Need to know exactly whether we were better off four years ago? Let George W. Bush fill you in with a speech given four years ago.
Warning, Republican reader. The video of Bush delivering this speech -- or excerpts from it, below -- will probably be played over and over again between now and election day. You may want to pick up some ear plugs. And you may not want to check out these excerpts showing precisely where we were four years ago.
But before you go, remember that during those days -- in fact, during the entire two terms of the Bush presidency -- there were job losses on a scale that will embarrass Republicans even as they're trying to minimize Obama's job gains.
... We've seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis...
... Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the house decline, and the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger.
So I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending. ...NYT transcript
President Bush then, of course, had to introduce and propose measures that Republican weren't going to embrace -- like using the government to bail out private companies.
Even as the man was speaking, the markets were spiralling downward -- out of control. If you asked me whether I'm better off now than four years ago, you'll get a resounding "of course!" Jobs are coming back; the markets are much healthier. And we're ending costly "wars of choice."