Politics

The Lie Obama Can't Stop Telling: Bush Cut Regulation and Education Spending!

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Bush's merciless gutting of education investments is exactly why Teddy Kennedy hated his…oh wait.

Your president said this last night:

Between 2001 and 2009 […] a very specific philosophy reigned in Washington: You cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires; you cut regulations for special interests; you cut back on investments in education and clean energy, in research and technology. The idea was if we put blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everybody to fend for themselves, America would grow and America would prosper.

That was the philosophy that was put forward. For eight years, we tried that. And that experiment failed miserably.

Important note: Obama is full of shit.

Between 2001 and 2009 George W. Bush did not "cut back on investments in education," he increased them by 58 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. Regulations? "The Bush team has spent more taxpayer money on issuing and enforcing regulations than any previous administration in U.S. history," Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy wrote in January 2009, in a piece that should be distributed to every audience member before an Obama speech. More from that:

Of the new rules, 159 are "economically significant," meaning they will cost at least $100 million a year. That's a 10 percent increase in the number of high-cost rules since 2006, and a 70 percent increase since 2001. And at the end of 2007, another 3,882 rules were already at different stages of implementation, 757 of them targeting small businesses.

Overall, the final outcome of this Republican regulation has been a significant increase in regulatory activity and cost since 2001. 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.

Deregulators!!!!!

Between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2009, outlays on regulatory activities, adjusted for inflation, increased from $26.4 billion to an estimated $42.7 billion, or 62 percent. By contrast, President Clinton increased real spending on regulatory activities by 31 percent, from $20.1 billion in 1993 to $26.4 billion in 2001. […]

The data also show that, adjusted for inflation, expenditures for the category of finance and banking were cut by 3 percent during the Clinton years and rose 29 percent from 2001 to 2009, making it hard to argue that Bush deregulated the financial sector. […]

In eight years, Bush increased the federal government's regulatory staff by 91,196 employees. Clinton cut it by 969.

It's a comforting narrative, this idea that rapacious cajillionaires dismantled the federal government for eight years, until the man on the white unicorn came to restore dignity to the White House. But it has never, ever been true. The president really should stop lying to the American people, but he won't.