In an attempt to distract from the failures of the Bush administration, Rush Limbaugh dismissed the abysmal economic conditions of 2008, claiming that the unemployment rate was at 5 percent and jobs were plentiful. In reality, the economy was shedding 800,000 jobs a month and the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. In the final three months of 2008, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the economy shrank by 8.9 percent -- far more than initially thought. Job losses exceeded 2 million:
However, according to Rush Limbaugh, the economic conditions at the end of the Bush administration were fine: Limbaugh claimed that unemployment was "just about 5 percent" and "all kinds of people were working" when Bush left office.
Despite Limbaugh's interpretation of Bush's economic record, the fact is that Bush's economy was lackluster even before the recession. The Economic Policy Institute called the expansion following the 2001 recession "the worst economic expansion of the post-war era." Similarly, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the Bush economic expansion was "sub-par overall" and below average compared to other post-World War II expansions:
This isn't the first time Limbaugh has failed to grasp the economic reality of the Bush administration. Exactly one year ago, Limbaugh conjured an unemployment rate from the Bush administration, claiming that Obama "inherited ... an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent."