Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is Bush the new Carter?

My biggest beef with W is that he's not a small government conservative. Fiscally, he might as well be Carter. He does have a better record on taxes than Carter but that's about it.
  • During Bush's presidency, the Canadian and US $ hit parity for the first time since Carter.
  • Carter's election followed a near presidential impeachment, Bush followed an impeached president (It's not a perfect comparison but it's close. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment and Ford wasn't elected for the Gen Yers in the crowd. Many experts agree that Carter's win was a reaction to Nixon's mess)
  • We had record high gas prices during the Carter administration. We have record high gas prices during the Bush administration (unadjusted for inflation of course).
  • We had a housing crisis during Carter due to high interest rates, tight credit and general inflation. We have a housing crisis during Bush due to low interest rates, easy credit and general prosperity.
  • During Carter, Iran was the enemy. We've come full circle and Iran is the enemy again.
  • Carter never had Greenspan's help with the economy. Bush no longer has Greenspan's help with the economy.
  • There is no credible suggestion that either one of them were unfaithful to their wives.
  • Carter gave away a strategic canal. Bush almost gave away access to strategic ports.
  • Carter created the bureaucracies of Energy and Education. Bush created Homeland Security. How many unneeded agencies do we need? Close all 3 and wouldn't miss them.
Fortunately, Bush still has a few distinguishing characteristics:
  • He does hate taxes and isn't afraid to cut them, especially death taxes.
  • Love or hate him, he's not afraid to fight our enemies. There will be no 444 days of cowardice under Bush's watch.
Contrast this from Carter's inaugural:

"We have learned that more is not necessarily better, that even our great nation has its recognized limits, and that we can neither answer all questions nor solve all problems."

With Bush's 9/11 words to New York:

"I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

Can't versus will. Even if we can't, I expect the President to say we will.

I would be remiss not point out Carter's good points:
  • He never appointed a supreme court justice.
  • He picked Paul Volcker to head the Federal Reserve.
So is Bush the new Carter? I don't think so but he's not the new Reagan either. Fred might have a shot at being the new Reagan and Hillary is of course the new Clinton. Which to leads to the question, can Fred remember and will Hillary be faithful to her wife?

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