The Big Picture clicked through the list so we wouldn't have to.
1. The Return to Deficits: Bush’s tax cuts and spending increases — and clear disdain for the pay-as-you-go approach that had brought deficits down in the 1990s — brought a return to permanent deficits.Bush was the decider, but Republicans were the enablers. They rubber-stamped every idea Bush threw their way, and questioning or discussing the merit behind his plans was verboten or "unpatriotic." After all, Republicans must not be challenged or questioned. They know best.
2. Iraq: Even if you think the war did bring benefits to the U.S., they would have to be pretty gigantic to justify the costs of $1-3 trillion dollars;
3. Tax Cuts for the Rich: Bush came to Washington facing almost diametrically opposing economic conditions, yet he offered up the same solutions as Reagan.
4. Financial Regulation: What is true is that most Bush-era financial regulators were less than enthusiastic about the very act of regulating, and that Bush’s “ownership society” push glossed over a lot of potential dangers.
5. Telling Us to Go Shopping: After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush didn’t call for sacrifice. He called for shopping.
6. Energy Policy: Not much to say here, except that there wasn’t an energy policy.
7. A State of Denial: Every Administration spins and sugarcoats the economic truth. But the Bush White House took this disingenuousness to new levels.
8. The Muddled Bailout: The main problem has been the ambivalence with which both Paulson and the White House have approached the financial rescue.
It turns out they weren't so smart after all, so why do they feel they deserve to be heard?
Republicans, who said they were receptive to Obama's call for a "unity of purpose," promptly tested the day-old administration. They criticized Democratic spending initiatives and requested a meeting with the president to air their tax-cutting plans.There they go again! Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. I hope Obama politely listens and then tells them
Tax cuts won't build schools, or any other public good.Republicans, please go back and read #7 above. You don't deserve to be heard as long as you continue to sing the same old song.
And right now, with so much of our infrastructure in need of attention, we need public goods.
We tried the tax cut approach to stimulating the economy once, we had no choice since Bush and the Republicans would not have passed any other type of stimulus package.
Guess what? It didn't work very well, and we have little to show for it. Had we, say, rebuilt water systems instead, at the very worst we'd have better water.