Economic Statistics From The Bush – Cheney Administration: Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat!

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2009-05-2020

I came across my favorite internet meme being use in an interesting capacity: it’s been used to make a statement about the Bush and Cheney economic legacy, so I couldn’t help but feature it here. But before I go into details, allow me to define what an internet meme is. For those new to the term, It’s an online fad that takes off, goes viral and becomes part of internet lore and culture, and is usually amusing, silly, weird or worse. The particular meme I’m talking about here has to do with a cute cat that’s made to play the keyboard rather resignedly, to the tune of an earworm you’ll find hard to shake. But it sure makes a great ring tone.

This may make more sense if you see it in action. Or maybe not. Either way, you can see it in the video below, where an adorable keyboard-playing cat accompanies a Dick Cheney interview during which some unsavory economic facts about the Bush era are rattled off. Check out Dick Cheney as he is put on the spot.

Cute kitty aside, here’s what I took away from this video. Here’s a quick snapshot of how our country’s financial situation has degraded over the last 8 years:

  Start End Difference
Unemployment 4.2% 7.6% + 3.4%
Poverty 32.9 million 37.3 million + 13%
Uninsured 41.2 million 45.7 million + 11%
Federal Budget + $128 billion – $1.3 trillion Wow.

Granted, economic and business cycles sometimes have a mind of their own, and may take on a momentum and direction that are independent from that intended by the government, but this would still be small consolation to anyone who’s looking for someone to blame for their financial hardships. As they say, “it’s the economy, stupid!” and there’s nobody else but our leaders to hold accountable for our nation’s plight. Would you agree?

If you’ve had enough of grizzly old guys dredging up sordid statistics, you can cleanse your mind a bit by taking a jog around our site for other articles on the economy.

Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Frugal Dad May 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Totally agree on holding accountable those responsible. Let’s not forgot the members of Congress who watched this financial train wreck years in the making. “Stuff happens?” That was real sensitive there, Cheney. Like you said, I’m sure that brought great comfort to the millions out of work around the country.

PK May 21, 2009 at 6:20 am

I have a few main points to make. Let’s start with the budget; remember that 8 years ago everyone in the country was screaming for the government to do something about terrorism, and that costs a ton of money. The uninsured statistic is completely bogus because the government has nothing to do with making people buy health insurance or not, it doesn’t even correlate to unemployment because you can still easily buy health insurance when you aren’t working. As for unemployment, the government can only do so much to help, mostly by reducing taxes on corporations, but after that it’s up to the people to decide they want a job. I was laid off and before my notice was up, I had secured a new job with a substantial raise. Lastly for poverty, what is poverty in this comparison? Is it inflation/deflation adjusted? It’s a weak statistic at best.

Also, look at the percent differences annually. Annually they are +0.425% for unemployment, +1.625% for poverty, and +1.375% for uninsured.

Ron@TheWisdomJournal May 21, 2009 at 9:24 am

All bogus numbers. Just because Clinton refinanced our long term debt into lower interest short term debt and then dumped it on the next administration doesn’t mean anything.

What was the median unemployment number? Unemployment took a huge leap the last couple of months of Bush’s presidency. Prior to that, it was a record lows. To pull pranks like this is disingenuous on the part of the video producer.

I wonder if the producer will be honest and show how much Obama is raising our national debt in ONE year? And he hasn’t even gotten started yet. Cap and trade? Add another $3,100 to your annual electricity costs. Yeah, that ought to help the poor. What happened to “95% will see no tax increase.” Maybe it isn’t a “tax” per se, but when the government gets involved, count on waste, corruption, and having to redefine the word “IS.”

This country will be only a shell of its former self by 2012. Fewer freedoms, less liberty, more bureaucracy, more tax burdens. Get ready. It won’t be pretty.

Anonymous May 21, 2009 at 10:58 am

What about all the hordes of undocumented illegal aliens that are living and residing in the good old United States Of America? Count them up, if you can, and there’s your increases. Both the Bush and Obama admin have turned a blind eye to this catastrophe , with open borders, lax immigrant work laws, yada, yada, yada.

