The pattern of destruction began, according to Bush's former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill (Suskind, 2004), with the crazy revenue-destroying (Bill Clinton's SURPLUS DEPLETING, too) unfunded TAX CUTS for the wealthiest 1.5% (we lost the $271 BILLION surplus and also the $690 BILLION in would-have-been revenues that first year alone. Seed planted.
A factor integral to the economic mess that came to a head in 2006-2007 and 2008 was something the media completely MISSED: the price-gouging on gas that began after the ILLEGAL invasion of Iraq in 2003. Think about the ripple effect throughout our economy, with every single state adversely affected. Shipping costs rose drastically with the sharp and sudden increase to $4 and $5 a gallon for gas (up from $1 to $1.75 in most states), which made goods more expensive in stores, but people had less and less money to spend because they needed to buy gas to get to work, so the economy began to shrivel and shrink as more and more consumers MAXED OUT their credit cards, and their credit scores dropped drastically, meaning they could NOT get loans from banks that were in trouble as far back as 2005 and 2006 (according to NPR). Tourism fell way off in states that depend upon tourist dollars for making their budgets balance, so people were laid off, programs were cut, consumers fell behind in credit payments, eventually in mortgage payments...See the pattern here? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had been having problems since back in 2004 (NPR's "All Things Considered" and also "Marsha Rehm") and had been caught up in the derivatives market which had been wrongfully DEREGULATED by the Republicans---and both Wall Street and our banks were risk-taking with investors' and customers' dollars, and LOSING BIG TIME! Don't worry yet about the unemployment---remember that Republicans OUTSOURCED our best-paying jobs to Third-World nations (like India) and then let those foreign markets (American companies, though) FLOOD the U.S. market with cheaply made goods, putting even more Americans out of work and OBLITERATING OUR MANUFACTURING BASE (which happened under Reagan/Bush and Bush/Quayle, too, as did the COLLAPSE of the financial system, the Savings and Loan industry that Bill Clinton had to be elected to fix...Bartlett & Steele, 1991). SUPPLY-SIDE ECONOMICS and DEREGULATION (which is STILL the failed economic policy being pushed by Republicans as their "platform" for this upcoming mid-term election are NOT NOT NOT good for America, but the DEMAND-SIDE (or frrom the bottom on upward and outward) IS what President Clinton used and what the Obama administration has in place to bring our country back to strength and prosperity. Hillary Clinton and President Obama BOTH have been working to get foreign markets to OPEN UP to American-made goods---and then Obama has been really pushing for his alternative energies initiative: wind turbines, solar panels, batteries for hybrids, power grids, wind farms, etc.---all new projects begun in 40 of our 50 states (check out Wixom, Michigan's former Ford Motor plant for example). The second half of the $787 billion stimulus is due to be distributed at the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1, 2010), at which time even more new jobs will be created and our exports to other nations will dramatically INCREASE as the Obama administration succeeds in REBUILDING our GOP-destroyed manufacturing. Financial penalties were imposed last year on corporations that opt to move off of American soil at the expense of American workers and our economic well-being, and to that I say "It's about time!" After eight long years of negligence by Bush/Cheney et al., we finally have a president who CARES about American workers.
Bartlett, D. & Steele, James (1991), "America, What Went Wrong?" Available on amazon.com.