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GOP Debate: McCain Defends Bush Economic Record...

...and then slams it. If he could get the sentences out, that is. Trusty St. McCain, always with a finger on the pulse of the populace. Bush is inc

...and then slams it. If he could get the sentences out, that is.

Trusty St. McCain, always with a finger on the pulse of the populace. Bush is incredibly unpopular, the economy is doing bad and yet "Mr. Straight Talk" has to both defend the Bush policies he helped enable and distinguish himself from it simultaneously.

And for the record, by no measure are we better off economically now than we were 8 years ago. (.pdf)

Since the last economic peak in the first quarter of 2001, the economy has expanded at an annual rate of only 2.6 percent, about a third less than the 3.7 percent average growth rate of the three prior economic cycles of similar length.

The economy has created only 5.9 million new jobs since taking office, an average of 72,000 new jobs per month. At this point in the Clinton administration, 20.2 million new jobs had been created, an average of 246,600 new jobs per month.

The number of households with employer-provided health insurance has declined. Between 2000 and 2006, the share of people with employment-based health insurance fell from 64.2 to 59.7 percent and the share without health insurance is now at 15.8 percent, an all-time high. Even with the SCHIP expansion, there are more children without health insurance: from 2005 to 2006, the number of uninsured children increased from 8 million (10.9 percent) to 8.7 million (11.7 percent).

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