Saturday, March 01, 2008

Why George Bush gets a "F" as CEO of America

I try to be fair and balanced in my views of politicians. I realize its hard to serve millions of people, political interests and a very complex international community. However, I feel when it is all said and done, the President needs to be treated like a CEO of a corporation, and should be judged and graded accordingly.

Instead of dwelling on "approval ratings" and the political opinions of radio show hosts, I will judge President Bush on the basics. Much like when you look at a Company's Profit and Loss and Share price... I am going to attempt to do the same.

#1 - National Debt as Percent of GDP

This is an interesting way to measure the economic policies and spending of a President, because the GDP may vary, so it gives a fair way to compare how he manages spending. Under Bush, it went up around 10%. Not Good.

#2 - Annual Gross National Deficit

Another good way to see how a President manages money is looking at the Total National Deficit. Bush has taken us from a Surplus to 600B deficit. This is like taking a company from Profitable to Bankrupt in 4 years (see the graph how quickly the debt mounted). If Bush were a CEO, he would have been fired in 2002.

#3 - Strength of the Dollar

As we all know, our currency is our stock price in the International Market. It effects all aspects of our economy, and our ability to strengthen trade with other countries. You can see the same trend patterns going from 2000 to 2008. Our dollar was becoming stronger pre-Bush and then from 2001 onward the dollar weakened significantly. (btw, the graph is going up, because it is showing how many dollars it takes to buy a Euro)

#4. The Price of Oil

Usually I wouldn't consider the Price of Oil to be a major component of grading a President, but since this is a very relevent to this President, I think it makes sense to review. Notice during Bush's reign it had gone from $30 to $100 per barrel. So not only has oil tripled in price, but our dollar has weakened almost 50 percent.

In conclusion, I don't care if you are a republican or democrat. I don't care what you opinion is of the war, global warming or same-sex marriage - you have to conclude that George Bush may be the worst economic president in the history of the US.

You cannot argue against the facts:

1. He increased spending
2. He increased the debt
3. He weakened the dollar

As an entrepreneur and a small business owner - It makes no sense to me how someone could perform so horrible as the CEO of America. You can assign some of the blame to the tech bubble, 9-11 and the recent housing market... but every President has gone through similar crisis and was still able to not completely destroy the economy.

George Bush gets an "F" as CEO of America.

... and if you don't agree with me, then you are in the minority. Here is another graph of Bush approval ratings.... pitiful.


Rich said...

I find your post interesting but not relevant because it does not take into account those events that caused spending to increase, the national debt to increase, the dollar to fall and oil prices increase.

First spending increased under President Bush because we are fighting two wars against radical Islamists, the growing costs of social programs (Medicare and Social Security) and a Congress that spends like a drunk sailor on ear marks. President Bush has consistently submitted budgets to Congress that are 16% of GDP. Spending it out of control because of entitlement programs and earmarks. Unlike a CEO who sets the budget, makes cuts he determines is appropriate and implements the budget, the President does not have this control - Congress controls spending.

The national debt increase because Congress does not have the moral or political will to cut or eliminate programs. They would not address Medicare reform or Social Security reform. These two programs are 70% of our budget. President Bush, if he were a CEO could make a decision and implement it. He can't without the votes in Congress.

The decline of the dollar. The fed, which is independent of the President controls this thru its monetary policy. Talk to the Fed.

Price of oil. This is determined by world demand not by the President of the United States. Economic growth in China and India, the dangerous actions of Iran and Venezuela and problems in the Middle East are to blame. The Congress's not wanting to drill for oil in ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico, and energy policy that does not address the need to end government road blocks to building refineries, clean coal and nuclear power plants adds to the problem.

The President, unlike a CEO does not control the government purse strings, the Fed, the Congress and world oil prices.

His approval ratings are a function of years of media and opposition party bashing, some justified, most not. Congress's dismal approval ratings are because they are not addressing the issues you raise: out of control spending, national debt, the dollar and oil prices.

The candidates on the Democratic side want more spending and more taxes. Only John McCain is talking about change - cut spending, cut taxes, eliminate the deficit and strengthen the dollar.

Nice try but your column is based upon the false assumption that the President of the United States has the same power as a corporate CEO. He doesn't and our fore fathers made sure he didn't when they created the separation of powers in our Constitution.

