Regulation

"The most leftist administration in American history?"

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That's the question posed about the late George W. Bush era, by George F. Will:

The political left always aims to expand the permeation of economic life by politics. Today, the efficient means to that end is government control of capital. So, is not McCain's party now conducting the most leftist administration in American history? The New Deal never acted so precipitously on such a scale. Treasury Secretary Paulson, asked about conservative complaints that his rescue program amounts to socialism, said, essentially: This is not socialism, this is necessary. That non sequitur might be politically necessary, but remember that government control of capital is government control of capitalism.

Will is also shrill about Bush's would-be successor:

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: "I'm Joe Biden and I Disapprove of Barack Obama Approving That Ad About McCain Being Too Old..."

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  1. Is joe ghostwriting for Will these days?

  2. Q: What’s the difference between a Democratic administration and a Republican administration?

    A: A Democratic president violates privacy and raises taxes, then gets criticized for raising taxes. A Republican president violates privacy and raises taxes, then gets for violating privacy.

  3. The bill Bush started with is in some ways more like the economic views of fascism, with some of the democrat provisions attempting to make it into socialism.

    Of course, fascism is a horribly imprecise word. And, despite my dislike of the administration, they aren’t nearly as bad as those that were considered fascist. I am only trying to illustrate the two different forms of government intrusion, though.

  4. Left, right, it’s all a distraction. They’re all statists, and prove it again and again.

  5. How about the most statist administration in history? A compromise that all us here would agree with, no?

  6. How did John McCain get to be the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committe, anyway? This is a guy who says, after decades in office, that he doesn’t know much about the economy, and proceeds to prove it.

    Wouldn’t Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, or even Government Reform have been more natural assignments for him?

  7. joe … is that a rhetorical question?

  8. Geez, for a self-professed afficianado (read: know-it-all) of america’s pastime, it sure took Will a long time to pick-up the rotation (spin) on the GOP’s breaking stuff.

  9. libertymike – for most of the time, he wasn’t facing their pitching.

  10. Good question, joe. I suspect its a little more broad than that, though.

    How did __________ get to be the Chair of the __________ _________ Committe, anyway? This is a guy who says, after decades in office, that he doesn’t know much about the economy, and proceeds to prove it.

    Fill in the blanks with, say, Charlie Rangel and the Ways and Means Committee, for example.

  11. Good piece, but Will’s analysis of McCain’s temperament sounds like this guy “COL. A.M. Khajawall [Ret].” (google him) who posts comments on just about any and every news site.

    I always thought Khajawall was just some insane, tireless poster until I read his words reproduced in Will’s column.

  12. I get it, RC! Because having a different philosophy about government and economic policy is the same thing as not knowing anything about the subject.

    Demand Kurv!

  13. joe, I’m on your side on a lot of things, but I’ve heard Charlie Rangel talk about economics, and he doesn’t know a damn thing about it.

    Of course, neither does 95% of the Congress.

  14. I’m not defending Rangel in particular.

  15. Because having a different philosophy about government and economic policy is the same thing as not knowing anything about the subject.

    Charlie Rangel apparently has no working knowledge of the tax code that he is responsible for as head of that committee, joe.

    I would be fascinated to learn that Rangel even has a philosophy of government and economic policy. From what I’ve seen, his philosophy mostly has to do with embiggenment of Charlie Rangel. Like most politicians.

  16. “This is not socialism, this is necessary.”

    Yeah, only handouts to the bottom four quintiles of the country are “socialism”. Duh.

  17. Don’t worry so much about “the most leftist” award.

    The worst part is going to come in 25-odd years when G. W. Bush joins the train of economic/military interventionists (FDR and Lincoln, for example) who number among the country’s favorite Presidents…

    …unless the next President outdoes the current one in economic and military intervention, in which case “Bush” becomes the new “Hoover”.

    N.B. Rangel’s alleged tax indiscretions, if proven to have foundation, are just as likely to indicate excellent awareness of the loopholes in the tax code’s enforcement (a serious bipartisan issue!) as ignorance of the code.

  18. I thought the American political system had checks and balances to protect against brazen power grabs and reckless policies?

    PS Bush sure knows how to end his term on a bang. Let’s pray there isn’t an Al Qaeda October Surprise to really put icing on the cake.

  19. I’m betting on October 6th.

  20. The Rebublican Party’s new campaign song:

    “So comrades, come rally
    And the last fight let us face
    The Internationale unites the human race.
    So comrades, come rally
    And the last fight let us face
    The Internationale unites the human race.”

  21. I’m betting on October 6th.

    I’d short that, but apparently, shorting is now illegal in this “free market” economy.

  22. While Bush is highly statist his only new legacy program (i.e. entitlement expansion is really the Medicare Prescription Drug Scheme. That is what will explode the deficit and make more people accustomed to a full socialized health care scheme. The Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind are really drop in the bucket in an increased expenditures.
    My vote for the most statist President remain tie between FDR and Lyndon Johnson. Try as they might any Republican comes across looking like a piker in comparison.

  23. Because spending billions of dollars on a war each month isn’t statist; it’s just irresponsible.

  24. “While Bush is highly statist his only new legacy program”

    Don’t forget the TSA.

  25. Will means the Queen of Diamonds, not the Queen of Hearts.

    John Sidney McCain is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  26. “””My vote for the most statist President remain tie between FDR and Lyndon Johnson. “””

    And FDR was elected 4 times. America loves a statist.

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