Pethokoukis

Time to reevaluate Bushonomics

president_george_w_bush_discussing_social_security

The librarians at the new George W. Bush presidential center should buy this book on Amazon: The Great Recession: Market Failure or Policy Failure by Robert Hetzel. The author, a Richmond Fed economist, persuasively argues the nasty downturn and ensuing Financial Crisis were caused by the Federal Reserve’s overly tight monetary policy in 2008. The Great Recession was a minor replay of the Great Depression, which most economists also blame on the Fed – including its boss today, Ben Bernanke.

In the 1930s, it was Wall Street and the Hoover Republicans that earned public opprobrium. So too, most Americans blame the 2007-2009 unpleasantness on the Bush Republicans and the bankers. The dedication of the Bush library is as good a time as any for some mythbusting. Hetzel’s key insight: Not only did the Fed leave rates alone between April 2008 and October 2008 as the economy deteriorated, but central bankers “effectively tightened monetary policy” in June by pushing up the expected path of the federal funds rate through hawkish statements. Without the Fed’s foul up, the housing slump might have led to a mild downturn at worst and no financial collapse. Indeed, from the end of the peak of the housing market through April 2008, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged.

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If the US were like Mexico, President Bush’s big-picture, macroeconomic reputation might be viewed much differently. Mexican presidents serve single, six-year presidential terms. And Bush’s six-year economic record, from 2001 through 2006, was OK, actually. GDP growth was 2.7%, roughly at trend. And although job growth was anemic, the average unemployment rate was 5.4% — a level that Obama White House economists consider a healthy economy’s natural rate.

Why weren’t those pre-recession years stronger, particularly the labor market? Some possibilities:

1. The 2000 bursting of the Internet stock bubble and resulting mild 2001 recession.

2. Uncertainty from 9-11 terror attacks and the Iraq War buildup.

3. Simple mean reversion: The Clinton boom and bubble years were balanced off by a flat recovery after the mild 2001 downturn.

4. Globalization and automation cost 4 million manufacturing jobs between 1999 and 2007. (These trends also explain much of the three-decade rise in income inequality.)

The Bush administration policy response was actually more or less the right one: Reform education, entitlements, health care, and the tax code. Some plans never got off the drawing board, others died on Capitol Hill, still others didn’t work quite as well as hoped. Katrina and the war consumed massive amounts of political capital. The Bush administration did make some key mistakes, particularly in adding to Bill Clinton’s housing miscues. As AEI’s Peter Wallison has put it: “Regulators, in both the Clinton and Bush administrations, were the enforcers of the reduced lending standards that were essential to the growth in home ownership and the housing bubble.”

The point here isn’t a Bush restoration or to nudge W up a couple of spots on some Ivy League historian’s presidential ranking. The Bushies can handle that task themselves. Rather, it’s so America draws the proper lessons from the Bush years: Free markets aren’t fragile. But a free-market economy works best when it operates against a stable monetary background. Bush didn’t fail America. The Fed failed Bush — and us.

69 thoughts on “Time to reevaluate Bushonomics

  1. The librarians at the new George W. Bush presidential center should buy this book on Amazon: The Great Recession: Market Failure or Policy Failure by Robert Hetzel. The author, a Richmond Fed economist, persuasively argues the nasty downturn and ensuing Financial Crisis were caused by the Federal Reserve’s overly tight monetary policy in 2008.

    That is something that only an idiot would believe. The Fed had to tighten because it had been injecting liquidity into the system for more than a decade and blowing bubbles in technology and housing. I have to hand it to you Jimmy. For a while I had my doubts but it seems that you turned out to be a Gideon Gono fan after all.

    I guess Nixon was right; you are all Keynesians now.

  2. Rather, it’s so America draws the proper lessons from the Bush years: Free markets aren’t fragile. But a free-market economy works best when it operates against a stable monetary background. Bush didn’t fail America. The Fed failed Bush — and us.

    Bush was one of your worst presidents ever. Lucky for him Obama is making him look good in comparison.

    • Bush wasn’t that bad – his domestic policies were Democrat-lite (which means they lousy), but his international policies were decent (he talked a little bit bigger game than he could deliver, which is a significant flaw in international PR). He certainly wasn’t one of the greats, by any means, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as, say, Carter.

      Bush’s primary problem was the media abandoning any attempt at balance, becoming a Democrat party organ, something with became glaringly obvious in the 2008 election (and since).

      But you’re right about Obama – he is the worst President in the history of this country. He makes Carter look competent, Nixon look clean, and Clinton look honest.

      And no, I don’t think those are exaggerations – compare Obama’s relevant actions to the relevant points of each of those Presidents, and you’ll see what I mean.

      • His domestic policies included letting an American City drown, but doggoneit, says Deoxy, allowing a dystopia to continue is part of being “not that bad.”

        The Bush record: surplus into deficits, two failed foreign wars, including the placing of Iraq into Iran’s sphere of influence, the biggest terrorist attack on American soil, the torture of foreigners, the illegal wiretapping of Americans, the appointment of the embarrassing Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, the explosion of income inequality, and a net loss of jobs over his eight years.

