Blaming Obama for Bush’s Policies
Blaming Obama for George W. Bush’s Policies, by Bruce Bartlett: ...Mitt Romney released an important document last week ... that deserves more attention than it got. It is an audacious attempt to blame Barack Obama for the economic mistakes of George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress.
The document is attributed to economists Glenn Hubbard..., N. Gregory Mankiw..., John B. Taylor... and Kevin Hassett... Reading it,... one is left with the impression that the recession occurred on President Obama’s watch because of policies he is responsible for. ...
But what about ... the squandering of budget surpluses ... under President Bush. ... Because of the large deficits Mr. Bush bequeathed Mr. Obama ... Congress was deeply reluctant to enact a stimulus larger than $787 billion, even though President Obama’s economic advisers thought that one at least twice as large was necessary to turn the economy around. The opposition of every Republican to the 2009 stimulus was a major factor in its inadequate size.
By way of analogy, suppose you go to your doctor with an illness. He ... prescribes the right medicine, but ... you are given a dosage only half as large as required..., enough to improve your condition, but not enough to cure you. You remain sick ... until you finally get a full dosage ... or your body is able to cure itself, which might take years.
Note that ... the medicine was properly prescribed; only the dosage was wrong. It would be incorrect to blame the medicine because you are still sick. The Republican economists nevertheless blame the medicine itself for the failure of the economy to respond to President Obama’s prescription.
But it was Republican policies during the Bush administration that brought on the sickness and Republicans in Congress who have denied the economy an adequate dosage of the cure. Now they want to implicitly blame President Obama for causing the recession and the failure of stimulus to fix the problem, asserting that fiscal stimulus is per se ineffective.
There is a word for this: chutzpah.
Posted by Mark Thoma on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 12:33 AM in Economics, Politics |
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