The last four years of the Clinton administration were distinguished by four consecutive years of budget surplus, imitating the Eisenhower years.
Then, the feathers hit the fan. President George W. Bush wanted to repeat Reaganomics big-time, and he did. He began two unpaid-for, still ongoing wars, and lowered taxes for the rich in each of his first three years in office. Yep, GWB sure we made lots of very wealthy job-creators. But, somehow, new jobs were more scarce during the Bush administration than in any other 8-year period.
The job-creators kept the money. Many of them funded new think-tanks that produced pseudo-studies proving how this concentration of wealth “lifted all boats.”.
Bush increased the national debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion and left Obama with a projected budget deficit of $1 trillion. Obama built on those deficits by flooding financial institutions and other corporate entities with streams of money, because wise men of finance told him it had to be done to avoid the Greatest Depression. Nevertheless, unemployment rose to over 10%, and jobs have not recovered to this day.
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