        And, that omits allowing New Orleans to turn in Mad Max, tax cuts which cripple America’s finances, the belief that Vladimir Putin was “a good man,” and the million other things.

        He was a miserable President

        • Don’t want to get in the mud on your other “facts” but the blame for Katrina aftermath disaster lies squarely on Mayor Nagin and Gov Blanco.

          Both of these idiots dithered while Bush deferred to their local authority. Oops shouldn’t leave the kids in charge.

          Jug Ears in charge now will make Peanut Boy look good.

          • so Clinton balanced the budget with tax increases and Bush rolled back the tax increases and continued spending us into deficit?

        • timb,
          First of all, the wars didn’t fail. There is no leader in Iraq that wants to prepare WMDs, invade neighboring countries or send $25,000 checks to palestinian suicide bombers. The invasion changed the middle east calculus for the better. The nut job taliban have been kept in check for 10 years and haven’t launched any more attacks on the US. It is merely a question of whether or not we possess the political will & determination to stay in the fight (as our enemy does).

          Second, Bush didn’t drown New Orleans, a democratic mayor & governor did that by sitting on their asses, not enforcing orders to evacuate & thinking that by doing nothing, the feds would assume all costs and responsibility. Lets face it, abdication is easier than doing the hard work.

          Third, surplus into deficits, really? timb are you really that dumb as to not recognize that after the 911 attacks, as the economy slowed, so did tax receipts (same as 2008). We also increased defence & homeland security spending (while never even slowing entitlement spending). That’s why the projected surpluses didn’t materialize. Now, if it’s ok for foreign governments to sponsor terrorists that kill 3000 americans & we don’t do anything substantial about that, then say so.

          I could go on but hey, thank God for short attention span liberals.

          • re: New Orleans

            who did this:

            ” GRETNA, La. — Little over a week after this mostly white suburb became a symbol of callousness for using armed officers to seal one of the last escape routes from New Orleans — trapping thousands of mostly black evacuees in the flooded city — the Gretna City Council passed a resolution supporting the police chief’s move.”

            http://articles.latimes.com/2005/sep/16/nation/na-gretna16

            what did the POTUS do about that?

          • If we sent in troops to occupy any country any country “that wants to prepare WMDs,” we’d have to conscript everyone in the country into the armed forces and occupy most of Eurasia and a good chunk of South America and Africa. And getting our armed forces bogged down in a country that turned out to not be a WMD threat actually allowed Iran to operate in a bolder fashion, knowing that our forces were already stretched too thin to act effectively against them. If Bush had simply declared victory when Hussein conceded he would allow the return of UN weapon inspectors without conditions (as France and Germany wanted him to), he would have left a weakened and defanged regime in Iraq, allowed us to leave more (and more experienced) troops in Afghanistan to ease the transition there (and do more to shut down the Taliban permanently), and allowed us to retain the bulk of our forces as a threat to Iran and anyone else. Despite the best efforts of the Rumsfeld defense department, the Iraq invasion ended up not being a catastrophe — and I absolutely give credit to Bush, Gates, Petraeus, and the post-2006 team who turned things around there — but that doesn’t mean that the war was a net positive overall.

            And yes, there were macroeconomic issues that impacted the budget during the Bush administration. But the massive tax cuts that we couldn’t afford and the ramped up spending (Medicare Part D, etc.) were utterly irresponsible, especially in pretty good econoomic times, when we could have afforded to be stingier fiscally. If Bush wanted massive tax cuts, he should have found massive spending cuts to match them with — and if the spending cuts weren’t there to be found, then we couldn’t afford to cut taxes like that.

          • the absolute worst things about the Bush Tax cuts, an, in fact, ALL tax cuts, is what do you do if the economy tanks?

            it then becomes a perfect storm of lowered tax revenues that cannot sustain the spending but the “starve the beast” idea just fails as we have seen.

            tax cuts are dumb if you don’t have a plan for dealing with the economy when it slows down and falls back on tax revenues.

            we’re in the deficit/debt fix we are right now – because Bush and company had no plan for dealing with a recession.

          • Really Tess, switch to decaf…… First of all, I never said occupy all countries with WMD or threatening to acquire them. Just the ones that threaten our vital interest & us. Violating truce agreements has to have consequences, especially if our vital interests are at stake. How many more times do you let the Bagdhad Dirtbag shoot at our aircraft, use an oil for food program to bribe off the UN and interfere with the inspectors before bad things start to happen. He knew the risk he was taking. He thought the russions, chinese & european countries he had bought off would stop us. He was wrong

            I dont know any conservative republican that thought Medicare Part D was a good idea and many a conservative publication argued against it. Whatever you think about the tax cuts is irrelevent to the fact that tax revenues went up until the 2008 crash. Which means that we have a spending problem. Do you really think that democrats would be financially responsible? Have you heard nothing that Obama has said on the deficit and how he thinks it isn’t a problem. Denial is not just a river in egypt…….

