George W. Bush made a rare post-presidency appearance Wednesday at the annual gathering of the Manufacturing and Business Association in Erie, PA. The former president shared his thoughts on a myriad of topics including health care, Gitmo, Iran and TARP.
The main topic of conversation was how his successor (whom he refused to criticize by name) has handled the economic crisis. But criticisms that he himself opened the floodgates of government intervention in the economy by authorizing TARP were not left unaddressed:
I firmly believe it was necessary to put money in our banks to make sure our financial system did not collapse. I did not want there to be bread lines, to be a great depression.
Later, in that very same speech he elaborated:
I know it's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in. You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money.
So which is it? Unfortunately the Bush legacy of wishy-washy economic policy continues to live on.
Read here for more about the former president's speech.
Also, refer to Reason's January issue and read more about "Bush's Disaster Socialism."