Every now and again, you’ll run into an Obama supporter who professes to be a fiscal conservative. When you challenge them on the incumbent’s big-spending ways, they’ll reply that he had to do it because they mess that George W. Bush left him was so bad. (Well, during the campaign, Obama did say that, there was “no doubt” that during the Bush era, we’d “been living beyond our means and [were] going to have to make some adjustments“? Oh, yeah, but he made those adjustments would require reductions in spending: “Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.”)
Even though these individuals dub themselves fiscal conservatives, they still contend that we needed the “stimulus” to jumpstart the economy; a couple have asked me, “What else can you do to get the economy going again?”
In such cases, I remind them of the economic booms of the 1980s and 1990s. We didn’t need fiscal stimuli then. It’s as if the 1980s never happened and we’re still taught about Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression — as if the New Deal succeeded in pulling us out of that era’s economic malaise. They seem oblivious to the reasons for the Reagan rebound.
Oh, yeah, one more thing. When your interlocutors start talking about the 1990s, ask them to thank Bob Dole for the success of Bill Clinton’s “stimulus.”