As you know, the Obama Administration and Democrats like to blame President George W. Bush for Obama’s failed Presidency. They also like to emphasize fairness. So let’s examine their accusations in the light of fairness.
Remember, President Bush came into office in January 2001 and served for eight years until January 2009. When he came into office, he inherited the bursting Clinton technology bubble of the 1990s. The country was in serious decline, which Bush attempted to counteract with tax cuts for industry, investors and consumers. He also supported rational entitlement programs to relieve the plight of the unemployed and poor.
Things appeared to be trending upward when 9/11 happened on September 11, 2001. This pulled the rug out from under the Bush recovery program and exacerbated the downturn. In addition, to keep America safe from additional and predicted terrorist activity, Bush initiated the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and, later, in Iraq. The primary strategy was to fight terrorists on their own turf, rather than here in the U.S.A. And it worked!
Despite these unplanned and unpredictable obstructions, the Bush administration prevailed in its anti-recession efforts, and the economy not only turned around but boomed for several years. Unemployment was low and government deficits were relatively modest until 2008.
That was because the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 and control of federal spending in 2008, and beyond. Deficit spending has exceeded $1 trillion a year ever since.
Unfortunately, GWB failed to veto this excessive spending, perhaps his greatest mistake as president. He clearly wanted to be cooperative with the Democrat controlled Congress, while keeping America safe from another terrorist attack.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast with devastating force and unprecedented damage. President Bush and his administration were immediately blamed by the Leftist media for an inadequate Federal response – both before, during and after the catastrophe. Even Bush’s helicopter tour of the devastation was criticized by the hate-filled Democrats and their supporters in the media. Nevertheless, GWB did what he always did ― what was right; and provided unprecedented relief for the victims of the storm.
About this time, the real estate bubble began to deflate. It peaked in 2006 precipitating a significant financial crisis caused by the complex interplay of overvalued real estate, the serialization of mortgage and other real estate backed loans, etc. To counteract this subprime mortgage crisis, the Bush administration initiated the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008 to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions – to strengthen the financial sector.
The real estate bubble, which deflated and contributed significantly to the financial crisis, was the result of the Republican and Democrat sponsorship of home ownership and related subprime lending to unqualified borrowers in the belief that home prices would always go up. This was a mistake by both parties – but more so by the Democrats than the Republicans or the Bush Administration, which repeatedly warned against the practices of Fannie and Freddie and the banking and insurance industries. The serialization of their loans – mostly mortgages – proved to be an undisciplined and under-regulated practice, which exacerbated the financial crisis.
Also, up to this period and continuing today, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unrealistically low, thus enabling irrational subprime lending by the banking industry.
Clearly, President Bush experienced a series of problems and events that could not be anticipated during his tenure. He courageously made difficult decisions and kept America safe and solvent. For several years, he kept the economy relatively strong and prosperous. His greatest failing was his willingness to cooperate with a spendthrift Democrat controlled Congress.
The practice of the Obama administration and his Chicago campaign organization and the Democratic Party – to blame President Bush for the Obama failings of the past four years – and of excessive spending, unemployment, underemployment, doubling of gasoline prices, household wealth decline (40%), Federal deficits and debt – is grossly unfair and deceitful. Unfortunately, President Obama is the master of Saul Alinsky-like deception. He tells his audience what will make them feel good; then later, does what he wants regardless of previous commitments.
Clearly Obama is over his head and has delegated much of the leadership decisions and programs and practices of his administration to Pelosi and Reid in Congress; and to the academic schoolboys in the Obama Administration. Obama’s role has been reduced, in effect, to
Cheerleader-in-Chief and perpetual Campaigner-in-Chief.
Image:Illustrations by Frederick Barnard, J.D. Linton, W. Small, etc. Engraved by Dalziel Brothers; “Hypocrisy” from Pilgrim’s Progress; public domain