Four questions

FOUR QUESTIONS…. Daily Kos’ Jed Lewison posed four questions today, encouraging Republicans and undecided voters to consider the answers. They’re fairly compelling. (John Hodgman from “The Daily Show” conceded he was “surprised” by some of the answers.)

1. What was the average monthly private sector job growth in 2008, the final year of the Bush presidency, and what has it been so far in 2010?

2. What was the Federal deficit for the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency, and what was it for the first full fiscal year of the Obama presidency?

3. What was the stock market at on the last day of the Bush presidency? What is it at today?

4. Which party’s candidate for speaker will campaign this weekend with a Nazi reenactor who dressed up in a SS uniform?

Regular readers probably know the answers to these, but the facts are nevertheless rather striking. On the first question, the private sector, through September, has added 863,000 private-sector jobs in 2010, for an average of about 96,000 jobs created per month. In the final year of the Bush administration, after eight years of experimenting with the conservative economic agenda, the economy lost 3.8 million jobs, for an average of about 863,000 job losses per month.

On the second, the deficit has gone from $1.416 trillion to $1.291 trillion, a decline of $125 billion. For the deficit hawks who keep track of such things, it’s one of the largest, quickest declines in nominal terms on record.

On the third, all of the major Wall Street indexes have soared since the end of the Bush/Cheney administration.

And on the fourth, it’ll be John Boehner (R-Ohio) hanging out with Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott the weekend before the election.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.