Just over two years ago, when the mortgage meltdown helped send the economy south, Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media told us the deregulatory policies of the Bush Administration were to blame. Only problem was that W, good man that he was (and remains), wasn’t a deregulator.
He called himself a compassionate conservative and in his eyes, followers of that ideology embraced a more activist federal government. He didn’t see government as the problem. He didn’t seek to deregulate the private sector.
Indeed, whenever I ask our readers to identify specific deregulatory policies of the Bush Administration (that led to the meltdown), we get no references to Bush-era policies, but instead references to Clinton-era policies. And as I noted in the post linked above, even “Obama-supporting columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote, during [the 2008] campaign, that the “claim that the financial crisis reflects Bush-McCain deregulation is not only nonsense. It is the sort of nonsense that could matter.“ Deregulation didn’t cause the meltdown.
Now via Glenn Reynolds comes a report that indicates that instead of deregulating the economy, George W. Bush re-regulated it:
Citing Government Accountability Office figures, Heritage said “federal agencies promulgated 43 rules during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, that impose significant burdens on the private sector. The total costs for these rules were estimated by the regulators themselves at some $28 billion, the highest level since at least 1981, the earliest date for which figures are available.”
And contrary to the conventional wisdom, Obama’s red tape explosion was preceded by a Bush administration regulatory carpet-bombing of the private sector that increased the cost of doing business by at least $70 billion.
Read the whole thing.