The Right Coast

February 23, 2006
Attacking Bush from the Right
By Mike Rappaport

I am looking forward to having a look at this book, which has already created quite a stir even before it has been published. Here is a brief summary from Amazon:

Bartlett, an economist and former Reagan administration official, attacks the Bush administration hard but from the political Right. Challenging Bush's conservative principles of operation and credentials, Bartlett actually gives former president Clinton more credit for following conservative economic principles. In contrast, the Bush administration has been marked by shortsightedness, if not anti--intellectualism, too willing to reward friends without regard to competency and to punish as enemies those who deviate from the party line. Bush's shortcomings include his drug bill, trade policies, and expanded regulatory requirements. Interestingly, Bartlett concludes that Bush's relentless effort to cut taxes will leave an unenviable legacy for a conservative--the need for America's largest tax increase. Bartlett also takes the administration to task for corruption that violates the principles of difference the Republican Party declared during the campaign against Clinton. This is a worthy critique, one that the administration will not be able to dismiss as liberal propaganda.

Here is a shorter version in a Cato Paper from Bartlett.

It is interesting to compare Bush 43 to Bush 41, with this description in mind. In many respects, Bush 43 has a similar economic policy, although he has spent more money. My guess this is because Bush 43 has faced a Republican Congress whereas Bush 41 would have taken even greater heat from approving Democratic policies.