The Bush years have not been good ones for the economy, the Washington Post reports, based on an analysis of economic data and discussions with economists of all stripes. Job growth for Bush’s tenure amounts to just 2%, the smallest 8-year gain on record, and GDP grew at its slowest pace since the Truman administration. “We really went nowhere for almost 10 years,” said one Moody’s economist.
Even excluding 2008’s recession, Bush’s tenure was weak, with GDP growth crawling at just 2.1% annually. Bush frequently points to the 52-straight months of job growth he presided over, but economists say that was mostly a housing bubble byproduct. “There was very little of the kind of saving and export-led growth that would be more sustainable,” said a one-time Bush staffer and McCain adviser. “It was all Band-Aids.”