        • What was this alledged surplus you speak of?

          And, that omits allowing New Orleans to turn in Mad Max“…

          Ahhh, so Bush is now responsible for the behavior of adults too…

          What about Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco, aren’t they also supposedly responsible?

          tax cuts which cripple America’s finances“…

          ROFLMAO!

          It isn’t that America spends to much, its that productive citizens aren’t taxed enough…

          Geez! What a loser argument that is…

          • re: ” What about Mayor Nagin and Gov. Blanco, aren’t they also supposedly responsible?”

            not sure exactly what they could have done if Gretna put armed guards on the exit bridge.

            why not at least include the good folks of Gretna when fingering who was responsible?

      • Bush wasn’t that bad – his domestic policies were Democrat-lite (which means they lousy), but his international policies were decent (he talked a little bit bigger game than he could deliver, which is a significant flaw in international PR). He certainly wasn’t one of the greats, by any means, but he wasn’t nearly as bad as, say, Carter.

        I have to disagree. On the subject of the economy, he grew government and was to the left of Clinton on a number of issues. On foreign policy he was an absolute disaster and his lies have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who died needlessly even as the deficit exploded. American military related activities now consume more than all of the revenue that comes in from personal income taxes. Much of this can be blamed on Bush.

        As for Carter, I note that all the right wingers here love to credit Reagan’s policies for Clinton’s success even as they ignore the fact that the deregulation that Reagan was credited for was pushed by Carter. They forget that the unions supported Reagan over Carter because he deregulated the airlines, communications, and trucking. Somehow Reagan gets the credit not only for the decent things that Clinton did but for all of the battles that Carter took on.

  3. The Revisionists are re-writing history. How about the FCIC Report.
    Now you’re saying the Great Recession could have been a mild recession……….BUT, the Clinton Recession of 2000-2001 that he left Bush was a serious recession. ???
    The Great Recession was preceded by a downturn in housing — and that was started near the end of 2006. After that everything came tumbling — and all the financial derivatives with them. The weakness in the housing market could have been seen around 2003 — there was plenty of testimony to that (you had many more unconventional mortgages which made up the market — something like 30%).
    This Revisionist History will make interesting reading/fiction.

    • The Revisionists are re-writing history. How about the FCIC Report.

      History needs to be rewritten to tell the truth. Trouble is that these guys spin and lie with the best of them.

  4. Ref:”The Clinton boom and bubble years”

    It’s too bad that even today you see such accolades bestowed on Clinton. The boom during the Clinton years was 100% due to the policies put in place by Reagan. Clinton knew this and attempted to place blame for the next recession on G.W. Bush by signing the largest tax hike in history (at that time) just before he (Clinton) left office. Clinton knew that the tax hike would cause a recession in the months that followed…and he was absolutely right. The next recession, although mild, was in March after G.W. took office. The left was quick to blame (as planned) Bush however, economists at the Wall Street Journal published an article placing the blame were it belonged…on Clinton!

    • wait! Wasn’t it a Republican Congress under Clinton and he would have never had anything to sign as POTUS if that Congress had not passed the legislation?

      And wasn’t it a Republican Congress under Bush that also sent tax cut legislation for the POTUS to sign?

      The POTUS can advocate for something – but nothing happens unless Congress – both houses – approve it .

      no amount of revisionist history can change those basic facts.

      How much influence did Greenspan and then Bernanke have once the tax cuts were passed ?

      If we think it’s more than they should have – again – Congress controls how much power that position has – and remember also that the Fed is not one person either. Actions taken by the Fed are done so by vote of the members – and again Congress can change that if they agree to.

      it’s sound-bite silly to blame these events on one person to start with IMHO especially without acknowledging that Congress is the one who controls the purse strings – not the POTUS.

    • Norm,

      Clinton’s economy enjoyed the accident of the internet boom. It’s hard to find much else unusual about it. Ninety-four and ’95 were not so good, because the thing hadn’t taken off yet and the effects of Clinton’s huge tax increases were being felt. After that the internet drove everything until suddenly we had enough around ’99 or so. Then we flattened.

      I’m not telling you this from scholarship; I’m telling you this from first hand memory. I’m we along in retirement now, but I was active in a small business environment during the times I mention.

      • Clinton’s economy exploded because the bond market created an excess of capital for those nascent businesses to take off and that was due to Clinton, without a single Republican vote, passing legislation which controlled the Republican deficit and led to the success in the economy.

    • Larry’s too ignorant to know this, but the tax hike Clinton signed was in ’93, under a Democrat Congress and President. The Y2K/Dot Com bubbles artificially fueled the economy during the later yrs of the Clinton presidency, though the Draft Dodger took credit for it all. The inevitable busts happened just as Clinton was leaving, before the pain set in early 2001.

