Sunday, July 25, 2010

Krugman: Republicans Are "Addicted To Bush"

In his column "Addicted to Bush," Paul Krugman states that the Republicans want to bring back the policies of George W. Bush. The problem is that those policies have an actual record of failure:

...the only problem Republicans ever had with George W. Bush was his low approval rating. They always loved his policies and his governing style — and they want them back. In recent weeks, G.O.P. leaders have come out for a complete return to the Bush agenda, including tax breaks for the rich and financial deregulation. They’ve even resurrected the plan to cut future Social Security benefits.

But they have a problem: how can they embrace President Bush’s policies, given his record? After all, Mr. Bush’s two signature initiatives were tax cuts and the invasion of Iraq; both, in the eyes of the public, were abject failures. Tax cuts never yielded the promised prosperity, but along with other policies — especially the unfunded war in Iraq — they converted a budget surplus into a persistent deficit. Meanwhile, the W.M.D. we invaded Iraq to eliminate turned out not to exist, and by 2008 a majority of the public believed not just that the invasion was a mistake but that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into war. What’s a Republican to do?

You know the answer. There’s now a concerted effort under way to rehabilitate Mr. Bush’s image on at least three fronts: the economy, the deficit and the war.

Krugman warns months before the November elections that Republican gains will only strengthen their advocacy of failed Bush policies:

...Republicans aren’t trying to rescue George W. Bush’s reputation for sentimental reasons; they’re trying to clear the way for a return to Bush policies. And this carries a message for anyone hoping that the next time Republicans are in power, they’ll behave differently. If you believe that they’ve learned something — say, about fiscal prudence or the importance of effective regulation — you’re kidding yourself. You might as well face it: they’re addicted to Bush.


Elizabeth Marion said...

This post is hilarious! The Democrats and Obama are far more addicted to Bush than the Republicans. They are the ones who continue blaming the former administration for their problems when Obama has been in office for a year and a half and the Democrats have controlled Congress since 2007!


Jeff Tone said...

I’m glad, Eliza, that you were amused. I love providing levity for readers. Anyway, Krugman is not talking about blaming Bush for the sake of doing so. He is warning, accurately, that the Republicans’ agenda is to restore the same disastrous Bush policies that prosecuted an unnecessary war and caused our financial system to tank.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell, for example, wants to continue the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy; he stated that they “increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy”–a novel interpretation of the Bush economic era. At the same time that McConnell and his fellow Republicans pose as deficit hawks, they advocate continued tax breaks for the wealthy that increase our debt to no purpose. I provide you with McConnell’s assessments in the hope that they afford you further hilarity.