There’s no doubt in my mind that historians will rank George W. Bush at the absolute bottom of the presidential barrel. Forget Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and Gitmo, W is going to go down in history right alongside Herbert W. Hoover for his shortsighted, hands-off mismanagement of the current financial crisis.
Like Mr. Hoover, who presided during the go-go years of the Roaring ’20s, W did little to build his image or reputation as the economy boomed in the early years of this century. And, like Hoover who did nothing to build his image and reputation during the “good times,” W had no equity to draw upon when things began spiraling out of control. In fact, W had so alienated America with his iconoclastic, “let ‘future historians’ decide if I was right or wrong” mentality that nobody listened to him when the market began to tank.
Like Hoover, Bush appears to be little more than the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Like Hoover, he’s really not suggesting any immediate remedies. And, like Hoover, W doesn’t possess the gravitas to calm our fears.
While W is clearly another Hoover, it’s also abundantly clear that there’s no FDR on the horizon. And, that my friends, is the real dilemma.
I fully agree that W’s image and reputation should be at the bottom of the barrel. Even below Willie – who used the Oval Office for his own form of “pork barrel” activities with an intern. Well, maybe they can flip-flop…
But, there have been remedies that would make me argue a complete hands-off attitude – both the stimulus and the bailout package – that have been planned and acted upon under W’s watch. European Union just followed our lead, too. In the past two months, W has made 30 some appearances – via radio or TV to talk about the economy – so he has been trying to do something.
I recently read a quote of someone rather smart saying “The best of all situations is when the president meddles very little in the economy, Congress cuts taxes and tariffs, and the Fed doesn’t upset the applecart with wildly inflationary or deflationary monetary policies.”
The next President will be pressured to meddle, will ultiamtely raise taxes in some shape or form and Paulson and Bernanke are cleaning up the mistakes of credit offered to all so all people could live the American dream.