Former President Bush has emerged from near total media seclusion for the purpose of promoting his new book called, “Decision Points.” He’s making all of the rounds including Oprah, Rush, Hannity and the TV morning shows.
To my eye and ear, he looks and sounds relaxed. And he sounds like a man who is at peace with the decisions that he made. It was nice to see him when he visited here in Tyler and, frankly, it’s nice to see him on TV again. It turns out I really do miss him.
The recession is said to have officially begun in December 2007 and to have officially ended in June 2009. In that interim, we saw the near collapse of the financial markets, the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler and the subsequent government takeover of both. We saw the government massively intervene in the insurance and banking industries. We saw a nearly $1 trillion spending measure, laughably called an economic “stimulus” bill, that was rammed through Congress with next to no scrutiny.
Then, as if that weren’t enough, the most liberal administration and Congress in a generation, over the objection of a majority of the country, pushed through a bill that fundamentally reshapes the one-sixth of the U.S. economy that is health care – again with little actual scrutiny.
While this was happening, the U.S. economy shed over eight million jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to 10 percent where it stubbornly remains. The national debt grew by over $3 trillion and the federal budget deficit, around $400 billion under Bush, quadrupled, to $1.6 trillion in the just-completed budget year.
Even though the recession is said to have officially ended in June 2009, it doesn’t feel like it. And with each passing month of slow to no growth, we start to forget that during the Bush administration, the U.S. experienced economic expansion and job growth for 53 consecutive months, a record.
When NBC’s Matt Lauer tried to pin President Bush down on making the tax cuts that bear his name permanent, the president said this:
“Now, the question is how do we create them? And part of the debate is should government create the jobs or should the private sector try to create the jobs. My argument is keeping the taxes low will encourage the private sector to create jobs.”
Thank you, Mr. President. You have succinctly summed up our decision point. We have tried fixing our problems via a massive expansion of government and all we have to show for it is a massive debt. Are we now willing to let the free market back in the game?
In order for that to occur, we need to make the current tax rates permanent, we need to repeal Obamacare, we need to lower the corporate tax rate, we need to ease the regulatory burden on business and we need to make a dramatic commitment to reducing the size and cost of government.
When businesses and the America people see that government is stepping back and getting out of the way, the miracle that is the American economy will do what it always does, which is to say, set an example for the entire world.