Bush’s Legacy: Socialism
By: Craig Chamberlain
For conservatives, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. We elected a Republican didn’t we? We beat that lunatic Al Gore in 2000 and that empty headed buffoon John Kerry in 2004, and for most of these last eight years we had a congressional majority. Oh we got a few things out of it, lower taxes, pro life policies, keeping America safe, and two good justices appointed to the Supreme Court. But we had to swallow the compassionate conservatism that President Bush was selling in order to get that. Let’s be honest, President Bush got nominated in 2000 because he was the best of a mediocre Republican field and he got elected in 2000 and 2004 because he was better than the Democratic alternative.
We got a vast increase in the size of government, a budget of over a trillion, a vast expansion of medicare, speeches on how when people hurt government needs to act, record levels of debt, open border advocacy, and now the nationalization of the banking industry and the bailout of the auto industry. For a man who claimed to be a conservative he quickly became a European socialist when the financial situation became grim.
Now, to be fair, the causes of the financial crisis were not the work of George W. Bush. They began with Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae during the Clinton years. They handed out mortgages that should never have been handed out, and banks stupidly picked these up. Then the party ended the check came in and the Banks wanted the government to pick up the tab.
If Bush can’t be blamed for the origins of the crisis, he can be blamed for the results. Like a Peronist on a power trip he took over the banks. Oh he didn’t talk like a man who had just ordered the government to take over a key American industry. No talks of “enemies of the people” or power of the state, or any of that nonsense. Instead we got “they’re too big to fail” if that’s not a tepid reason I don’t know what is. Companies, large and small, have failed before and the country went on just fine.
Capitalism, the economic theory espoused by most conservatives, is about government not intervening. Corporations fail because they make bad decisions, or(sometimes) they get caught up in circumstances beyond their control. Either way they go down. It is antithetical to the idea of the free market that the government should protect businesses that were stupid. AIG is now owned by the U.S. government, essentially becoming the bank of the United States. What justification did we the people receive for this. Well, AIG was just too important. So were all the other banks that ran to Washington to get their piece of the pie.
Now the automakers in Detroit, perhaps the most dysfunctional industry in America, wants the American taxpayer to save them. At what point do we, as taxpayers stand up and proclaim that we don’t have any more money to give? The government, always happy to spend someone else’s money, wants to spend billions on bailing them out. Instead of telling Detroit to cut costs to make themselves more competitive our elected officials are falling over themselves to give them money because they can’t let a pillar of the American economy fall, can they?
What if GM, Ford, and Chrysler went out of business? Would Americans have no cars to drive? Would there be no cars made in America? The answer is, of course, no. The only thing that would happen is that grossly overpaid UAW hatchet men would lose their jobs, and companies that many Americans are nostalgic about would no longer exist.
What makes the Presidents actions especially dangerous is that it sets a dangerous precedent. Now any future President can point to the actions of this administration to justify future nationalization. Suppose President Obama wants to nationalize the energy industry(even thought it’s not in financial trouble) the GOP would fight it, but on what grounds? Obama could rightly point out that it was a Republican president who got the ball rolling on government control of the economy.
So there you go, there is the legacy of President Bush. It’s not making leftist foam at the mouth in an irrational, psychotic fury, it’s not fighting Islamist lunatics to keep America safe. It’s the radical, and dangerous, transformation of the American economy from being market driven to being government driven.
I wonder if he’ll get a monument for that?