But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

Conservatives Say: It’s OK If Obama Blames Bush


No RiNOs (Republicans in Name Only)Yes, whenever the sagging economy comes up, or the foreign quagmires, Obama blames Bush. And certain talk show hosts have defensive hysterics over that.

But, unlike neocons at Fox and on the radio, and other advocates of Big Brothernment, true Conservatives have no problem at all with this, for two reasons:

First) It’s true. Bush governed like a Liberal, spending money, increasing regulations, and dragging us into a trillion dollars in wars, and then mismanaged them abysmally. Even if it is embarrassing to  “our side”, we believe in supporting the truth, taking responsibility for mistakes (something Bush rarely did), and fixing problems.

Second) It’s not a condemnation of Conservatism, anyway, because Bush was so Liberal. Like neocons in general, he only talked Conservative, but when the chips were down he always turned to huge government solutions, more squandering of taxpayer money, et cetera.

It’s no surprise that we had economic and political trauma, when Bush violated Conservative principles in these ways:

  • He had claimed the economy needed to be deregulated, yet he rolled out more huge regulatory schemes, even counting only his first two years in office, than Clinton did in eight…hundreds of billions of dollars in new regulations on insurance, shipping, health care, and many other industries.
  • Even his “tax cuts” were mostly semi-annual welfare checks disguised as “refunds”, along with “tax credits” that are literally welfare, plus a maze of new exemptions that truly increased tax compliance cost just as much as any actual tax savings. Compare this to Reagan simplifying the tax code so much that people saved as much in compliance costs as they saved in taxes.
  • His “solution” to the failure of socialized education was to break his School Choice promise and set up a massive Federal bureaucracy called No Child Left Behind.
  • His response to 9-11 was to set up a police state in violation of the Constitution, to refuse Afghanistan’s offer to turn over bin Laden for war crimes trial in order to invade, and to attack Al Qaeda’s mortal enemy, Saddam Hussein.
  • His promise to make Socialist Security more privatized and voluntary was abandoned because he was spending all of his political capital on a voluntary trillion-dollar set of wars.
  • Speaking of socialism, until Obama’s health care plan passes (shudder), Bush’s prescription drug plan stands as the largest socialized medicine expansion in US history.
  • Speaking of being more Liberal than Clinton, in EVERY SINGLE YEAR, of his eight years in office, Bush increased domestic spending more than Clinton did in his entire second term.
  • His answer to Katrina was to throw $87,000,000,000 dollars at the region, that had already squandered more than the rest of the nation’s combined Army Corps of Engineers budget at NOT fixing its levees.
  • His response to the economic decline was to not only increase spending above his super-Clinton levels, but to bail out companies and squander hundreds of billions on “stimulus” packages that actually depress the economy more.

Who’s seriously surprised that this kind of socialism caused an economic depression? Hoover’s big-government approach helped cause the Great Depression, and Bush’s similar approach did the same.

Real Conservatives don’t try to defend this. Instead, we say:

Yes, that’s right, Bush’s domestic policies cause economic catastrophe…so stop doing exactly the same stuff, Obama!

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October 29, 2009 - Posted by | Economy, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

20 Comments »

  1. I’ve been reading your blog now for quite some time and really like it. I don’t know if it’s your style or not , but do you think you could perhaps do a post on the oil spill in the gulf?

    I love your thoughts and opinions, and would love to see your commentary on this sad event.

    Comment by monica@buybikini.org | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank you! It’s good to hear more and more conservatives finally portray Bush for what he was. Too bad the liberal establishment and the liberal media continue to lump the Tea Party Movement and Bush into the same tamale!

    One of the main reasons McCain lost was because he was too much Bush and not enough conservative.

    Comment by Mike | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Heads they win, tales we lose! The system is setup for big pharma, big oil and major “too big to fail” companies, not the people!

    We are marching right into slavery by the government at a breakneck speed. I suspect from history, that we will soon be like Hitlers Germany.

    This applies to both major parties. Our oly hope is a real 3rd party that is not paid off and serves the people, not “too big to fails”~

    Comment by Gault | October 31, 2009 | Reply

    • Any company that is “too big to fail”, is too big to exist.

