Senator Orrin Hatch on the floor of the Senate, speaking about the health care reform bill. From Think Progress:
"This will become one more example of the arrogance of power being exerted since the Democrats secured a 60-vote majority in the United States Senate and took over the House and the White House. I dream some day of having the Republicans have 60 votes. I'll tell you one thing, I think we would finally have the total responsibility to get this country under control and I believe we would. But we've never come close to that. There are essentially no checks and balances found in Washington today just an arrogance of power with one party ramming through unpopular and devastating proposals on after the other."
Amnesia, anyone? As I recall, Republicans had control of the White House from 2001-2009, and complete control of Congress for 6 of those 8 years. What did they do to "get this country under control?" Let's review:
* When Bill Clinton left office after 2000, the median income-the income line around which half of households come in above, and half fall below-stood at $52,500. When Bush left office after 2008, the median income had fallen to $50,303. That's a decline of 4.2 per cent...That leaves Bush with the dubious distinction of becoming the only president in recent history to preside over an income decline through two presidential terms.
* When Clinton left office in 2000, the Census counted almost 31.6 million Americans living in poverty. When Bush left office in 2008, the number of poor Americans had jumped to 39.8 million (the largest number in absolute terms since 1960.) Under Bush, the number of people in poverty increased by over 8.2 million, or 26.1 per cent. Over two-thirds of that increase occurred before the economic collapse of 2008.
* When Clinton left office nearly 11.6 million children lived in poverty, according to the Census. When Bush left office that number had swelled to just under 14.1 million, an increase of more than 21 per cent.
* When Clinton left office, the number of uninsured Americans stood at 38.4 million. By the time Bush left office that number had grown to just over 46.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million or 20.6 per cent.
Not to mention the worst terrorist attack in our history. Sorry about that, I forgot that President Bush wasn't inaugurated until September 12, 2001. But there was one significant accomplishment of the Bush presidency and the Republican-controlled Congress--if you happen to be in the top 1 percent, that is: "Two-thirds of the nation's total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to the top 1 percent of U.S. households, and that top 1 percent held a larger share of income in 2007 than at any time since 1928...During those years...the inflation-adjusted income of the top 1 percent of households grew more than ten times faster than the income of the bottom 90 percent of households."
If that's "getting things under control," thanks, but no thanks.