  5. Ref:”The Clinton boom and bubble years”

    It’s too bad that even today you see such accolades bestowed on Clinton. The boom during the Clinton years was 100% due to the policies put in place by Reagan. Clinton knew this and attempted to place blame for the next recession on G.W. Bush by signing the largest tax hike in history (at that time) just before he (Clinton) left office. Clinton knew that the tax hike would cause a recession in the months that followed…and he was absolutely right. The next recession, although mild, was in March after G.W. took office. The left was quick to blame (as planned) Bush however, economists at the Wall Street Journal published an article placing the blame were it belonged…on Clinton!

    • Please post a link to this “largest tax hike in history.” Clinton raised taxes in 1993 and cut them in 1997. (Capital gains 28 percent to 20 percent; lowest bracket to 10 percent.) Given his relation with congress at the end, it’s hard to imagine Rs signing off on a big hike.

      • Um, Toad, the 1997 Tax cut was led by the Republican congress, after the 1994 Congressional demolition of Clinton’s increases. He lost control of Congress, largely due to the tax increase, and had to triangulate to win in 96.

        At the time, Clinton’s increase was widely viewed (mostly politically) as “the largest tax increase in history.”

        Obamascare easily beats that, and probably all other increases as well.

  6. Well.. Reagan, Clinton, and Bush never raised taxes nor cut taxes.

    All 3 did what every POTUS has the limited power to do – sign legislation passed by both houses of Congress.

    or veto it and have it sustained or overridden.

    so the tax cut/increase story goes to each Congress under each POTUS.

    if both houses of Congress cannot agree on a tax increase or tax cut – it never gets to the POTUS to sign.

    Ask the current POTUS about that.

    • “Well.. Reagan, Clinton, and Bush never raised taxes nor cut taxes.”

      And yet you’ve credited Reagan several times with raising taxes right here on this very website. The facts change with whatever liberal point you’re trying to make, eh Larry?

      • @Paul – I CREDIT a POTUS when he advocates for something, both houses of Congress pass it, and he signs it.

        yes.

        Reagan advocated for BOTH tax cuts AND tax increases when he realized that his cuts were going to send the country into deficit..

        Clinton did the same thing and managed to keep the country from going into deficit.

        and then the next guy and Congress, CUT TAXES without cutting spending – and the country went into deficit and then into a recession that made tax revenues drop even further so the deficit continued ….

        • “@Paul – I CREDIT a POTUS when he advocates for something, both houses of Congress pass it, and he signs it.”

          No you don’t. You repeatedly absolve your boyfriend Obama of the blame for the gargantuan government he wanted, and the debt he incurred, by placing all the blame on Congress. Here’s Larry G in one of many threads whitewashing his boyfriend’s trail of red ink:

          “Legacy of the Obama White House? Nope. This is an accounting of our revenues and spending of which not a dime of the spending can be done by the POTUS without specific authorization and appropriation of the U.S. Congress.” Later in the same thread you make top your own record for bullshittery with: “even that is not true. Obama has not added one penny to the debt.”

          http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/01/does-this-chart-show-the-real-legacy-of-the-obama-white-house/

          Can’t keep your lies straight, can you?

          “and then the next guy and Congress, CUT TAXES without cutting spendin”

          Hey Larry, who is President now?

          • re: “@Paul – I CREDIT a POTUS when he advocates for something, both houses of Congress pass it, and he signs it.”

            No you don’t. You repeatedly absolve your boyfriend Obama of the blame for the gargantuan government he wanted, and the debt he incurred, by placing all the blame on Congress. Here’s Larry G in one of many threads whitewashing his boyfriend’s trail of red ink:

            “Legacy of the Obama White House? Nope. This is an accounting of our revenues and spending of which not a dime of the spending can be done by the POTUS without specific authorization and appropriation of the U.S. Congress.” Later in the same thread you make top your own record for bullshittery with: “even that is not true. Obama has not added one penny to the debt.”

            http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/01/does-this-chart-show-the-real-legacy-of-the-obama-white-house/

            Can’t keep your lies straight, can you? ”

            there are no lies Paul. It’s the truth.

            no POTUS can spend a dime unless Congress approves it and that’s the truth.

            and it’s also the truth that virtually ALL of the spending that is now embedded in the budget was approved by PRIOR Congresses before Obama took office.

            He DID get ObamaCare passed but virtually ALL of the National Defense budget was approved during Bush’s term and CONTINUES at about the same level as it did which is about a trillion dollars when you ADD TOGETHER – DOD, the VA, Homeland Security, NASA military satellites and DOE nuke weapons and ship reactors.

            ALL spending – no matter the POTUS has to be approved by Congress and all CUTS no matter the POTUS ALSO has to be approved by Congress.

            why do you call these lies Paul? the truth is that the POTUS can only spend what Congress has approved.

          • Larry the Liar,

            “why do you call these lies Paul? the truth is that the POTUS can only spend what Congress has approved.”

            Nobody disputes that. It’s you who pretend Obama is just some innocent chair warmer. Case in point when you said the following lie:
            “even that is not true. Obama has not added one penny to the debt.”