      It needs to be allowed to collapse on its own ridiculous inefficiency, to be replaced by better companies who will quickly take up the market slack.

      What government needs to do is reduce the regulations that make it so hard for new competitors to be founded in those industries.

      Comment by kazvorpal | November 2, 2009 | Reply

      • In theory, I agree with you, but when their collapse brings down the rest of the economy, a lot of people get hurt. That was the case with AIG (or so they claim).

        Comment by Ben Hoffman | November 2, 2009 | Reply

        • This is only true in the sense that cutting off a gangrenous arm hurts the patient.

          AIG and friends are/were harmful burdens on the economy. It would be painful to lose them, but would leave the economy healthier when it was over.

          Now, instead, they continue to spread their disease of inefficiency.

          Comment by kazvorpal | November 3, 2009 | Reply

  4. It was neither Bush nor Clinton. No one man is to blame. The problem is the current system we are under. So many regulations have been passed for decades, not to mention the booms and busts created by the Federal Reserve. It’s not a left vs. right or liberal vs. conservative issue…the issue is non-adherence to the Constitution.

    Comment by Josh | October 29, 2009 | Reply

    • The voters of ONE party believe in keeping the contract of the Constitution. Unfortunately, its politicians are frauds, mouthing the words but acting the opposite way in office.

      Bush absolutely is to blame. Had Reagan been in office, it would not have happened. He chose to push for expansion of government, where others would not have.

      Comment by kazvorpal | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. haha wow

    Comment by maplesyrup21 | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  6. Are you open to the idea that for the past half century all the US presidents have been puppets of a greater force behind the scene pulling their strings? Blame them all for allowing themselves to be used in that way.

    Comment by Nathan Morris | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  7. So why did you defend Bush for all those years?

    But it wasn’t Bush’s liberal actions that caused the mess; it was Clinton’s conservative actions that were to blame — especially Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (which contained the Enron loophole) and the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act).

    Comment by Ben Hoffman | October 29, 2009 | Reply

    • Ben, have you looked at the archives of this blog? Kaz has never defended Bush.

      You bring up a good point about the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed Glass-Steagall, but these were merely contributing factors to our financial crisis. They were not the root cause.

      The root cause of our financial crisis was the Federal Reserve’s reckless policies at setting interest rates. After 9/11, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to historic lows, 1%, to prevent a recession. This allowed Wall Street to borrow a ton of cheap credit, and like any human being, they went crazy with it. They invested in things like mortgage-backed securities and derivatives. This would never happen in a free market because private lenders care about their money. They lend it out with terms and conditions, and they would never lend it out at 1% interest — they would go bankrupt if they did this. The Fed, on the other hand, has a printing press and no limit on debt. The federal government has granted them a monopoly of our money and our banks. If you want to fix things, start with the Fed.

      Comment by Andrew | October 29, 2009 | Reply

      • While it’s true that low interest rates contributed to the collapse of our economy, had the Glass-Steagall Act still been in place, that would have prevented banks from gambling with our money.

        Deregulation of commodities trading caused fuel prices to skyrocket, which decreased consumer spending (people were spending a lot of their income on gas). That caused the price of food to go way up, which also hurt the economy.

        Comment by Ben Hoffman | October 30, 2009 | Reply

        • Ben, oil prices skyrocketed because of fear that Bush’s insane foreign policies would cause a backlash in the oil supply.

          Check out the oil price chart, here:

          https://butnowyouknow.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/why-oil-and-gas-prices-are-falling/

          You can see that oil prices spiked with each insane foreign policy aggression by Bush…Afghanistan, Iraq, Venezuela, Iran.

          But, in fact, food prices did not go up all that fast. This is because the high cost of oil drove hundreds of billions of dollars out of the US economy, into foreign markets, where it could not be used domestically to support prices. The Fed failed to keep our domestic money supply stable, so we ended up with a money shortage, ergo depression.