Look at California. They’re bankrupt because they have educated all the illegals’ children, medicated them, clothed and fed them (food stamps, welfare, free cell phones), welcomed them into all the hospitals and treated all their diseases for FREE!!!!! California refused to raise property taxes and now must go begging on Arnold’s knees to get bailout money from Washington, D.C. Wish some movie mogul would make a YouTube flick outta that!

I am sick and tired of people blaming the Bush administration for any and everything.

Go look in the mirror, babe.

You and everyone else who lives and resides in America is responsible for the USA’s problems.

Now, suffer them.

Jim May 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm

PK said: “you can still easily buy health insurance when you aren’t working”

I’m guessing you might be young, healthy and single. The average cost of health care insurance for a family of 4 is over $12,000. Its pretty common for COBRA to run $1500 a month for families. Affording an extra $1000 or $1500 while unemployed is not “easily” done by most. If you have pre-existing health issues then it can be difficult to find a company to insure you at all. If you’re not young then rates go higher and higher.

“Lastly for poverty, what is poverty in this comparison? Is it inflation/deflation adjusted? It’s a weak statistic at best.”

Poverty level and poverty rate are defined and tracked by the census. Yes there is inflation adjustment.

Jason May 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Yeah gee – take a look at those same numbers for Obama in the first 100 days and he has already exceeded the Bush/Cheney record. Just wait till the Obama numbers after 4 years. As far as stuff happening – take a look at what happened – 9/11? Those numbers are pretty good for basically a national catastrophe.

Michael Harr @ Wealth...Uncomplicated May 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Politics mean little to economic discussions. When Bush entered office, the economy was overheated. This corrected causing a budget deficit. Next we had 9/11 and ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Finally, when money fled the stock market in 2000-2002, the real estate markets (residential and corporate) went on a run that saw new housing starts at more than twice the historical upper peak of years past. This was fueled by low interest rates and a great deal of financial illiteracy, slick salesmanship, and good old fashioned ‘financial engineering’. Add Congress’ willingness to fund whatever they wanted thanks to a lack of bi-partisan gridlock and well…here we are. To believe that Bush or Obama have the power to move the world is…

ctreit May 21, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Scary numbers which speak for themselves. Of course, some always have a good excuse. Excuses seem to go along with such a record. (How many people who are in personal financial troubles have all kinds of excuses, too?) Just take a look at the comment from Ron@TheWisdomJournal, “This country will be only a shell of its former self by 2012. Fewer freedoms, less liberty, more bureaucracy, more tax burdens.” This could not be better double-speak. Such a statement actually describes what happened during the Bush years – fewer freedoms and less liberty are another legacy of the Bush years. Higher taxes after a budget deficit of 1.3 trl will also be inevitable.

rocketc May 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm

You know I love you SVB, but you are not looking at this issue deeply enough . . . Bush did spend money like a drunken sailor, but a Dem Congress was complicit in that and if a $1.3 trillion deficit is bad, is the decision to triple that deficit a good idea?

The new administration needs to do things to improve the business climate in this country by lowering taxes and raise the value of our dollar by reducing spending . . .

Squawkfox May 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm

LOL – “stuff happens.” The first time Cheney said this I laughed. As the cute kitty played and the statement was repeated I just felt sad. I am positive things will turn around though in time. Call me an optimist. 🙂

mica May 23, 2009 at 8:51 am

Wow that’s awesome.

kitty May 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Yes, except for the seeds for the current crisis were planted long before Bush. When exactly was Glass-Steagal act repealed? What about Fannie and Freddy?

Also, as people said, let’s not forget about the crash of internet bubble and 9/11, both of which lead to additional expenses.

For the record – I didn’t vote for Bush, but not everything about our current situation is his fault. A lot of people contributed – on both sides of the isle.

And now Obama is interfering in all areas of business. Taxpayers have already lost a lot of money and not just in spending. His congress grand-standing about bonuses and such caused most banks not trust the government and not willing to deal with government. So now stronger banks are rushing to repay TARP that they were forced to take to begin with. The taxpayers could’ve gotten years and years of dividend payments – 5% for first 5 years is a whole lot more than what is government paying on their bonds – not to mention stock warrants that could’ve been sold at much later date for profit. It also undermines other programs since private capital is afraid of dealing with the government.

