Vice President Joe Biden responded to criticism about the administration’s economic policies today, alleging that the opposition has nothing new on offer. “We’ve seen this movie before,” he said. “We’ve seen it before and we know how it ends.”
For eight years before we arrived in the West Wing, [House Minority Leader] Boehner and his party ran the economy literally into the ground.
It’s true, but with a twist.
Biden’s remarks do nothing but perpetuate the Democratic narrative of pretending that economic policy under President George W. Bush was something resembling laissez-faire. This is nonsense. It were President Bush’s policies that are to blame for the crisis.
In the name of “compassionate conservatism” it was under President Bush that the Federal Government instructed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Reserve to keep home mortgages cheap and interest rates low in order to promote homeownership, particularly with racial minorities. It was under President Bush that hundreds of thousands of Americans were able to buy houses they couldn’t afford.
When the bubble burst, it was the Bush Administration that rallied up to save banks from insolvency by injecting billions of taxpayers’ dollars into the financial system. Fannie and Freddie were saved, as were several large private corporations that had participated in the precrisis mortgage frenzy. And it was under President Bush that the first stimulus efforts were undertaken.
It gets worse, if you look into Bush’s economic decisions during his eight years in office in more detail. Read my post about “Bush’s Conservative Legacy” to learn more.
What the Obama Administration has done is simply continue Bush era policies. Democrats may like to claim that Republicans favored the free market before the recession hit in order to justify their own, interventionist agenda today, but that is blatantly untrue. At least under President George W. Bush, Republicans were as adverse to capitalism as Democrats are today.