Bedtime for Bonzo: The Bush Era Ends


After eight years it has come time to put the Bush bedtime_for_bonzo_1951
presidency to bed. Although George W. Bush wasn’t my first choice (or 2nd or 3rd), I had high hopes when he took office eight years ago. Although many of his supporters thought Bill Clinton could do no wrong, I had grown weary of Bubba’s scandals that had tarnished the Oval Office as well as the policies put in place during his administration.

Under the Clinton administration the Community Reinvestment Act, first created in 1977 under Jimmy Carter, had been significantly expanded. This forced Fannie Mae to extend a greatly increased amount of mortgage loans to moderate and low income borrowers, even though they didn’t have sufficient ability to repay them. In 1999 the Glass-Steagall act (article) was repealed allowing banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies to compete with one another for business for the first time since 1933 and a high-risk feeding frenzy ensued. Many economists cite these events as the catalyst for the financial crisis we have today. 

Mission Accomplished?

“W” was touted as the second coming of Ronald Reagan, a staunchbush-photo conservative who was going to restore order to a government run amok. While some events, such as 9/11, could not have been foreseen, others could have and should have been. Instead of returning to an era of fiscal restraint and long-term prosperity we now find our country embroiled in the greatest financial crisis since the depression of the 1930s. 

In addition to the 9/11 attacks, the legacy of the Bush Presidency includes the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the sub-prime meltdown, burst housing bubble, banking crisis with its $700 billion bailout, severe recession, and so on. Under a so-called conservative the national debt has increased a whopping 88% from $5.7 trillion to $10.7 trillion. Somehow I don’t think that this is what he had in mind. 

The political blame game points fingers in many directions, but there is no denying that this happened on George Bush’s watch. History will be the ultimate judge, as it always is.  

Change is Here 

Whether you embrace the audacity of hope, or fear the audacity of obama-photohype, there is no disputing that as President, Barack Obama is faced with an enormous challenge. Of course George Bush is going to be blamed for everything that goes wrong and the new administration will take credit for everything that goes right, but that is traditional political spin. What we need to watch is how Obama governs. Does he embark on a socialist/entitlement agenda as many critics claim or does he govern from the center finding a true middle ground between liberals and conservatives? While I hope for the latter, I fear the former. 

As it stands now it appears that we are going to attempt cure a problem that was caused by too much borrowed money by borrowing even more money. Somehow we are going to borrow our way out of debt. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Eight years ago my hope for George Bush was misguided, I hope that I am wrong in my fear of Obamanomics as well. Stay tuned.

The true history of my administration will be written 50 years from now, and you and I will not be around to see it.George W. Bush 

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