            You maintain this pose right up until you start gloating about how Obama kicked the GOP’s ass in some budget battle.

            You’re a liar.

          • re: ” Nobody disputes that. It’s you who pretend Obama is just some innocent chair warmer. Case in point when you said the following lie:

            “even that is not true. Obama has not added one penny to the debt.”
            You maintain this pose right up until you start gloating about how Obama kicked the GOP’s ass in some budget battle.”

            well no.. what I’ve maintained is that the rhetoric that Obama has added to the debt … is wrong.

            He has not. In fact, the only spending bill that he signed if not mistaken for ObamaCare.

            All the other spending was already approved in the Bush years and was never scaled back – and just continued.

            Obama prevailed in the budget battle only because the GOP itself did vote for what Obama wanted. In fact, a good number voted against but enough voted in favor to make changes.

            the only “gloating” was the GOP painting their own selves into a corner on the politics of it.

          • “well no.. what I’ve maintained is that the rhetoric that Obama has added to the debt … is wrong.”

            What a load of gibberish. You said Obama has not added one penny to the debt. You may be the only person on the planet, nutjob liberal or not, who holds that position.

            “Obama prevailed in the budget battle only because the GOP itself did vote for what Obama wanted. ”

            In other words, he added to the debt. In record amounts, I might add.

            Your dishonesty is pathetic.

          • ” “well no.. what I’ve maintained is that the rhetoric that Obama has added to the debt … is wrong.”

            What a load of gibberish. You said Obama has not added one penny to the debt. You may be the only person on the planet, nutjob liberal or not, who holds that position.

            “Obama prevailed in the budget battle only because the GOP itself did vote for what Obama wanted. ”

            In other words, he added to the debt. In record amounts, I might add.

            Your dishonesty is pathetic.”

            no Paul , what is pathetic is your toxic partisanship no matter what.

            Obama cannot add to the deficit or debt unless Congress approves it.

            that’s the truth.

            and what Obama did do was get the GOP to agree to raise SOME taxes to help pay down SOME of the deficit and debt – not the other way around.

            I don’t really defend Obama; he’s a politician – like all POTUS are but what I do object to is the blatant partisan lies about where the deficit and debt came from and it came from Congress who voted the increased spending without providing the funding to pay for it.

            and they did that PRIOR to Obama taking office – and the deficit and debt that continue came from that prior spending that Congress approved and Bush signed.

            it has never been rolled back. every year, the Republicans vote, in the majority, to approve continuing resolutions – to CONTINUE the spending. 70 of them have stood by their principles to NOT approve the CRs but they were easily outnumbered by the rest of the GOP that voted in favor on continuing the deficit spending.

            that’s the truth Paul – and you know it.

          • “no Paul , what is pathetic is your toxic partisanship no matter what.”

            Now that is comical coming from Larry the Liberal Liar.

            “Obama cannot add to the deficit or debt unless Congress approves it.”

            Congress can’t pass anything unless your boyfriend signs it. Alot of negotiating back and forth goes on before the spending bills ever land on his desk. THat’s why Boehner takes the time to go and negotiate personally with Obama. That’s why Obama goes out and demagogues in public speeches about various big government programs he wants to pass. That’s why Larry likes to gloat about Obama kicking the GOP’s ass during the fiscal cliff standoff.

            “and what Obama did do was get the GOP to agree to raise SOME taxes to help pay down SOME of the deficit and debt – not the other way around.”

            Yes, that is his solution very every budget shortfall. No question about it. He certainly proved that by his repeated tantrums over the sequester.

            “I don’t really defend Obama; he’s a politician ”

            That’s all you do. You go out of your way to defend his epic failures. Why do you continue to lie through your teeth like this?

            “and they did that PRIOR to Obama taking office – and the deficit and debt that continue came from that prior spending that Congress approved and Bush signed.”

            Federal spending is up a trillion dollars a yr since 2007, the last yr of a unified GOP Congress and President. That yr the budget deficit was around $170 billion. The first trillion dollar deficits were rang up by Larry’s boyfriend.
            In other words, more lies from Larry.

            “it has never been rolled back. every year, the Republicans vote, in the majority, to approve continuing resolutions – to CONTINUE the spending. 70 of them have stood by their principles to NOT approve the CRs but they were easily outnumbered by the rest of the GOP that voted in favor on continuing the deficit spending.”

            To continue the spending your boyfriend insists upon, else: government shutdown.

          • Paul – the GOP kicks their own asses – over and over – because guy – they refuse to cut the spending they increased under Bush and yet won’t raise taxes to pay for it so we go into deficit.

            what exactly would Obama do about it?

            the GOP wants to pay for the increased DOD and Homeland Security spending by cutting entitlements but even if you cut them all to zero, we’d still have a deficit because right now we take in about 1.5 trillion in tax revenues and we’re spending well over a trillion just on National Defense.

            the GOP wants all this spending for National Defense -but they don’t want to pay for it.

            we have twice as many retired military as we have active duty and all those retired military are receiving Medicare and Social Security as well as VA and TRICARE “entitlements” so what would the GOP do about all those retired military on Medicare?

            and this does not even count all the civilians that work for the military – building and maintaining weapon systems like LA Class subs and Aegis Cruisers, spy satellites, etc.

            so Paul’s GOP would cut entitlements for everyone who is not military, right?

