Obama’s Mad Message

Don’t go back to the failed policies of the Bush-Obama Era

Speaking at packed and partly-packed venues, President Obama warns voters about “going back to the failed policies of the past decade.” Which policies might those be? Bailouts? Ineffective stimulus packages? Massive government spending? It’d be impossible to go back to those polices because we’ve never left them.

Check out the record: George W. Bush backed bank bailouts; Obama backed bank bailouts. Bush bailed out automakers; Obama bailed out automakers. Bush signed a stimulus package; Obama signed a stimulus package. Bush vowed to clean up Wall Street by passing a package of complex financial regulations; So did Obama. Bush championed a massive new health care entitlement; so did Obama. Bush spent like mad, and so did Obama.

At a rally in Minnesota President Obama explained that “the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” What’s madder still is doing the same thing over and over—and doing it on a bigger scale—and expecting different results. Take spending increases. Obama rips Bush for “turning record surpluses into record deficits,” even though Obama’s spending record tops Bush who topped every president since Lyndon Johnson. And from stimulus packages to health care entitlements, Obama’s strategy is to take a bad Bush policy and make it worse.

Of course, there are areas where the two presidents really have governed differently, and Obama amplifies those while stumping for fellow Democrats (Tax the rich!). Some stump speech applause lines seem to rely mostly on audience ignorance. (Attention rally attendees: Bush did not cut education funding. He increased it by 58 percent.) And from deficits to the drug war to pork politics, you won’t find much change to believe in.

Both right and left have chronicled the continuity between Bush and Obama. The ACLU ran an ad that depicts Obama morphing into Bush and for good reason. On the detaining of terror suspects, Obama notes, “The most important thing for the public to understand is we’re not handling any of these cases any different than the Bush administration handled them all through 9/11.” Obama could make similar statements on issues ranging from the Patriot Act, to war, to gay marriage.

Of course, when Obama breaks out his excruciating “car in ditch” analogy, he’s referring to the GOP’s economic policies. It was those policies, according to the president, that drove our nation into that ditch. You remember that eight-year dark spell where Wall Street street plutocrats were allowed to “run wild” in free-for-all fueled by deregulation. Or maybe you don’t remember it quite like that, which would be a good thing because Obama is actually pulling an FDR by casting his interventionist predecessor as a free marketeer. The truth is “the Bush team has spent more taxpayer money on issuing and enforcing regulations than any previous administration in U.S. history,” notes economist Veronique de Rugy in a January 2009 Reason magazine piece. “The number of pages added to the Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached an all-time high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001.”

But what’s worse than fueling the “Dubya as de-regulator” myth is that despite all his “Wall Street versus Main Street” fulminations, Obama, like Bush, has enforced a “too big to fail” policy that, as economist Russell Roberts points out in his indispensable breakdown of the financial crisis, allows Wall Street to win big by making risky bets with other people’s money. The refusal to take the “crony” out of “crony capitalism” may be the most troubling parallel between the two presidencies.

Looks like we got what Obama warned voters about on the 2008 campaign trail—a third Bush term.

Ted Balaker is a reason.tv producer, Reason Foundation policy analyst, and co-author (with Sam Staley) of The Road More Traveled (Rowman & Littlefield). This article originally appeared at The Daily Caller.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Anyway, 1% of the KY vote is in! Rand Paul is up by 12 points! It's a trend!

  • ||

    Times 100 means that he's going to win by 1,200 points!

  • ||

    CNN just called it.

    That was quick!

  • Tman||

    So does anyone have any good Progressive Tears recipes?

    I was thinking a nice dry martini with a blue cheese stuffed olive, use the tears to line the glass.

  • Warty||

    Just keep things simple and drink El Toro till you wake up somewhere you don't recognize.

  • Tman||

    El toro! That's some quality paint thinner right there. I've made some quality bad mistakes with the bull horns.

  • ||

    I would like to gather the progressive tears and distill the salt for use in my pickled habaneros. That way I could feel their pain, literally.

  • Tman||

    Twice!

  • ||

    Thrice, if I forget to wash my hands.
    My peepee, it burns!

  • Bingo||

    I'm still waiting for the inevitable news that Hillary Clinton will be running for the Dem nomination in 2012.

  • shrike ||

    economist Russell Roberts points out in his indispensable breakdown of the financial crisis, allows Wall Street to win big by making risky bets with other people’s money

    Exactly. The new FinReg bill limits proprietary trading to 3% of capital.

    Of course hedge funds aren't part of this legislation as their customer deposits are not FDIC insured.

    But any major bank (which are taxpayer subsidized anyway) should be prohibited from gambling hundreds of billions in deposits on esoteric financial instruments.

    Since the FDIC is liable for losses this should be a no-brainer. Of course you could make the argument that the FDIC should not exist but then we would be right back to the devastating Bank Panics that existed throughout the time period from 1835-1907.

