Fox's Perino And Bolling Rehab The Economy Inherited From Bush

August 08, 2011 1:21 pm ET — 9 Comments

On Fox, Dana Perino and Eric Bolling cherry-picked facts to prop up former President Bush's economic record and complain that the "blaming Bush stuff" is "annoying." In fact, recent data show that the economy inherited from Bush shrank by 8.9 percent in the final months of 2008 -- the largest such decline in more than 50 years.

Please upgrade your flash player. The video for this item requires a newer version of Flash Player. If you are unable to install flash you can download a QuickTime version of the video.


Perino, Bolling Cherry-Picked Facts To Prop Up Economy Inherited From Bush

Perino: Obama "Blaming Bush" For The Economy Is "Kind Of Annoying." On Fox & Friends, Bolling told Perino that there is "a lot of finger-pointing ... going on from the Obama White House" at her former boss, Bush, which she called "expected" but "annoying." From the August 8 edition of Fox & Friends:

BOLLING: I'm watching the stock market, the futures market tick down -- 250 lower right now. You know, a lot -- a lot of finger-pointing is going on in the Obama White House at your former boss, George Bush, saying, hey, we inherited that recession; we inherited that -- all that malaise. Guess what they also inherited from you and your boss was a AAA credit rating. Weigh in on the first-ever downgrade of American debt.

PERINO: Well, the blaming Bush stuff is kind of expected, kind of annoying. If they think that they're going to go into this next election year and that they could win once again by blaming Bush, I think they're mistaken. But the other thing is, I think this -- let's back up here.

This is not a Republican or a Democrat thing. We have built up a spending -- spending that we cannot afford. We have too few workers working too few years in order to pay the entitlements that we have promised to people who now say, don't you dare touch my Medicare. That's really the problem, and it's unfortunate that the first thing they did was want to divide people. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/8/11]

But The Economy Inherited From Bush Was Shrinking At A Historic Pace

McClatchy: "The Great Recession, Already The Worst Downturn Since The 1930s, Was Even More Damaging Than Previously Recognized." On July 29, McClatchy reported on revisions the Bureau of Economic Analysis released to its estimates of the economy from 2008-2010, writing:

The revision found that in 2008 the economy actually contracted rather than eking out a tiny gain as initially reported, and 2009 growth was almost a full percentage point slower than estimated earlier.

The quarterly percentage change in real gross domestic product was revised down for six of the 12 quarters reviewed. That means the Great Recession, already the worst downturn since the 1930s, was even more damaging that previously recognized. [McClatchy, 7/29/11]

IHS Global Insight: Economic Contraction In 2008 Was "The Worst Single-Quarter Decline In GDP Since ... 1958." A report on the revised GDP figures from global information company, IHS Global Insight, noted:

The fourth quarter of 2008, right after the Lehman failure, now shows an 8.9% annual rate of decline in GDP (previously 6.8%), and now represents the worst single-quarter decline in GDP since the 10.4% drop in the first quarter of 1958, exceeding the 7.9% decline in the second quarter of 1980. The revisions then made the initial rebound a bit faster (with growth running just below 4% in the first and second quarters of 2010), but then showed the recovery losing momentum over the second half of 2010 and tailing away to just 0.4% in the first quarter of 2011 (previously 1.9%) and 1.3% in the second. Although the second quarter was disappointing, the revisions mean that it actually shows stronger growth than the first. [IHS Global Insight, 7/29/11]

AP: "The 2007-2009 Recession ... Was Even Worse Than Previously Thought." The Associated Press reported:

The 2007-2009 recession, already in the record books as the worst in the 66 years since the end of World War II, was even worse than previously thought.

From the start of the recession at the end of 2007 to the end in June of 2009, the U.S. economy shrank 5.1 percent. That is 1 percentage point worse than the previous estimate that the recession reduced total output during that period by 4.1 percent.

The new estimates emerged from the annual revision of economic data prepared by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis and released Friday.

Among the previous 10 postwar recessions, output in only two dropped by more 3 percent. In the 1957-58 recession, the economy contracted 3.7 percent. And during the 1973-1975 downturn, the economy fell 3.2 percent from the start of the recession to the end. [Associated Press, 7/29/11]

The Economist: Revised Numbers Reveal "Shocking" Fall In GDP At The End Of 2008. The Economist reported on BEA's revised numbers, calling the new data "shocking":

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised its numbers back through the recession, revealing a downturn more serious than previously understood. The BEA's first estimate of output in the fourth quarter of 2008, published in January of 2009, showed a contraction of 3.8%, later revised to a 6.8% drop. The new numbers change the figure yet again, to a shocking 8.9% fall in GDP. For 2009 as a whole, the American economy shrank by 3.5% rather than the previously reported 2.6%. [The Economist, 8/6/11]

Expand All Expand 1st Level Collapse All Add Comment
    • Author by foghornleghorn (August 08, 2011 1:34 pm ET)
      Bolling: Guess what they also inherited from you and your boss was a AAA credit rating. Weigh in on the first-ever downgrade of American debt.

