If I were to award a prize to the most tiresome liberal argument against Mitt Romney, the gold would go to the head-scratching claim that George W. Bush so buried the economy through presidential malfeasance that Barry O needs an additional four years to dig us out. Before I deign to address this unserious argument I must note that I am not a Bush apologist. Indeed, George Bush scarred the Republican brand by waging costly and unwinnable wars; by adding a new entitlement, Medicare Part D, projected to cost US taxpayers a trillion dollars over the next decade; and by overseeing the exponential growth of the surveillance state through the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts.
Here the liberal shifts uncomfortably in her seat. If she concurs in my indictment of Bush, she must sentence her president to an even longer term.
The most casual observer of foreign affairs would recognize that Barry has not disentangled us from Islamist adventurisms. Some might say things are quite worse; the neocon with the lowest IQ in Washington, DC would be helpless to disagree. Nor did Barry take a dim view of the entitlement state. On the contrary, by passing Obamacare and its twenty new taxes, we have been guaranteed a lifetime of French-style structural unemployment. For those that don’t speak French, that robust figure hovers around 9.5%. And Barry is no enemy of Orwellian surveillance. Forget warrants. Under his watch, a super-secret $2 billion domestic spy center is being erected in Utah that will sift through your email inbox before you pour your morning coffee.
The liberal, miles from terra firma, mumbles some incoherence about the Bush tax cuts and the Rich. Of my many criticisms of George W. Bush, lowering unemployment to an average of 4.5% is not one of them. By what stimulating magic did Bush accomplish this? Was it through Keynesian wizardry, wherein a trillion dollars is taken out of the private economy by taxing and borrowing and redistributed by government central planners to political allies? Um, no. Bush lowered taxes in 2001 and 2003, notably taxes on capital formation. The result? Rapid GDP growth and jobs galore.
“But… but… isn’t that what swelled the deficit? Cutting taxes on the filthy rich?”
Well, actually no. Federal tax revenues from dividends and capital gains increased $369 billion during the five year period after the cuts. What did pinch the Treasury were the tax reductions for those in the lowest tax bracket.
If you are reading this commentary over the shoulder of a liberal, I suggest you secure an extra foot or so clearance to avoid the foam now seeping from said liberal’s mouth. You see, their brains are wired to accept dogma, not reason and facts.
“BUT… BUT… Wall Street caused this mess! And they are rich too! And Bush did it!” gasps the liberal.
Column inches and reader patience serve as a practical limit to my response, but the Wall Street crash was the domino result of Federal agencies – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – making billions in residential mortgage loans to deadbeats who couldn’t have qualified for a Fashion Bug credit card with a $400 purchase limit. These bad loans were securitized as Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) and sold off to investors on Wall Street. As RMBS investors became aware that their money would be safer with Bernie Madoff, Wall Street and its Ponzi-like fractional banking system – full of obscure financial bets like credit default swaps – wobbled and nearly collapsed.
And what did Barry do in his first three and half years to get government out of private mortgage markets? Exactly nothing, and worse. Apparently it takes more than a recession and four years of anemic growth to teach Barry that government lending money to deadbeats is the proximate cause of the crisis he claims he is solving. Because now Democrats propose raising everyone’s FICO scores so that poor people can buy new houses, cars and consumer goods to juice the economy.
But, oh hey, I forgot, it’s all Bush’s fault.