Any way you look at it, the Republican record is record-breaking. Many of the most important metrics by which we measure the economy are the worst they have ever been. Meanwhile, the human, economic and military costs of keeping our overstretched military in an intractable civil war grow greater every day.
As hard-working families continue to struggle with the rising costs of living and a shrinking job market, President Bush and his Republican enablers in Congress seem satisfied with the way things are.
But the numbers don’t lie.
PRESIDENT BUSH AND SENATE REPUBLICANS
- Most unpopular president in the history of polling. With 71 percent disapproval, President Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.[“Poll: More disapprove of Bush than any other president,” CNN, 5/1/08]
- Least-ever confidence in America’s direction. With 81 percent of Americans believing we are on the wrong track, Americans are more dissatisfied than ever about the country’s direction.[“81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed on Wrong Track,” New York Times, 4/4/08]
- Worst record of obstruction in one session of Congress. Senate Republicans broke the two-year record for filibusters (61) in one year. As of June 18, that number has reached 77.[“For Real Drama, Senate Should Engage in a True Filibuster,” AEI, 7/18/07]
- Most signing statements in history. President Bush has appended more signing statements to legislation – indicating his intention to disregard Congress’s intent – than any other president in history. [ “Bush’s Challenges of Laws He Signed Is Criticized,” Washington Post, 6/27/06]
- Longest combat deployment of an all-volunteer force since the Revolutionary War. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have strained our military like in no other time since the founding of the country. [“Army is worn too thin, says general,” Boston Globe, 9/27/07]
COST OF LIVING
- Most expensive gas ever. National average gas prices have broken record highs nearly every week this spring, and in early June topped $4 a gallon for the first time ever.[“Oil tumbles for second straight day,” CNN, 6/10/08]
- Most expensive oil ever. The price of a barrel of oil is more expensive than ever, and one day in early June saw the largest-ever single-day increase in oil prices.[“Oil surges $11 to record $138,” CNN, 6/6/08]
- Highest-ever oil company profits. ExxonMobil made a record $40.6 billion in profit in 2007, the most of any company in the history of the world. [“Exxon’s Profits: Measuring a Record Windfall,” U.S. News and World Report, 2/1/08]
- Most expensive food ever. Largely due to the impact rising gas prices have on the cost of transportation, corn and wheat cost Americans more than ever before. [“Corn soars to record high, set to climb further,” Reuters, 6/9/07 and “Wheat Prices Hit Record High,” Christian Science Monitor, 2/27/08]
- Most expensive college tuition ever. Average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges cost more than $6,000 in 2007 – more expensive than ever before and an increase over the past five years that is greater than any since the 1970s.[“College tuition still rising,” Associated Press, 10/22/07]
- Worst consumer confidence in nearly 30 years. Not since 1980 have Americans’ consumer confidence levels been so low.[“Lowest Reading Since 1980 for Consumer Confidence,” New York Times, 5/17/08]
DEBT AND DEFICIT
- Biggest-ever national deficit. President Bush inherited a $236 billion surplus – the largest ever – and turned it into the largest deficit in American history, including a record $413 billion hole in 2004.[ President Bush’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2002, “A Blueprint for New Beginnings,” Office of Management and Budget, 2/28/01]
- Biggest-ever national debt. Under President Bush and the Republican Congresses, our national debt has risen to $9 trillion, or roughly $30,000 for every man, woman and child in America.[U.S. Department of the Treasury]
- Biggest-ever foreign-held debt. President Bush and the Republican Congresses have more than doubled the total foreign debt amassed by every prior president in our nation’s history, combined.[Senate Budget Committee]
- Most-ever American families in foreclosure. More than 1 million homes are in foreclosure, the highest rate ever recorded, and that number is expected to only go up.[“Homes in foreclosure top 1 million”, CNN, 6/5/08]
- Most Americans since the Great Depression owing more on their homes than they are worth. Not since the 1930s have such a large share of homeowners’ mortgages exceeded the values of their homes.[“Rescues for Homeowners in Debt Weighed,” New York Times, 2/22/08]
- Least home-equity since World War II. The equity Americans have in their most important asset – their homes – has dropped to its lowest level since the end of World War II.[“Equity in Americans’ homes falls to historic low,” Associated Press, 6/5/08]
- Most-ever uninsured Americans. The number of Americans without health insurance rose to 47 million in 2006, the last year for which data is available.[“U.S. Poverty Rate Drops; Ranks of Uninsured Grow,” Washington Post, 8/29/2007]
- Biggest month-to-month jump in unemployment in more than two decades. When U.S. employers cut 49,000 jobs in May, the unemployment rate went from 5% to 5.5% – the biggest monthly rise since February 1986. [“U.S. unemployment rate jumps to 5.5 percent in May, biggest rise since 1986; payrolls cut again,” Associated Press, 6/6/08]
- Tied for worst job creation since Herbert Hoover. President Bush is tied with his father for the worst job-creation record since the Great Depression. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
- Greatest income disparity on record. The starkly uneven growth in America as the rich get rich and the poor get poorer has brought the highest levels of inequality since at least 1979, when this data was first collected.[“Income Inequality Hits Record Levels, New CBO Data Show”, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 12/14/07]
- Greatest ever disparity between productivity and wages. Americans are working longer and harder than ever, but their wages are not keeping pace.[Bureau of Labor Statistics]
- Largest High-Tech Trade Deficit on Record. Under President Bush, for the first time ever the United States is importing more advanced-technology products than it exports. [“U.S. Records Yet Another Trade Deficit in Technology Product Markets,” National Science Foundation, 8/22/07]
These records are nothing to be proud of – and they are why Democrats are working hard for change. But as long as Bush-McCain Republicans continue to stand in the way of our efforts, defend the disastrous status quo they created and offer the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place, these shameful statistics will only worsen. America needs a President and more Senators committed to change if we are to make the American Dream affordable again and make America more secure.