          Comment by kazvorpal | October 30, 2009 | Reply

          • Yes, oil prices spiked with each wrong-headed policy, but there’s a lot of evidence that speculators drove up the prices.

            And I seem to remember my wife complaining about skyrocketing food prices and she’s not very political.

            Comment by Ben Hoffman | November 2, 2009 | Reply

            • Yes, it’s the JOB of speculators to drive prices.

              People seem to forget that speculation is the reason capitalism works, on the investment side.

              Any moron can calculate fundamentals and statistics. If that were an effective way to run an economy, then central planning would work.

              At least on the investment side.

              But, in fact, what is most efficient is competing investment ideas, essentially speculators, all guessing different ways, and the best rising to the top.

              Food prices were rising, but only in the sense that they always do, which always annoys wives. But, in fact, they were rising more slowly than expected, from an economic standpoint. In the seventies, oil/energy prices were the pat explanation for skyrocketing food/everything prices…in the last few years, prices (including food) did NOT rise as expected.

              The Fed’s worry about the pat government economist’s excuse for the 1970s was ill-founded. They moved to repress imaginary inflation.

              In reality, general prices cannot be driven up by oil/energy prices alone…it requires that there be sufficient money supply to support the higher prices.

              Without that additional money (which we had in the 1970s), the result is actually a depressing of economic activity, as there is not enough money to pay for the higher production/energy costs…this snowballs the money shortage into a depression.

              Comment by kazvorpal | November 3, 2009 | Reply

      • Andrew: the Fed does not control interest rates. When someone says the “Fed lowered rates”, they mean the rate at which the Fed lends money to banks. It has no direct control over the lending rates banks use, at all.

        We are suffering an economic depression right now not because of an excess of money, but because we had a money shortage. M1 declined from 2004 through 2008, which is the first time something like that has happened since the gold standard ended in 1938. Prolonged currency shortages almost always cause economic depression.

        Check out this chart of money supply, note how M1 is only negative for a long period one time, in the past fifty years, and how it coincided with a lower rate of currency expansion than had ever occurred in that same period.

        Lack of money supply crippled our economy.

        This is why printing two trillion new dollars not only didn’t cause hyperinflation, but hasn’t even caused inflation: To this day, we are still suffering price deflation.

        Comment by kazvorpal | October 30, 2009 | Reply

        • I was referring to the discount rate and federal funds rate. I just said “interest rates” for the sake of simplicity, but thanks for clarifying.

          I agree with you that the money shortage contributed to our crisis. However, even if there was no shortage, the subprime mortgage market still would have collapsed, corporations like AIG, Bear Sterns, and Lehman still would have collapsed through their derivative investments and credit default swaps. The only real difference I see is that the money shortage triggered these events to happen sooner that they otherwise would have.

          Printing two trillion dollars hasn’t caused inflation yet because the banks aren’t lending out that money, as this chart shows:

          Once the banks start lending out that excess money, our money supply will multiply through our fractional reserve banking system, and we will have double-digit inflation just like we had in the 70s. I see this happening within the next 5 – 10 years.

          So, while I agree with you that deflation is the concern right now, I think this will be short-lived.

          Comment by Andrew | October 30, 2009 | Reply

          • There isn’t a lot of evidence of credit shortage and bank failure outside of times of currency shortage.

            That is one of the key traits that differentiates depressions from recessions. For 60 years, we had only recessions, and rarely had any large bank/credit failures.

            The banks are not terribly likely to start lending out that excess money. Remember, the money is “printed” in form of a loan, that the banks eventually pay back to the Fed.

            What you are describing, though, is money velocity, which is what the gold bugs and hyperinflation worriers seem to not know exists.

            Indeed, without a higher money velocity, you could lack hyperinflation even if the government were printing more money.

            But the amount of velocity that would be necessary for a mere two trillion dollars to cause hyperinflation would be of comic proportions.

            Again, hyperinflation is when prices increase globally by 100% for three years, or by 50% month to month. A one-time increase in money supply of 15% (2 trillion added to the original 14 trillion) is just too small.

            Comment by kazvorpal | November 3, 2009 | Reply


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