On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq composite index closed more than 20 percent below the peaks they reached in October. The S&P 500 is close to a 20 percent decline, the threshold of a bear market.
The Dow's close yesterday was 11,215.51.
The Dow when Bush took office (January 20, 2001) was 10,732.
The absolute increase in the Dow since Bush took office is 4.5%. The annualized increase in the Dow since Bush took office has been 0.5859%, which is about three-quarters of the going rate of passbook savings accounts at my local bank. Capital gains tax cuts don't matter very much when stock market prices aren't rising.
Despite the flat market, the nation's wealth has surged into the financial industry, causing the incomes of financial industry executives to dwarf those of executives in the real economy, and driving economic inequality with income and wealth concentrated in the rich at levels we haven't seen since the 1920s just before the Great Depression.
The Dow is the most politically important market indicator, even if it is not necessarily the broadest or most representative indicator.
Bush's Legacy Of Oil Prices
Oil prices yesterday crossed the $145 a barrel mark, another record high in both nominal and inflation adjusted terms. In January 2001, when President Bush took office, oil was $28.66 a barrel, less than a fifth of the current price.
Bush's Legacy For Manufacturing Jobs
When President Bush took office there were 12,236,000 production workers employed in the manufacturing indusry in the United States (on a seasonally adjusted basis). In June 2008, there were 9,761,000. Employment in the manufacturing sector has shrunk by 20.2% during the Bush Administration.
Bush's Legacy For The National Debt
The federal government's total debt is currently about $9.47 trillion, of which $5.70 trillion is held by the public, $2.29 trillion is held by the Social Security trust fund (from FICA taxes), and the $3.77 trillion balance is held by other government trust funds such as the Medicare trust fund (from FICA taxes) and highway maintenance trust fund (from gas taxes).
When Bush took office the federal government's total debt was about $5.63 trillion, of which $3.41 trillion was held by the public.
The portion of the national debt held by the public has increased by $2.29 trillion during the Bush Administration, which is about $7,633 per man, woman and child in the United States. About 40% of the federal debt has been accumulated during the Bush Administration.