Oh, and don’t forget centuries of contract and bankruptcy law that Obama administration is completely throwing out of the window ignoring the rights of senior bond holders in favor of his union pals. Then he has a nerve and hypocrisy to go on national TV and calling funds managing money of teachers, police officers, and other pension funds “speculators” who don’t want to take a hair cut knowing full well that they were willing to settle for the same deal the unions are getting. This would just result in higher cost of secured credit in future since the additional risk will have to be priced into the cost.

Oh, and the new credit card rules will hurt responsible card users as we may end up losing our rewards or our grace period or have to pay annual fees. As to those who wanted this bill – some of them will not be able to get a card at all (which may be not a bad thing) or will have to pay a higher rate upfront.

Also don’t forget expensive stimulus bill which has very few provisions that can actually stimulate the economy. And this year’s congress budget with every pet project in the book.

Mitch May 25, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Nice! That is perfect. In the full video of his response he gives such vague responses and ends up digressing into some other bs to try and make his administration look like they had nothing to do with it.

Alison Moore Smith May 26, 2009 at 2:03 am

Jim said: I’m guessing you might be young, healthy and single.

I can only speak for myself. We are a family of eight, six kids and their parents (in mid- to late-40’s). We’ve been self-employed for years and have some pre-existing conditions. In other words, we probably don’t meet any of your criteria.

Yet we still have managed to get our own health insurance (and even changed to a better plan this year). Yes, we had to look around and compare plans and, yes, we have to pay for it. But since we, you know, are the beneficiaries of the health insurance, I’m thinking it’s probably OK that we’re paying for it.

I didn’t like Bush–because I’m actually a conservative–but Obama horrifies me. Let’s see, what is HIS plan? People don’t want to spend their money, so I will take it and spend if FOR them. That’s “stimulus”? That’s “recovery”?

That’s insanity.

James Byler May 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

A completely misleading article. If we all remember a few months into the first Bush term (sworn in January 20, 2001) we had the “dot-com bubble” burst. This event was triggered by the Microsoft monopoly trail, then followed by massive sell-offs and bankruptcy of Enron. The NASDAQ actually peaked March 10 2000 and we saw a slow decrease up until for full collapse in March 2001. All these events can firmly be set upon the shoulders of 8 years of the Clinton administration. There is no way any reasonable person can blame a president 2 months into his term for this. After these events we had 9/11 which decimated the markets even more.

For a fairer and non biased analysis would be to compare the Bush administration post “bubble” to the end of his second term.

Silicon Valley Blogger May 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm

If you thought the article was misleading, well, I mentioned this bit:

“Granted, economic and business cycles sometimes have a mind of their own, and may take on a momentum and direction that are independent from that intended by the government…”

precisely to cover your argument about how the dot com bubble burst and may have been unfairly inherited by the new administration. I agree that not everything should be blamed on one administration — a lot of this stuff was fermenting for a while with the stage set for the contractions that followed. On that note, I’d be curious to see how the Obama government’s track record develops even after inheriting the worst fiscal crisis and economic recession since the last Great Depression.

keyboard cat May 28, 2009 at 9:23 pm


aww cheney

Chuck The Water Damage Guy June 17, 2009 at 10:57 pm

If there was ever a President in my lifetime that I think was totally incompetent it’s George Bush. It will take our country years and years to correct the mistakes and excess of his regime.

Unfortunately Obama will own the economy that Bush left us very soon.

Buck Fush November 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm

BU(ll) SH(it)
The RepubliCONS, are nothing but Neo-CONS, FLIM-FLAM’IN CON MEN. They RAPED the MIDDLE Class and should be treated to three hots and a cot in federal prison on the taxpayers’ $$$ they tout to “protect”. RIGHT next to their Buddy BERNIE MADOFF, who MADE OFF with the biggest RIP-OFF since BUSH’S BIGGEST CORPORATE CONTRIBUTER ENRON, and BUSH’S BIGGEST INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTER GOOD OL’ KEN ‘KENNY-BOY’ LAY!

Silicon Valley Blogger June 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

@Buck Fush, I see what you did there! 😉

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