After the market meltdown in September 2008, most Democrats (as well as their allies in the legacy media) pointed, in the most general terms, to Bush-era “deregulation” as the cause of the crisis. They did, to be sure, often have trouble identifying specific regulations the then-president lifted–or laws and regulations that Republican Congresses had repealed while W served as the nation’s chief executive.
Indeed, three years ago, I reminded our readers that
Even Obama-supporting columnist Sebastian Mallaby wrote, during last fall’s 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.”
Last night, as I was reading Karl’s post how how extremism is “not just a GOP P.O.V“, a similar thought about Obama’s rhetoric came to mind. Just as he and his allies blamed deregulation in the abstract in 2008, now, they’re blaming Bush policies in the abstract for the crisis which Republicans believe to be the collapse of the welfare state model. “In the Obama version”, David Brooks writes, “the welfare-state model was serving America well until it was distorted a decade ago by a Republican Party intent on serving the rich and shortchanging the middle class.” (H/t: Karl who excerpted it.)
And just how, Mr. President, did George W. Bush and his Republican minions distort that model? What specific policies did they implement which shortchanged the middle class?
Am wondering if Mr. Obama ever cites specific Bush policies when he laments all the problems he inherited from his predecessor. And, no, whining about tax cuts for the wealthy doesn’t count (particularly since Mr. Obama chose to extend the Bush-era tax rates–and the Bush cuts didn’t just go to the wealthy).
Tax cuts don’t cause market meltdowns.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Our critic Levi helps make my point:
Bush is responsible in that there was no atmosphere of regulation from the federal government, so all these financial entities went berserk. Additionally, the tax cuts that Bush passed freed up a lot of rich people’s money, which directly lead to more severe inflation of the housing bubble and made the impact when things burst that much more dramatic. It definitely has to do with some policies that Bush enacted, but it’s his responsibility mostly on the basis of his inaction.
No atmosphere of regulation? What does that mean. And note that the only specific Bush policy he cites is one that Obama chose to continue.