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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Thanks for nothing

President George W. Bush seems to regert the $700 billion Wall Street bailout:

I went against my free-market instincts and approved a temporary government intervention to unfreeze the credit markets so that we could avoid a major global depression.

Damage done, apology too little and too late. And without mentioning Barack Obama by name, Bush rails against the big government he was only too happy to participate in himself:

The role of government is not to create wealth but to create the conditions that allow entrepreneurs and innovators to thrive.

As the world recovers, we will face a temptation to replace the risk-and-reward model of the private sector with the blunt instruments of government spending and control. History shows that the greater threat to prosperity is not too little government involvement, but too much.

Granted that Bush's big government is next to nothing compared with that o


Fri, 11/13/2009 - 4:58pm

Bush also gave us a new, expensive entitlement in the form of Medicare drug coverage. I can (just barely) remember when being conservative meant reducing the deficit and avoiding unnecessary foreign entanglements. Nowadays, that more accurately describes the people we call "liberals." Whenever I call myself a liberal these days, I feel like I need to add, "by which, I mean I am a traditional conservative." I blame Carrie PreJean. Not for any good reason, I just think she's funny to mention. I wonder if she even gets it that people are laughing at her?

Leo Morris
Fri, 11/13/2009 - 5:04pm

Thanks for reminding me of another thing Bush did that I didn't like. But do you mean those famous budget-hawk liberals such as Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi?

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 5:30pm

If your question is serious, then no, I don't, although I'm not entirely sure how we get out of our current recession without spending.
I was thinking more along the lines of Bill Clinton, who gave us peace, prosperity and a balanced budget. So the Republicans impeached him for lying about an affair.
Sometimes I think Republicans are more interested in scoring political points that in advancing a particular ideology.
One would have expected conservatives to appreciate Clinton's economic policies.
Just out of curiosity, if you were in Obama's shoes, how would you deal with the situation he inherited? Two quagmire wars and a massive recession are a lot to take on. I don't pretend to have the answers, but I am but a humble man of little learning.

Leo Morris
Fri, 11/13/2009 - 5:34pm

1. War 1 seems to be winding down on schedule. 2. War 2, not sure about; problems either way. 3. Cut taxes. Would have been less expensive than the stimulus and a lot more productive.

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 7:14pm

I understand that tax cutting is part of the Republican mantra, and frankly I have no objection so long as spending is likewise cut.
Ronald Reagan, Mr. Conservative, cut taxes without delivering on promised budget reductions. Result: record deficits. George W. Bush, who inherited the Clinton surplus, cut taxes, almost entirely for the wealthy. Shortly thereafter he started a war with a country that did not attack us and pushed through a Medicare entitlement that seems primarily to benefit insurance companies. Result: new record deficits. Tax cutting, by itself, has an extremely poor track record. I assume your plan would include something more than merely cutting taxes, otherwise I may not be able to vote for you for president. That would pain me. I'd love to send a local guy to the White House. The missus and I would expect a night in the Lincoln bedroom, of course.

Andrew J.
Fri, 11/13/2009 - 9:55pm

Yes, I've always been miffed about how conservatives/Republicans excoriate all that Clinton stood even though he left office with a surplus, doing so by taxing the more affluent amongst us, while helping to foster an economic climate that had my mutual funds appreciating 25-plus percent for several years in a row. I mean my 401k was skyrocketing under the demonic administration of Bill Clinton. And I do remember a time when experts said the country was at full employment (2-3 percent always being those who will never work). Clinton was president then too. The News-Sentinel endorsed his election and then, four years later, had an editorial saying how wrong the paper had been, saying it was one of the worst mistakes it had ever made. There was an editorial that just repeated one word over and over again. If I could only remember it . . .
Ahh, the good old days.

Lewis Allen
Sat, 11/14/2009 - 8:16pm

I don't if anybody really liked the idea of the $700 billion dollar bailout, but we have to ask ourselves this question: What would have happened without it? As clumsy and rushed as it was, it may also have prevented a total meltdown of the world economy. Of course, since these actions were indeed taken, we'll never know what would have happened had they not been taken. I'm not so sure that either Bush or Obama has anything to be ashamed of in their response to this crisis.

Kevin Knuth
Mon, 11/16/2009 - 3:23pm

Lewis Allen is 100% correct.