There's no denying that George Bush knows how to stage patriotic spectacles at sea, but the reality back on shore is not so technicolor pretty. Did you know that Top Gun Bush is poised to become the first President since Herbert Hoover to preside over job destruction rather than job creation? Thanks to Daniel Gross's article, recently posted on Slate, we also know that Bush's last tax cut, the largest cut in American history, has so far "cost" America 1.7 million jobs and counting.
For a good comparison of how Bush's record of job destruction compares to previous presidencies since World War II, check out the following compilation by the International Association of Machinists, which looked at the average growth in monthly employment during the terms of the last fifteen presidential administrations.
Truman First Term: 60,000 jobs gained per month
Truman Second Term: 113,000 jobs gained per month
Eisenhower First Term: 58,000 jobs gained per month
Eisenhower Second Term: 15,000 jobs gained per month
Kennedy: 122,000 jobs gained per month
Johnson: 206,000 jobs gained per month
Nixon First Term: 129,000 jobs gained per month
Nixon/Ford : 105,000 jobs gained per month
Carter: 218,000 jobs gained per month
Reagan First Term: 109,000 jobs gained per month
Reagan Second Term: 224,000 jobs gained per month
G. Bush: 52,000 jobs gained per month
Clinton First Term: 242,000 jobs gained per month
Clinton Second Term: 235,000 jobs gained per month
G.W. Bush : 69,000 jobs LOST per month
Also back on shore: While this Administration stakes out the patriotic high ground, it is decimating programs that benefit veterans, their families and their communities to hand the super-rich another tax cut. (To find out what you can do to expose Bush's hypocrisy, support the national ad campaign by True Majority and Veterans for Common Sense .)
National unemployment has just increased to 6 percent, the highest in almost a decade. The states face the worst budget crisis since the 1930s. Primary services such as schools, basic health care, sanitation and law enforcement are being undermined. Lines at food banks are longer and longer. Homelessness is on the rise. Even the state agencies charged with combating terrorism are being gutted. As Bob Herbert wrote in his New York Times column, "There is a faint but unmistakable whiff of the Depression in the air."
No wonder Karl Rove predicts that the 2004 election is going to be "close," and "competitive." Maybe he's been reviewing other stats--like the one that says that since 1900, the only incumbent Republican Presidents to lose a second term have been named Hoover and Bush.