. In 2006, Larry Kudlow called it "The Greatest Story Never Told." While praising Bush, Ramesh Ponnuru decried the unfairness of it all. "It seems to happen every week: Some new piece of good economic news comes out, and Republicans sink a little deeper in the polls." To share their admiration, it helped if you ignored the way the wealth was being distributed. Or if you were a repo man.
But the whole debate became moot on Sept. 15, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Now the economy may be the most burdensome of all the Bush legacies that Barack Obama will have to shoulder.
The current financial and economic crisis has grown so massive, consuming everything in sight, that one might be able to forget that it started with bad mortgages. Well, one could try to forget, as long as one still has a home, or is not among the nearly one in four mortgage-holders whose homes are worth less than the debt on their homes.( Collapse )