Friday, October 17, 2008

Bush's radical free market agenda

As the Bush Administration enters its final days the battle will soon begin over Bush's impact and his portrayal in the history books. Seeking to capitalize on his near pariah status ,I fully expect many Democrats and their fellow travelers on the left to cite the Bush era as a time of free market fantasies run amok in a bid to discredit conservative economic thought. Indeed, Barack Obama has already begun this narrative through his talk of alleged deregulation under the Bush Administration that resulted in the current financial crisis.

Equating Bush with limited government and laissez-faire economics, however, strikes me as inplausible in the extreme. But don't just take my word for it, take a look at what some on the left are saying:
On learning in late September that Bush had put up $700 billion to bail out Wall Street, [Venezuelan dictator Hugo] Chavez chortled: "Bush is turning socialist. How are you, Comrade Bush?" (source)

The Bush administration, having entered office as social conservatives, leaves office as conservative socialists, proprietors of the most sudden large expansion of the state's role in the US economy since mobilisation for the second world war.
-- J. Bradford DeLong, former Clinton Administration economist.
It's pathetic to hear right-wing talk radio blowhards try to associate Barack Obama with "radical" or "socialist" views when a Republican administration is tossing aside "Atlas Shrugged" and speed-reading "Das Kapital."
-- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist.
Can you argue with them?

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