      OK Eric, I'll weigh in. If your political masters hadn't raised such a fuss and/or allowed Obama's plan to go through, there would be no lowering of the credit rating. It's the teabagger/Rethug's aversion to paying for what they've previously spent that's causing this crisis, not Obama.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by mari2jj (August 09, 2011 3:36 am ET)
        Sorry Dana and Eric, there is not one itsy-bitrsy way you can rehab GW's spending like a drunken sailor, his two off budget wars, one of which was certainly VERY questionable reson.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by ThomasJH268 (August 08, 2011 1:44 pm ET)
      Repost from another thread:

      That's like saying "Sure I stuck you with the check for this expensive party and you're going to have to pay for all the damage and by the way, we maxed out your credit cards. But we're going home so it's no longer our problem. And we're not going to think any better of you no matter how you try to clean up the mess. In fact, we're going to keep reminding people that we threw one hell of a party and all you're doing is cleaning up the mess with an over-the-limit credit card."
      Report Abuse
    • Author by nerzog (August 08, 2011 1:44 pm ET)
      Oh, so now the Troglodytes are giving Bush credit for the AAA rating that existed before? Are they f***ing serious?

      Oh, wait... of course not. It's FOX.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by foghornleghorn (August 08, 2011 2:04 pm ET)
        As The Economist explained, the Bush recession Barack Obama inherited in January 2009 was far more severe than previously understood:

        The White House looked at the economic situation, sized up Congress, and took its shot. Unfortunately, the situation was far more dire than anyone in the administration or in Congress supposed.

        Output in the third and fourth quarters fell by 3.7% and 8.9%, respectively, not at 0.5% and 3.8% as believed at the time. Employment was also falling much faster than estimated. Some 820,000 jobs were lost in January, rather than the 598,000 then reported. In the three months prior to the passage of stimulus, the economy cut loose 2.2m workers, not 1.8m. In January, total employment was already 1m workers below the level shown in the official data.

        Attn. Teabaggers: The Economist is not part of the mythical "liberal media".

        Report Abuse
        • Author by mari2jj (August 09, 2011 1:02 am ET)
          The problem for this administration is the smoking mirrors the Bush administration used to hide their outlandish off budget wars. As a Republican I repeatedly discussed this with my Senator but it seems there was little they could do with Bush's insistence on those wars. Let us remember that Iraq is NOT the country that sent us the 9-11 perps. But never mind, GW was intent on TRYING to outdo his Daddy. Sad for him, but even invading Iraq, he even flunked that!
          Report Abuse
          • Author by NotSure8 (August 09, 2011 1:36 pm ET)
            Not normally one to pick at nits, but mirrors don't produce smoke. I believe the phrase you are looking for is "smoke and mirrors" as in reference to elements a magician uses to produce an ilusion.
            Report Abuse
    • Author by little poncho (August 09, 2011 10:12 am ET)
      bush couldn't run an oil company, he failed at a major leage baseball team. he stole the 2000 election, got the UNITED STATES in 2 wars,with no clue how to pay for it... he passed the prespriction drug plan, with no way to pay for many trillions of $$$$$$$$$$$$ dollars did the above 3 cost?? bush gave 2 tax breaks for the rich.. yes, we ended up with bush for 8 years, the neocons, and the teabaggers are just covering for the dubla's butt.. the clueless in washington (teabaggers' & neocons'), are now on a month long vacation.they done nothing but collect their direct deposit. the 2012 elections are comming. king walker has one in his state today. WAKE UP AMERICA!!! yes, they manage to do something, DESTROYING AMERICA!!!
      YES, they want to cut, or eliminate the 20 year pensions' for our young shoulders'when they retire!!!! you know the old bs. budget cuts........
      Report Abuse
    • Author by NotSure8 (August 09, 2011 1:42 pm ET)
      If they were good friends, they would have sent it to rehab 3+ years ago, intead of continually inviting it to parties where there is a lot of alcohol.

      I also find it odd that they say flat out that someone is blaming Bush for the current situation, then directly translate that into a "Republican or a Democrat thing". Apparently they don't see a difference between an individual and a political party. And sadly, that actually helps them with their base.
      Report Abuse

Push Back

Phone calls, emails and letters from the public do make a difference. Remember that to be effective you must be polite, and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and indicate what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.