            You blame Obama but Obama did not create any of this military industrial complex…and the resulting deficits and debt. not a dime of it – all done by the GOP who now won’t cut it.

  7. This theory and article are total nonsense. The president has very little power over the economy in the first place. I was dead set against actual economic policy during both the Clinton and Bush presidencies. The tighening did not cause the problem, but triggered it. Had they kept it loose the snowball just would have grown bigger before it crashed.

  8. I don’t see much in his economic record that’s praiseworthy other than the tax cuts on the top marginal rates. His biggest mistake was eliminating income taxes for millions of lower earners, a revenue loser and a “skin in the game” remover. Much of the economy was outside his control.

    Bush only looks good in comparison to Obama, the lowest form of praise one could imagine.

  9. Clinton and the Democrats (without a single Republican vote) raised taxes dramatically — by too much — driving the Fed to open the monetary spigot to forestall a deep depression. Monetary policy, following the conservative Fed practices under Reagan and HW, was a potent policy instrument. Economic growth accelerated, but asset prices, and particularly the stock market, rose like wildfire. When the Clinton/Gore Crash of March 2000 brought the NASDAQ down swiftly almost 50% (!), all that Fed printed money flowed to real estate, the origin of our long road to the Bush/Obama Great Recession of 2008 and 2009.

    Bush saved our economy from a broader downturn, by dismantling the Clinton/Democrat tax increases, with the tax cut coming online to help offset the dramatic economic effects of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. He was too bipartisan, in the sense he granted every Democrat demand for enormous domestic outlays to “rebuild” and “harden” the homeland, including so much domestic largesse (“pork”) that had nothing to do with national security. His reach across the aisle to expand the federal role in education and create a Medicare drug program were big contributors to the growth in federal spending.

    Our military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were more than paid for by economic growth and the dramatic rise in tax revenues that followed the Bush tax cuts. Sorry, incremental military spending was not the driver of deficits, it was the domestic programs.

    And the Democrats’ filibustering of all the Bush and Republican proposed reforms of the governmental lending arms halted the Administration’s efforts to head off the mortgage crisis.

    I am not happy with the Bush policy overall — far too much acceded to Democrats, who demanded spending growth.

    As we all know, with the next Democrat House + Senate majorities + Presidency, the filibuster is OUT and they will bring about their final “transformation” of our economy. The voters only made this mistake twice in the past 30 years, at the beginning of Clinton and Obama; then rapidly throwing the bums out. Bush won this level of Republican control 3 times, but never called for an end to the filibuster; losing 3 chances for a dramatic Republican oriented restructuring of the government.

    With Obamacare and national security taking the spotlight, it looks like the Democrats will lose big in 2014 and 2016. Let us hope Republicans taking the mantle then have the fortitude to do what’s required.

    • Bush saved our economy from a broader downturn, by dismantling the Clinton/Democrat tax increases, with the tax cut coming online to help offset the dramatic economic effects of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

      What he didn’t do was cut spending. By increasing government and getting debt ceiling increases he joined the dark side and ruined the country. It is no wonder that the GOP is as unpopular as it is and that voters don’t trust either side.

      He was too bipartisan, in the sense he granted every Democrat demand for enormous domestic outlays to “rebuild” and “harden” the homeland, including so much domestic largesse (“pork”) that had nothing to do with national security.

      LOL. He was just a politician who did what he could to buy your vote with your own money.

      His reach across the aisle to expand the federal role in education and create a Medicare drug program were big contributors to the growth in federal spending.

      Which is why he was unprincipled and a lousy president.

      • What he didn’t do was cut spending. By increasing government and getting debt ceiling increases he joined the dark side and ruined the country“…

        Exactly vange, Bush seemed to have some sort of allergic reaction to using the veto pen…

        An example of that would be the 2002 farm bill

  10. I don’t know why Bush cut taxes. If he had followed AEI’s advice, what he would have done is invent an entirely new tax system, layered it over the existing tax structure, and then, after giving the Democrats their dream of jacking up taxes, argued that we should get rid of the old system. Or something. I don’t really get it, but that’s the kind of garbage that passes for “reason” at AEI these days.

  11. what did the POTUS do about that?“…

    Typical larry g, always ready with the blindingly stupid question or comment…

    Its not the president’s job what happens on the local level regardless of what the idiots at the LA Times whine about…

    Why isn’t the same rag whining about the Kenyan Kommie Klown’s abandonment of the hurricane Sandy victims?

    That’s not Obama’s job either…

    • Juandos – you mean if someone is blocking a bridge that people need to escape the flood – it’s not something the Feds should get involved in?

      what planet do you live on boy?

