My whole reason for initiating this thread was to open a discussion on the following economics-related quote from your diary: "My house wasn't nearly worth what I was paying for it, thanks to the economic meltdown the previous administration's deregulation and lack of enforcing the regulations it had on the books."
Actually I think I misplaced an apostrophe; it should have been "administrations' " rather than "administration's".
I find it a shame that it's nearly impossible nowadays to discuss economics without it turning political
Economics is so tied to politcs I don't see how you can discuss economics while ignoring politics. I've had a poor opinion of economists since 1977 when I took an undergraduate economics class; well, actually I dropped the class the first tine the three PhDs made astoundingly ignorant statements. These dunces couldn't understand why someone in a 1st world country couldn't live as cheaply as someone in a 3rd world country. I'd been in Thailand in 1974, I rented a bungalow (which came with a live-in woman) for thirty bucks a month. You could go anywhere on a bhat bus for a nickle. You could feed four people in a restaraunt for a dollar. These idiots couldn't seem to understand that.
I imagine my dad knows about Medicare part D, but it doesn't affect me or anyone my age or younger. Actually you're right about space exploration, but he didn't really push hard for it. And when it came to science, politics always trumped science.
I had to look Sarbanes-Oxley up in wikipedia, did Bush push for that or was it passed with a veto-proof majority? After Enron I don't see how anyone could be against it. The wikipedia article in fact made me, who voted for Ron Paul in the primary last election, become decidedly anti-Paul.
If you can credit Bush for that, then yes it was a good thing. I guess since I credit Nixon for signing the various environmental protections, I have to give Bush credit for Sarbanes-Oxley.
Were you not alive in the mid 70s through early 80s? Stagnant economy with runaway inflation? 20% interest rates?
Yes, and that was at the hands of Nixon, Ford (to a very small extent; he wasn't in office long), Carter, and to a small extent Reagan. Reagan's jawboning the capital gains tax cut through congress hurt the working people of this country. It was like my grandmother describes the "roaring twenties" in that it only roared for the rich, everyone else was struggling.
The nineties, particularly that last half, had a very good economy, at least if you worked for a living.
Other than Katrina?
Yes, but the clucterfuck that was Katrina response made the responses to the other disasters look good, but only in comparison. When the tornados hit here in March 2006* the local government here (unlike N.O.) was on the ball, the state of Illinois was only a bit tardy, it was 2007 before the feds did anything at all.
I can't figure out how I'm better off for Bush Jr., Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, etc. having been president.
IMO Clinton did a good job. His focus was on the economy, which Bush Sr had left in shambles. It started turning around quickly. He put 100,000 extra cops on the street, and my neighborhood (there had been a gang war shootouts between the Crips and the Bloods right down the street from my house in iirc 1990) got a lot safer when we got a "neighborhood cop" funded by the feds. He put the WTC bombers in prison (or rather, the FBI did, and the FBI answers to the President and its head is appointed by him).
Nixon was a bad President that still did some good things. To quote Mr. Spock, "Only Nixon could go to China". Before the Clean Air Act you could NOT drive past Monsanto with the windows down. Before the Clean Water Act, Dead Creek in Cahokia actually caught fire!
Reagan was bad for the poor and middle classes, but he did a few good things (or at least, they happened during his watch), like the fall of teh Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall coming down.
What did Bush do right? That's easy. More importantly than anything I named above, TARP saved us from a true economic Depression.
I'm not so sure about that; there was no accountability whatever. It may have cause us to avoid a depression but we may have avoided a depression without it, and we still may have a depression; unemployment is in the double digits. Obama's bailout wasn't much better than Bush's.
The fact that AIG was bailed out was IMO a bad thing; you should NOT be able to insure gambling (investment) losses. And even though all that money was shoveled into the banks, they're still not loaning it out. I know businessmen here who can't get business loans, and a lot of them are losing their businesses.
The subprime mortgage mess (which you would probably argue was caused primarily by Bush
I'd credit Bush, Clinton, and Greenspan for that mess. But being able to insure against losses was the true culprit, and that hasn't been addressed, not by Bush or by Obama or their respective congresses.
* AFAIK this is the only place in the world that you can have ice storms, snow, thuderstorms, tornados, hail, sleet, freezing weather and balmy weather all in the same week.