Fast Pitch! said...

Dear 'Comment' Rich...

With all due respect... In your disagreement with 'Blogger' Rich you continually attempt to pass the buck off on Congress for the failures of the administration (8 times in fact)... Unfortunately the argument lacks any sort of merit.


During that time, Bush failed to veto a single bill! Much like a CEO, he had the power to do something and didn't.

Imagine a Fortune 500 CEO failing to disagree with a single employee for 7 years? Imagine a Father not saying no to his child for 7 years?

As far as media bashing... I can't name one single Liberal radio talk show host.. But I can name about 10 who are Conservative (Hannity, Limbaugh, Boortz, Ingram, Medved, Bennett, Savage, Beck, Cunningham...). The list goes on.

I think the president has had more than enough people defending his incompetencies for the past 7 years.

The GOP had it's turn... the graphs don't lie. It's time for something new.

Rich Swier said...

If what you are saying is that the President has no control over any policy - then why do we need a President?

Either way, Bush is responsible for either "bad action" or "no action" at all. If the congress was making bad decisions, then a true leader, a true President would have changed the direction.

You just proved my point. A leader would take responsibility... he doesn't. A leader would work for changing the horrible path we are on - he doesn't. A leader would garner the support of the American people and work with the Congress on addressing these issues - he doesn't.

Other Presidents faced the same or even worse international disasters. Even Bush Sr. went to Iraq and declared war, and kept Oil prices down. Reagen increased spending dramatically, but he had good economic policy that kept the dollar strong and economy growing.

Not only does this poor performance hurt America at home, with people losing jobs, and the economy in ruins - it hurts the entire "brand" of Democracy - because now the world looks at us as an example, and I am not sure they are envious.

That is the irony of Bush's entire presidency. He wanted to "spread" democracy, but instead due to his decisions and policy - more people hate America, we are making the Middle East the richest they have ever been, our economy is a shameful example for the world to ridicule, and the power of America to spread democracy has gone bankrupt due to a one-track mind President seeking vengeance on terrorists.

Rich said...

Dear Fast Pitch and Rich,

President Bush has taken the lead in numerous foreign and domestic policy issues.

Let me give you a few examples:

1. He realized that radical Islam has for four decades been waging a war against the West, culminating in 9/11. He declared war on them. Iraq and Afghanistan are only fronts in the global war on radical Islam. For more information on radical Islam go to Radical Islam hates the West and America in particular because we believe in the separation between church and state. Radical Islamists believe the church is the state. They also hate us for our secular ways best projected world wide by Hollywood.

2. President Bush in the face of an economic recession and bust cut taxes. He fought a Democratic controlled House and Senate to do this. Because of his leadership on this issue we have had 51 months of continuous economic growth. This is historic.

3. President Bush recognized the need to provide prescription drugs to millions of American seniors and those on Medicaid. His leadership got the bill through a Republican controlled House and Senate that opposed it. Using prescription medication to prevent and cure illness (heart disease, diabetes, etc.) is much cheaper than the costs of hospitalization. This bill used the market system to provide the solution not government.

4. President Bush took the lead in trying to fix Social Security. The Democrats came out in force to kill private savings accounts. This solution would have put your money in your savings account, not allowed the government to spend your savings on whatever it wants, given you a greater return on your investment and given all Americans a savings account that could be passed onto their heirs. He lost this battle and because he did we are and will be paying the consequences.

5. President Bush has taken the lead on fighting HIV Aids in Africa. He is beloved there and has the status of rock star in Africa. He has done more than any other President to stop the spread of HIV Aids in Africa, any President.

6. President Bush took the lead in stem cell research. He is the first President to use federal funds to support stem cell research on existing lines of cells but not new lines. He held fast on not using new embryos but rather funded research to use other cells to create solutions to serious medical problems. His stand was completely successful with the use of non-embryonic stem cells to create stem cells that can be used to cure major illnesses. A great victory for President Bush and his values and ideas.

There are many other victories that you do not read about in the main stream media. Perhaps that is why you do not give this President credit for leading us through the bust, 9/11, corporate scandals like Enron, fighting two major battles in the war on radical Islam, growing our economy (the Dow is higher than ever), cutting taxes, improving medical care, growing our defense budget and keeping us from another attack on U.S. soil.