        • re: ” With whom do the general police powers lie? Boy”

          if a locality is blocking a bridge to refugees, whose “police” powers prevail?

          What do you think the South found out about that issue during the civil rights era?

          It’s pretty scurrilous that folks would blame the major of N.O. when the Mayor of Gretna was using police to threaten refugees from crossing it.

          and what did Bush do about it?

          Did he step up like the Feds had done before when these racist little towns tried to deny rights to people?

          nope.. he flew over in his plane and waved and was dumb enough to have a photographer document it.

          • Well now with the usual panche larry g delevers yet another exceedingly stupid statement: “It’s pretty scurrilous that folks would blame the major of N.O. when the Mayor of Gretna was using police to threaten refugees from crossing it“…

            Oh yeah, that’s what Gretna should’ve done, invited the looters in…

            Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

          • re: what Gretna should have done.

            the same thing that most every other city in the country would do with respect to people fleeing a disaster – they’d accept them and accommodate them instead of meeting them at their city line with guns.

            And the POTUS if he had any backbone/morals, he would have ordered the Nat Guard to take take control of the bridge and allow people to escape the flood.

            sorry.. that’s the truth.

          • the same thing that most every other city in the country would do with respect to people fleeing a disaster – they’d accept them and accommodate them instead of meeting them at their city line with guns“…

            You truly are a babbling tool…

            You have no idea what you’re blathering on about…

            There was no rational reason for Gretna’s citizens to allow looters into their neighborhoods…

          • LarryG, the parish or STATE should have done something at the bridge. The federal government is not your Mom.

            similarly, Nagin and Blanco should have acted. FEMA doesn’t evacuate you, they are the “mobile Wal-Mart” that shows up with supplies. The local and state authorities are responsible. They could have had federal help, they just had to ask. Hell, the feds called them, they said, “No!”

            Bush’s failure was not declaring an insurrection and just taking over. It would have been political suicide bc knuckleheads like you would’ve cried racism/sexism/party politics. The Insurrection Act has since been amended to give the president powers to act without stepping all over the states. Again, all the governor had to do was say “yes” to help. Instead she waited until it was too late.

            The mayor of New Orleans was too stupid to evacuate when the NWS called him directly to warn of a storm of biblical proportions. I guess that’s Bush’s fault, too.

            How come Mississippi received the same devastation as LA, but it’s people suffered less and recovered so much faster? Short answer: elections have consequences.

          • Exactly, Juandos. I would hope my subdivision would do the same thing if we were adjacent to the murder capital of the United States. And leave it to the moth-bitten cliche spouting moron Larry to yet again pull out the race card as a way to tar Bush. Larry wonders why we don’t respect his “ideas.”

            From the article Larry posted:

            “Some black Gretna residents also speak fearfully of New Orleans. “We don’t have as much killing over here as in New Orleans,” said Leslie Anne Williams, 42.”

            Besides, Gretna-gate would never have happened if Democrats Nagin and Blanco not been so unbelievably incompetent in the first place.

        • Juandos – you mean if someone is blocking a bridge that people need to escape the flood – it’s not something the Feds should get involved in? what planet do you live on boy?“…

          Really plumbing the depths of stupidity now larry g?

          Did ya ever consider reading the Constitution before you ask a ridiculous question?

          • Larry may have regained the top spot as dumbest person alive (questionable, in his case) for his posting on this thread.

          • Larry may have regained the top spot as dumbest person alive (questionable, in his case) for his posting on this thread“…

            Yeah mesa I don’t imagine larry g will ever settle second place in that category…

          • you boys are downright pathetic.

            I’ve never seen such a unprincipled bunch of people who try to shout down those they disagree with. In most other blogs, such behavior would result in expulsion. No secret here about the folks here who engage in Ad Hominems also frequent the other blogs that also don’t ban for bad behavior but you’ll not see any of these folks in blogs that do have Ad Hominem rules.

            Perhaps Prof. Perry believes in the “free market” of speech but the little despots that nest here obviously do not.

            in terms of cities that “keep out” people, I’ve yet to see very many that do that other than Gretna and USUALLY when some idiot mayor tries to, Federal troops appear to let them know the Country does not do business that way.

            but that don’t stop the racist apologists …..

            Bush could have done the right thing with Gretna. At the least he could have arranged for buses to come and get the trapped and transport them somewhere else beyond Gretna and Louisiana… but he failed.

            Unlike later disasters that have occurred in the US, as far as I know – NOT A SINGLE CITY or Town has posted armed police at their borders to keep out would-be-looters and other riffraff.

          • larry g whines: “I’ve never seen such a unprincipled bunch of people who try to shout down those they disagree with“…

            LOL! Its not about disgreeing larry g, its about your inability to get a grip and the pride you take in that inability that we’re laughing at…

          • no Juandos, that’s great A bullshit and you know it.

            there is a nest of cowards here in CD and you are one that attempt to run people off that you don’t agree with.

