Former President George W. Bush jumped back into presidential politics this week, endorsing presumptive 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. He also, according to the New York Times, plans to release a book in two months that will lay out his advice on boosting economic growth:
Gingerly, the 43rd president is beginning to add his voice back into the national dialogue. A month ago, he spoke publicly in favor of one of his defining domestic legacies, the tax cuts that still divide the country. Two months from now, he plans to publish a book outlining strategies for economic growth. And on Tuesday, he made a rare return to Washington to promote freedom overseas.
That Bush believes the country needs his thoughts on how to create economic growth is laughable. After all, under his watch, âgrowth in investment, GDP, and employment all posted their worst performance of any post-war expansion,â while âoverall monthly job growth was the worst of any cycle since at least February 1945, and household income growth was negative for the first cycle since tracking began in 1967.â As the Economic Policy Institute found, âbetween the end of the 2001 recession (2001Q4) and the peak of that expansion (2007Q4), the U.S. economy experienced the worst economic expansion of the post-war era.â
As this chart shows, the only economic indicator on which Bush exceeded the average is corporate profits:
As the New York Timesâ David Leonhardt noted, âthe competition for slowest growth is not even close, either. Growth from 2001 to 2007 averaged 2.39 percent a year (and growth from 2001 through the third quarter of 2010 averaged 1.66 percent). The decade with the second-worst showing for growth was 1971 to 1980 â the dreaded 1970s â but it still had 3.21 percent average growth.â Bush also presided over the formulation of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
And its not just under Bush that the nation saw lackluster economic growth. Over the last 50 years, in fact, two-thirds of the private sector jobs created in the country have come under Democratic administrations.