If these are not showing leadership then what is?

Rich said...

Dear Rich and Fast Pitch,

I forgot that President Bush took the lead on trying to pass a bill that provides comprehensive immigration reform. This was a huge political risk but he took a principled stand and lost. The people spoke loudly and clearly that they want the borders secured first.

Rich said...


I also forgot that President Bush is the first President to declare and support a two state solution to the Israeli/Palestine conflict. The first President to produce six party talks on dismantling North Korea's nuclear capability and the first to get the U.S. Congress to declare Iran's Republican Guard a terror organization and get the UN to pass sanctions against Iran. He also has called for Turkey to admitted to the European Union and recognized a free and independent Kosovo.

He also funded the Strategic Defense Initiative or Star Wars which shot down a rogue satellite last week and will be deployed in Europe and hopefully Asia. This helps take nuclear tipped missiles off the table in future weapons negotiations.

PAYDIRT said...

...and Congress gets an F- grade and won't be allowed to graduate.

Kelly said...

Kudos for some objective standards Rich. We can all make excuses for the kid at the back of the room for his grades. But at the end of the day; good marks is what pays the bills.

So not sure who these readers are or if I will come back but there is some serious malarky being promoted on here on GW's track record.

GW REFUSED to talk to N. Korea, and has only done so because of N Korea's nuclear ambitions. He still wont talk bilaterally. And guess what N Korea bargained for, the same heating oil Albright brokered and GW eliminated. He barely cleaned up his own mess.

Shooting down the satellite and Star Wars as a deterrent to proliferation?!?! Are you kidding me? That was a stunt to drum up support to spend more money with the same defense contractors who put him in office and has helped fund his presidency.

Bush's immigration reform was politically unpopular with the right wingers (who would always vote for him) but what he was really trying to do was bring over the latino vote to the last Presidential election cycle. It just happened to coincide with some good ideas; but he knew it wouldn't work. It was largely free votes.

Like Medicare and Social Security being 70% of the budget. Horse puckey, these federal entitlement programs are managed independent of the federal taxes we pay. While they are a percentage of what citizens pay, its not part of the budget. In fact the GOP congress has been busy spending the surpluses generated by the investment revenue thrown off of them.

If the price of oil's main determinants are Venezuala and Iran, Bush gets a pass on this? Seriously? He labeled one a part of the axis of evil and refused to talk with them for 7 odd years, and Chavez he's repeatedly tried to assasinate. This isn't exactly the international diplomat oil baron we want him to be. Get over Anwar people, there isn't enough Oil there to power our hummers for more than a year at best.

Bush is not the first president to support a two state solution in Israel; that would have been Carter. Clinton got the Oslo peace accords off the ground and got the first Israel statement recognizing the PLO. Bush helped build the damn wall, and repeatedly denounces the only democratically elected Islamic state's leadership (Hamas) as terrorists.

His leadership against Radical Islam, doesn't include any diplomacy with Moderate Islam. Given that half the dictators keeping the radicals in check are personal friends of his, you'd think he could build a coalition. But Nada!! Clinton advisers gave him the play book for Obama, and he ignored it.... entirely!

Turkey being admitted to the EU is a bribe so that they don't kill every kurd in Northern Iraq; that's not a win as much as putting a bandaid on the open sore of Iraq.

And the fed in control of monetary policy and is responsible for the fall of the dollar is ABSURD. the dollar is valuable because of the macroeconomic client Bush runs. The fed is responsible for making adjustments in the overall money supply (how much money we print, and how available it is). Its a tool to fight inflation, or improve market liquidity; But the value of the dollar is directly related to the economic health of the nation. Its like saying your banker at wells fargo is responsible for how meager your current salary is.

I'm amazed at how Bush is continually defended as brilliant leader in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances. Like Bush had is more difficult than FDR, JFK, or Eisenhower. Those folks had real f'in problems. Hitler makes radical islam look like a bunch of bullies in the cafeteria of junior high. Hmmmmm 9/11 versus the battle of normandy.... well clearly Bush has it more difficult.


marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

History Dissertation

dissertation said...

Why George Bush gets a "F" as CEO of America <-- that's what i was looking for