            I’ve seen you folks do this to others and even to each other when you get bored.

            you guys would be the pathetic knot of bully’s in school …

            and none of you are allowed in blogs that have rules about Ad Hominems and insulting behaviors so you group up in the blogs that won’t ban you.

          • no Juandos, that’s great A bullshit and you know it.

            there is a nest of cowards here in CD and you are one that attempt to run people off that you don’t agree with“…

            That’s what I like about you tards, you never let reality get in the way of a good whine…

            Very entertaining at times….

          • re: The Federal govt and cities blocking access “Constitutionally”.

            Can you folks name a city that can “Constitutionally” keep out people by posting police on their borders?

            Do you remember the National Guard telling cities that they could not keep people out of schools and colleges or out of diners and buses or bridges a few years back?

            I see no blame of Chris Christie or the Mayors of New Jersey for “not doing enough” to deal with the flood.

            I saw no adjacent localities to the flooded areas in New Jersey setting police blockades at their borders and rejecting those fleeing the flood with guns.

          • Can you folks name a city that can “Constitutionally” keep out people by posting police on their borders?“…

            Pick a city, any city at all and they can keep looters out…

            I saw no adjacent localities to the flooded areas in New Jersey setting police blockades at their borders and rejecting those fleeing the flood with guns“….

            Well of course you didn’t but considering your normal position that’s hardly suprising…

          • “Can you folks name a city that can “Constitutionally” keep out people by posting police on their borders?”

            In a state of emergency, if my family and neighborhood faced being invaded by a slew of marauders, I would support the police blockade and let the courts decide later.

            Liberal douchebags like Larry just love to cast down judgement from afar in situations like this. Something about screaming “raaaaacist!” gets their juices flowing.

          • Liberal douchebags like Larry just love to cast down judgement from afar in situations like this. Something about screaming “raaaaacist!” gets their juices flowing“…

            LOL! Exactly paul!

            Yet when faced with the reality of the situation they either sing a different tune or die…

            It kind of reminds me of another liberal tool

      • Since when is a willingness to “help” when invited the same thing as being “responsible” for? This kind of stupidity is why we have “Good Samaritan” laws in place. Boy.

        • re: ” Since when is a willingness to “help” when invited the same thing as being “responsible” for? This kind of stupidity is why we have “Good Samaritan” laws in place. Boy.”

          do you think if the adjacent localities tried to block refugees from New Jersey that someone would have made the distinction between “willing” and “not”…. boy?

          Since when is “good Samritan” posting armed guards on bridges threatening to shoot people who try to escape the flood?

          that’s a pretty warped idea of “good samaritan” IMHO.

        • Juandos – do you believe the Feds should not have helped New Jersey when Sandy hit?“…

          Well as long as the feds were using New Jersey money, they could help them all they want…

          Do you blame that on Chris Christie?“…

          Yes, if dough-boy had been as quick on his feet getting the state preped for the storm as he is when a new Dunkin Doughnuts opens up, some of those expenses might have been mitigated somewhat…

  12. This is completely wrong for too many reasons to get into here.

    A few items:

    1. Unemployment – “ from the end of the peak of the housing market through April 2008, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged” – because the credit market bomb of Bear Stearns and Lehman failures hadn’t detonated yet, duh. This time frame is almost totally irrelevant, except that it was the run up to the financial system near-death experience.
    2. Rates – stipulating that the housing market was the epicenter of the meltdown to follow, a large delta in rates would not have had a large impact on housing demand (especially “flipping” and investors), due to the wide availability of alternative mortgage products (teaser ARMs, NINJA loans, IOs, etc.) with low rates. Coupled with wildly reduced lending standards (courtesy of Fannie & Freddie’s relentless lobbying efforts) and hugely incentivized private originators, there was literally a housing frenzy almost entirely interest rate insensitive. The frothy participants didn’t care what rates were.
    3. Contrary to popular incorrect narrative, Bush was quite a regulator, and following the crisis, Obama piled on with 2 of the worst regulatory pieces of legislation ever enacted: Obamascare and Doddering-Frank. The result is a business operating environment with a behemoth of rules only large organizations have the legal resources to navigate or blunt via regulatory capture/lobbying.

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/020712-600378-government-regulations-are-a-trillion-dollar-burden-on-the-economy.htm

    The results of the 2 ton weight placed on a sinking economic raft are still present, despite Fed efforts to blast in huge amounts of air – it has diminishing effect as the hole gets bigger, and the regulatory weight crushes small business.

    It’s overregulation, stupid, killing the economy and recovery, stupid.

  13. Dare I mention that he was our first appointed President. And it has been reported that Sandra Day O’Connor regretted her vote on this one. [Not that I would have preferred the alternative.]

  14. Cherry-picking out-of-context parts of the legacy of Republicans and Democrats is an evasion of a century+ of increasing Progressive statism by both parties. We need Atlas Shrugged to connect the dots that Pragmatists have separated.

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