  • Tman||

    Shrike tears are probably extra salty. I'll use them to ring a margarita glass.

  • shrike ||

    I got most of what I wanted out of this Congress - FinReg being #1 by far. I am now looking forward to 2 years of total gridlock.

  • Tman||

    So does that mean you're gonna cry extra hard when all that is taken away?

  • ||

    shriek doesn't just cry--he's too hyper for that. He weeps. Long, gasping, sobbing weeping. He may also bawl at times.

  • alan||

    Shrike is Irish?

  • ||

    shriek is hummingbird.

  • sevo||

    shrike |11.2.10 @ 6:38PM|#
    "I got most of what I wanted out of this Congress - ..."

    Right and you invested in the right instruments at the right time and got what you wanted, etc.
    How come all your 'successes' are reported in the past tense? Maybe because you lie through your teeth?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Bullshit, shrike. You're lying about wanting gridlock. All the times you've committed virtual fellatio on Obama prove it.

  • Ass of Catalonia||

    Shrike,

    Ever heard of the first and second national bank, Jackson's bank war, the legal tender cases, and the national banking act of 1863? Government sought to concentrate wealth and power within the banking system so that it could be taken advantage of leading to an increasing intensity and frequency in the boom/bust cycle. Also ain't it funny how the moral hazards created by central banking actually contributed to the formation of most devastating boom and bust in American history? Is that why you choose 1907 as the cutoff date?

    Government creating a whole bunch of economic problems though market distortion and then regulating solutions in an attempt to fix it leading to more problems and solutions is the genesis of corporatism. Maybe you're happy with that system, but I'm not.

    P.S. The social changes precipitated by WW2, institution of bretton woods, and advances in technology and productive capacity fueled american prosperity in spite of the new deal policies.

  • Tman||

    It's an honorable effort AOC, but Shrike likes to run and hide when people call him out on his bullshit. He's like the rest of the weak ass trolls around here. As soon as someone shows him facts that completely destroy his point, he simply avoids the thread and goes to another to make another bullshit point unsupported by anything other than his ego.

    But I like your style, good hustle.

  • Jordan||

    President Obama warns voters about “going back to the failed policies of the past decade.” Which policies might those be?

    He's warning about going back to the time when Barack Obusha didn't have the power to assassinate American citizens and wiretap everything that conducts electricity.

  • Bingo||

    +100, we need to roll the Executive back to the pre-Bush era.

  • ||

    How about to the Pre-Lincoln era?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And when TSA thugs couldn't juggle your junk because you didn't want them to ogle your goods just so that we can fucking fly.

    Can I bring the TSA to court for juggling my kid's junk? I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen the next time I fly. There is no way that I send my 3 year old through the machine so some TSA fucktard can stare at his thang thang, and if some TSA agent starts feeling my kid up, shit won't remain civil for long.

    There is no way that I bring my kid up believing that it's okay for some jackbooted government thug to feel all over him in order to travel.

    Those motherfuckers can lick my taint.

  • TSA Agent||

    Those motherfuckers can lick my taint.

    Sir, as a result of the Rectal Bomber incident we are now required to test for internally inserted explosives. Please remove your pants and step over to the Taint Licker 3000 so we may test you for explosive residue. Please note that consuming bean burritos may result in a false positive, in which case we will need to perform a manual test instead of the automated one.

  • Lionel Rainey III||

    'The Second of November'
    Passive and still as change swept the land
    Silent we stood, not raising a hand

    Our contempt increased and our anger grew
    With each liberty taken, with each right removed

    The flags came out and a party was born
    To reverse a tide; To mend a Charter torn

    The time is upon you; your voice will be heard
    Today you scream out loud; without saying a word

    To all those whom govern, I advise you remember
    What happens this day, the second of November

    - Lionel E Rainey III November 2, 2010

    http://thesecrettosales.blogsp.....ember.html

  • ¢||

    Looks like we got what Obama warned voters about on the 2008 campaign trail—a third Bush term.

    Don't sell the kid short. He's worse where he overlaps Bush, because he's entirely full of shit about all of that, and he's straight-up worse everywhere they differ.
    It's like the Friday the 13th Part III of Bush terms—the one where everything goes irrevocably wrong forever. But on the bright side, the next one will have Crispin Glover in it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Semi-threadjack: ABC news just sampled Reason.tv's "Dirtiest Campaign Ever?" video. Kudos.

  • ||

    Until people get it through their heads, nothing's going to change. Replacing one group of crooks and liars (Democrats) with another (Republicans) is just going to keep the Bush-Obama era alive and well.

  • George V||

    Obama = Bush on steroids

  • ||

    I voted 70% Republican, 20% Democrat, and 10% Libertarian.

