Monday, May 10, 2010

Yeah, Paul, It Always is Bush's Fault

When the U.S. economy moved into recession about the time of President George W. Bush's inauguration, Paul Krugman was quick to blame the downturn on Bush and his proposed tax cuts. Indeed, it would be months before Congress approved the Bush-proposed legislation that cut the top rates from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, which is not a huge cut, but STILL Krugman tried to claim that even the very THOUGHT of such a tax cut was enough to send the economy spiraling downward.

Later, Krugman would blame the financial meltdown on a lack of regulation, as though everyone in the SEC was a financial genius who ALWAYS knew what would be the perfect and riskless investment, IF ONLY they would be permitted to "regulate properly." (That the Clinton administration presided over a huge bubble in the stock markets, calling it "the New Economy," did not earn the same denunciation, which is not surprising, given my previous post about Krugman's outright hyper-partisanship.)

The apparent fetish about SEC "regulators" spending their time surfing the porno sites on the Internet was irrelevant to Krugman, but suddenly he has discovered why the BP spill happened: the regulators at the Department of the Interior were addicted to sex and drugs, and it was all Bush's fault!

In fact, Krugman once again brings up Hurricane Katrina, giving us the same line that the FEMA of the Clinton years miraculously would have saved everyone in New Orleans and had the perfect response to the aftermath of the hurricane. The well-known libertarian writer (and ferocious critic of the Bush gang) James Bovard, in his book on the Clinton years, Feeling Your Pain, has a chapter on FEMA that is worth reading if the readers are tempted to think that FEMA was anything but a vote-buying joke.

As for the oil spill, I find it interesting that more than a year into the Obama administration, anything bad that happens still is Bush's fault. However, as I noted earlier, as soon as Bush took office, he was responsible for an economy diving into recession.

One can find plenty not to like about George W. Bush, and I never voted for the guy, never supported him, and was glad to see him gone. To be frank, economists should not like any modern president's policies, given that presidents are likely to burden the economy with rules and regulations and patronage that force people to spend trillions of dollars on things that make it much more difficult for entrepreneurs to find profitable opportunities.

However, once again, we find Krugman playing the partisan role, just as he has done before. I would expect more from a Nobel Prize winner, but, then again, it is Krugman of which I speak. Enough said.

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