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Obama Demagoguing Deregulation?

One of the things I’ve noted in following Obama’s campaign is how much he dwells on the supposed failures of the “last eight years.”  In the second presidential debate, the Democrat used the term nine times.  By contrast, in the vice-presidential debate, Sarah Palin only used the term “maverick” (including its plural form, “mavericks”) six times.  (I wonder if Saturday Night Live will mock the Democrat for this excess when they spoof the exchange.)

On the stump (as well as in his book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream), the Democratic presidential nominee claims the Bush era was one of deregulation. Indeed, in the most recent debate, he contended McCain’s policy was identical to that of those last eight years in that regard:

He believes in deregulation in every circumstance. That’s what we’ve been going through for the last eight years. It hasn’t worked, and we need fundamental change.

Yet, unless I’m missing something, Obama hasn’t specified any particular Bush-era policies which led to deregulation, particularly in the financial sector. (Readers please alert me if he has with links so I can update the post accordingly–thanks!) From my own research into the financial meltdown, I can only come up with evidence that Bush favored increased regulation of at least one sector of the financial industry, the government-sponsored enterprises.

I am aware the president signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 which created “a new quasi-public agency, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB . . .  charged with overseeing, regulating, inspecting, and disciplining accounting firms in their roles as auditors of public companies.”  Rather than deregulate the industry, this bill increased regulation of corporations.  Some have claimed the added cost of compliance with this legislation is causing American financial markets to lose their competitive edge, with some corporations choosing to move their headquarters overseas to escape its requirements.

(Has the Bush team, at the administrative level then decreased regulation?)

The long and the short of it, is my query:  is Barack Obama demagoguing the deregulation issue?  From my perspective and I’m a guy who has followed the news pretty regularly these past eight years, I don’t know of much deregulation pushed by the Bush Administration.  But, then again, finance is not my area or expertise.

It just doesn’t seem we’ve been going through much deregulation these past eight years, as Barack Obama has claimed.  And with Sarbanes-Oxley, it seems quite the opposite is true.



  1. The one thing I know about SarBox is that we had to go to boring meetings to learn that 90% of it didn’t apply to us.

    The only issues we faced is that we couldn’t make miniscule changes on documents once submitted. A supervisor had to make time in their busy schedule to do it for us. That required a detailed report from us on the necessity of the change.

    Also, our computers went to screensaver after 5 minutes of inactivity and had to sign in to get back to work. That’s a pain when you just went for coffee or the bathroom.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 10, 2008 @ 4:54 am - October 10, 2008

  2. […] next time Barack Obama accuses George W. Bush and John McCain of wanting to “deregulate everything,” maybe someone should ask what specifically he has in mind that relates to the current […]

    Pingback by Commentary » Blog Archive » Flotsam and Jetsam — October 10, 2008 @ 8:04 am - October 10, 2008

  3. […] next time Barack Obama accuses George W. Bush and John McCain of wanting to “deregulate everything,” maybe someone should ask what specifically he has in mind that relates to the current […]

    Pingback by Commentary » Blog Archive » Flotsam and Jetsam — October 10, 2008 @ 8:04 am - October 10, 2008

  4. Pingback,

    Obama NEVER answers a question….he is like the governor in Best Lil Whorehouse in Texas…..master at the “side step”.

    I do believe that someone should ask him over and over and over and over and over until he finally ANSWERS THE FREAKIN’ QUESTION!


    Comment by Jeb — October 10, 2008 @ 11:23 am - October 10, 2008

  5. The candidates have a major difference in their leadership styles: McCain tends to say, “Follow me because the other guy can’t get it done” while Obama says, “Follow me because I can get it done.” Ideally, the candidates should say, “Follow me because i will help you get it done” … in any case, of the two of them Obama demonstrates a better leadership mentality

    Comment by movie fan — October 10, 2008 @ 1:11 pm - October 10, 2008

  6. Right, movie fan, which is why Obama’s only rhetoric point is, “We can’t stand another eight years of Bush”.

    Obama has explained nothing about what he’s going to do because he would have to a) go into specifics and b) tell the truth, both of which are anathema to him. Instead, he’s tried to link McCain to Bush and argue that McCain can’t get things done.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 10, 2008 @ 4:39 pm - October 10, 2008

  7. […] Obama Demagoguing Deregulation? […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » On Mortgage Mess, Obama Recognized Problem, Wanted Someone Else to Address It — October 10, 2008 @ 9:07 pm - October 10, 2008

  8. […] last eight years,” his favorite expression in the second presidential debate this year which, as I noted before, he used more often than Sarah Palin used the word, “maverick.”  While change may seem […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Republicans Win by Running For SomethingDemocrats by Running Against — October 13, 2008 @ 10:01 am - October 13, 2008

  9. […] has he been these past eight years, the eight years he so sucessfully ran against in his presidential campaign?  Does he think the trillion dollar […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » On Economics, Obama Promises More of the Same — January 9, 2009 @ 1:36 pm - January 9, 2009

  10. […] for the “past eight years,” to borrow an expression, in the Golden State, our elected officials have done little to cut state spending.  Instead of […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Irresponsible State Legislators & California’s Fiscal Hole — January 15, 2009 @ 7:00 am - January 15, 2009

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