    Looks like Robert Erlich is conceding. Thanks for the smoking ban Omally, you cozy self-righteous asshole. Enjoy your victory, smoke-free.

  • Realist||

    Nothing will change. The Chinese will eat our lunch...and dinner too!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "You remember that eight-year dark spell where Wall Street street plutocrats were allowed to “run wild” in free-for-all fueled by deregulation. Or maybe you don’t remember it quite like that, which would be a good thing because Obama is actually pulling an FDR by casting his interventionist predecessor as a free marketeer."

    It also glosses over the fact that the root of the recession was deliberate govt policies of trying to engineer specific economic outcomes. The fed pumping up the money supply trying to "manage" the economy after the tech stock bust created an asset bubble in real estate. Government tried to engineer increased home ownership by people who couldn't really afford it. And that certainly all wasn't Bush's doing. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, etc. all endorsed and defended Fannie and Freddie's shennaningans.

  • lasa||

     Now you can have your own Silver at reasonable price. On-line shopping is really hot these days. Now you can shopping on our web. Buy your family or friend a pair of Jewelry . I think it is raelly a good gift. 

  • ||

    Ridiculous attempt at equivalence. Its like saying two teens graduated from high school and they both went in to debt, so they're the same, when one spent the money on a cruise around the world and the other on college.
    Bush's Medicare Part D: adds to the deficit. Obama health care reform: reduces it (and starts to rein in Medicare growth long term). Spending on a war in Iraq is not the same as extending unemployment benefits or building infrastructure. Bush's auto bailout? You have to be kidding - he extended just enough in loans to kick the can down the road to Obama.
    Its as if saying - hey, one started two wars, the other is ending two wars, see, two wars, just the same. What a silly article.

  • mbt shoe||

    i]

  • asics shoes||

    giyop

  • ugg classic boots||

    gdp

  • coach outlet||

    glp

  • coach outlet||

    dfio

  • ugg classic boots||

    fgop;;'

  • ||

    TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets…..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama's India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER.

  • ||

    Bilderberger influenceTO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT�..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets�..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama's India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER //////// .Is Barack Obama pushing forward dangerous policies that are bringing the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware?

    2. What is the major proof of the Bilderberger influence over many of the world events in the last decade!

    3. Is it really true that the recent global financial collapse was engineered by the Bilderberg Group. Why was their 2010 annual meeting held in Greece?
    4. Bilderberger influence,president George W. Bush says he was "blindsided" by the financial crisis that shadowed his final months in office, but adds that the Democratic-controlled Congress shares some of the blame. -

    Now that the agenda for global government and a centralized world economic system is public and out in the open, the importance of the Bilderberg Group’s annual conference rests on grooming political candidates. The lion’s share of Bilderberg’s 2010 agenda has already been announced by its members weeks before – it will revolve around a potential military strike on Iran as well as the future collapse of the euro.The Bilderberger group, whose policies would pave the way for global communist conquest.

    ----- Bilderberg group in United States-------
    George W. Ball (1954, 1993),[13] Under Secretary of State 1961-1968, Ambassador to U.N. 1968
    Sandy Berger (1999),[14] National Security Advisor, 1997–2001
    Timothy Geithner(2009),[15] Treasury Secretary
    Lee H. Hamilton (1997),[1] former US Congressman
    Christian Herter,[16] (1961, 1963, 1964, 1966), 53rd United States Secretary of State
    Charles Douglas Jackson (1957, 1958, 1960),[17] Special Assistant to the President
    Joseph E. Johnson[18] (1954), President Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Henry Kissinger[19] (1957, 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 2008),[20] 56th United States Secretary of State
    Colin Powell (1997),[1] 65th United States Secretary of State
    Lawrence Summers,[15] Director of the National Economic Council
    Paul Volcker,[15] Chair of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979–1987
    Roger Altman (2009),[15] Deputy Treasury Secretary from 1993–1994, Founder and Chairman of Evercore Partners
    [edit] Presidents
    Bill Clinton (1991),[21][22] President 1993-2001
    Gerald Ford (1964, 1966),[4][23] President 1974-1977
    [edit] Senators
    John Edwards (2004),[24][25] Senator from North Carolina 1999-2005
    Chuck Hagel (1999, 2000),[26] Senator from Nebraska 1997-2009
    Sam Nunn (1996, 1997),[1] Senator from Georgia 1972-1997
    [edit] Governors
    Rick Perry (2007),[27] Governor of Texas 2000-current
    Mark Sanford (2008),[28] Governor of South Carolina , the United States closer to a socialist dictatorship. Are you even aware? === The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club is an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of around 130 guests, most of whom are people of influence in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military and media. The conferences are closed to the public.== The Bilderberg Group in which he accuses them of manipulating the public "to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self."

    Repost this if you agree,

  • nike shoes UK||

    is good

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement