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The inherited bad economy

Posted by Richard on September 4, 2009

President Obama and the Democrats endlessly remind us that they inherited the current economic mess from the Bush administration. The only current political leader who's used the phrase "I inherited" more than Obama is Kim Jong Il.

I agree that the Bush administration shares in the blame for the out-of-control federal spending, the housing collapse, the financial meltdown, the job losses, and the steep decline in the economy. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued and accelerated their irresponsible lending practices on Bush's watch, leading to the housing bubble that burst. The ill-conceived and ultimately harmful "stimulus packages" and "bailouts" began under the Bush administration. Throughout the Bush administration, domestic spending grew at an outrageous rate.

But the Democrats have a lot of nerve pointing a finger at the Republicans. The harmful policies of the latter are precisely what the Democrats clamored for them to do (and complained bitterly because the Republicans didn't do enough).

The Republicans are to blame entirely to the extent that they embraced Democratic ideas, accepted Democratic demands, compromised with Democrats on domestic policy, and bent over backwards to prove that they were "compassionate" (i.e., spendthrift, big-government) conservatives — with the emphasis decidedly on the "compassionate" part. 

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