Monday, April 7, 2008

Reasons Not to Like Bush (for Conservatives)

Okay, all you mooonbat libs and Bush-haters, This will be a post where I criticize the Bush administration (again, if you haven't been paying attention) for its failures at living up to the expectations of the conservatives that put him in office. Here is a snippet I picked up last week from the Heritage Foundation:

The Bush administration is often portrayed as paring back government regulation. Many liberals, for example, blame lax regulation for the weakened economy.

But President Bush’s tenure has hardly been marked by decreases in the federal regulatory burden. In fact, reports Heritage’s James Gattuso, “net regulatory burdens have increased in the years since George W. Bush assumed the presidency.”

On President Bush’s watch, the government has dramatically increased the regulatory footprint. Here are a few statistics that should give us pause:

  • $28 billion—estimated cost of new regulations imposed during the Bush administration. Almost $12 billion was imposed in 2007 alone.
  • $17.9 billion—increase in spending on regulatory agencies, a 44 percent increase over 2001 levels, adjusted for inflation.
  • 145,816—pages in the Code of Federal Regulations, the listing of government red tape, an increase of 4,500 pages over 2001.
  • 72,090—pages in the 2007 Federal Register, a listing of proposed, new and revised regulations, rules and so forth.
  • 72,000—number of new employees at regulatory agencies since 2001, a 41 percent increase.

There were some regulatory bright spots, Gattuso reports. Twenty-three major rule changes reduced the regulatory burden—but this is outweighed by the 74 major changes that increased the burden.

Gattuso concludes with a warning that regulations often increase during the last year of a presidency. “Policymakers should be on guard to prevent this surge in the short run,” he argues. “In the longer run, they should adopt sensible reforms to ensure that both new and old rules are thoroughly vetted to ease the burden of this regulatory tax on Americans.”

Bush did well in his initial handling of the attacks on 9/11, some excellent work in Europe over the weekend, and may get credit rather than blame in Iraq if things stabilize and we are able to pull out efficiently. But there are also continuing attempts to steer the economy as it becomes downright sloppy, which can only involve spending more money.

With nine months remaining in the Bush administration, how will his presidency be remembered? Will he be remembered alongside Reagan or Hoover? Personally, I have mixed feelings, especially with the incessant need of both Democrats and Republicans wanting to grow the government. So we'll see if Bush has the sense here to try to turn it around.


Dave Miller said...

Bush will, and should be remembered as a Republican President who advocated a humble foreign policy when he ran for office. A policy where we listen to and respect our allies. A policy he completely abandoned.

He should be remembered as a Republican president who in the campaign called China a competitor, yet has not treated them as such.

He should be remembered as a Republican President who, by his actions, approved of every GOP funded initiative, vetoing not one spending bill until the Dems got into office. Was it only the Dems who proposed overspending?

He will be remembered as the President who more than any president before him, advanced the theory of the unitary executive. [for better of worse]

He will be forever linked to Mission Accomplished, the end of regular combat operations in Iraq, years ago.

His administration will be remembered as the one that either lied to the American people about Iraq [which I doubt], or was just wrong on every major public statement they made about the war. We really are seen as occupiers, not liberators, it has not been a "cakewalk", the insurgency still is not in it's last throes, and of course, WMD was not a slam dunk.

He will be remembered as the President who has presided over the biggest increase in gasoline prices our country has ever seen. And was unable to work with congress to pass one piece of legislation to either produce more oil, or real energy conservation.

It will be remembered that under the Bush Admin, we have seen pensions fail due to lax oversight [Enron], and thousands of Americans lose their houses because of poor business decisions. [the free market]

It will be remembered as the Admin that as those Americans were losing their houses because of poor decisions, decided that that it was good to rescue those businesses who helped Americans make those poor decisions. [Bear, Stearns] [not the free market]

Bush will also be remembered as the president who presided over the debacle of Hurricane Katrina.

To be fair, yes his weekend was great with NATO and he has invested heavily in AIDS work in Africa.

To many conservatives, he has been a huge champion of family values and has been a tremendous warrior in the "War on Terror".

On balance though, I believe his ledger will tilt more towards to the negative side.

Toad734 said...

Again, the way Reagan is remembered is not what Reagan was.

I would like to know what all this red tape was applied to. Was it applied to black college kids who wanted loans or was it to Energy companies? "Regulation" doesn't tell me much. Anti big government poeple would say more regulation is a bad thing but the deregulation of the S&Ls cost the tax payers over 120 billion. And if one was to regulate the way loans were written and sold and who they were given to, that could have avoided the situation we are in now.

So, in your eyes, what is good regulation and what it bad regulation because you can't say that HMOs, Insurance companies and Oil companies don't need regulation when in the same sentence you say marriage needs to be regulated.

Patrick M said...

Dave: All fair points. We'll have to see if history jusdges him the same way.

Toad: We're talking about Bush. And except for the hate-Republican crowd, Reagan was generally looked on as a good, if not great President. So the question is, will Bush be remembered fondly, or reviled excessively. And this needs to be an honest answer, not a moonbat list.

Dave Miller said...

Patrick, while I was not a fan of Reagan, he certainly was viewed positively after he left office.

Whether one agrees with his policies or not, our standing in the world improved as a result of the Reagan presidency.

To deny that, and say otherwise, is simply wrong. Love him or hate him, Reagan was a great leader.

Toad734 said...

Honestly, worse than Hoover.

Think about it:

Wost security breach in US history happened under Bush.

The only President to loose net jobs in his first term.

Record number of foreclosures under his watch

Lowest value of the US Dollar under his watch

Largest decrease of wealth in the middle class which only went to the top 1%

Took a balanced budget and turned it into the largest federal budget deficit ever.

Lied about a war, Lied about how long it would last, Lied about how much it would cost, Lied about how many lives it would cost.

A barrel of Oil has never been as expensive as it is today.

Still has not brought Justice to the victims of 9/11.

I could go on but I have to work an extra hour to make up for the cost of gasoline and the loss in my 401k.

Patrick M said...

Toad: Other than the usual 1% class warfare crap, and the same boring "Bush lied" line, your other points are all valid. Thanks.

Toad734 said...

So the net worth of the middle class family and the increase of the service class is just nonsense? Are you saying that isn't indicative of the economic policies of this administration?

Are you saying that what brought us into the war was the truth? Again, that was more of a Cheney/Rumsfeld lie but he did appoint those guys so it falls under his responsibility. I mean, JFK gets the credit for avoiding WWIII in the Cuban missile crisis but it was really Bobby who kept us out of that war.

Patrick M said...

Ok, let me be clear. The 1% is a talking point, not clear numbers. If you want to stop recycling shit I've heard for 20 years, then I'll listen.

And as for the war, I don't know everything. Neither do you. My instincts tell me that Bush believed he was doing the right thing. But there was definitely faulty evidence. However, being wrong and lying are two clearly different things. You can usually spot a lie on YouTube in a heartbeat. Ask Hillary Clinton on that one.

Again, I'm trying to separate talking point bullshit form actual facts. Because it's on the facts that the Bush administration will be judged after a few years. And I suspect history will not be too kind.