Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Myths about economics

One of the biggest myths still making rounds on the internet -- and the halls of Congress -- is that the current economic situation we find ourselves in is the Bush administration's mad plunge into deregulation.

The latest major piece of deregulation was signed in 1999 by Clinton. Gramm-Leach-Bliley's lead sponsors were Republicans, but the 34 Democratic senators who voted for the bill surely weren't scheming to "let the market run wild." Ditto the 151 Democrats -- among them future Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- who voted for the measure in the House.

But of course Democrats have a convenient punching bag. Pelosi said the recession was caused by "The Bush Administration’s eight long years of failed deregulation policies..."

From Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe:
Now, this is not to say that Bush hasn't also been responsible for legislation having a decided impact on the country's regulatory climate. On July 31, 2002, declaring that free markets must not be "a financial free-for-all guided only by greed," he signed the Sarbanes-Oxley law, a sweeping overhaul of corporate fraud, securities, and accounting laws. Among its many tough provisions, the law created a new regulatory agency to oversee public accounting firms and auditors, and imposed an array of new requirements for financial reporting and corporate audits. Whatever else might be said about Sarbanes-Oxley, it was no invitation to an uninhibited capitalist bacchanal.

Like the alligators lurking in New York City sewers, Bush's massive regulatory rollback is mostly urban legend. Far from throwing out the rulebook, the administration has expanded it: Since Bush became president, the Federal Register -- the government's annual compendium of proposed and finalized regulations -- has run to more than 74,000 pages every year but one. During the Clinton years, by contrast, the Federal Register reached that length just once.
And Bush didn't strip agencies much either. Regulatory agencies employed 175,000 people in 2000. They employed nearly 264,000 when Bush left office.

Oh, and one last thing for your Bush-haters. You believe that Bush and Cheney caused oil prices to spike to $140 a barrel in 2008. Yup, these two guys caused this. Just picked up the phone and called their buddies in Texas and made them raise the price. So on the flip side I'm sure they caused it to fall to $30 something a barrel later that year. If you believe that these two guys were powerful enough to influence the world market on oil, then you really don't understand the basic concepts of economics and pricing. Either read Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics, or here's a short course in oil pricing.

But if you want to believe what you do -- for those of you who still insist on blaming Bush for everything -- then go ahead if it makes you sleep better at night.

But more government is not the answer to our problems. It's time to focus on the real causes, which ain't the "cowboy" from Texas, y'all.


Fam Guy said...

OK, you win. It was just a coincidence that oil went for under $20 to over $140/bbl while the Big Oil Boys were in charge. And, just bad luck that the economy crashed while those crooks were in office. And who could blame Bush for the 'oops, bad info', war that he started. And Brownie did do 'A hell of a job'. And those reams of famous Bushisms, (that showed his obvious lack of intelligence) were all made up by the libs. Poor guy was just the victim of some terribly bad luck. Unfortunately, we're the ones that are suffering. Pull your head out of your ass and check out reality for a change.

Steve said...

"Pull my head out of my ass." That's a good one.

Next time, you're deleted. My blog, my rights not to be insulted.

Fam Guy said...

Call it an 'anal-cranial inversion' or whatever euphemism you want, anyone who can say 'the cowboy from Texas' didn't cause our current problems is just in denial.

Fam Guy said...

Sorry for the 'head up your ass' stuff. Need to stay on point, and that's not it. Sorry.

Steve said...

It's ok to disagree with my points. I'm trying to get across that our problems go much deeper than Bush. I had a friend in 2004 who hated Bush with his all his guts, even said that the reason he couldn't find a job was because of Bush, which was absurd. Our problems are much more systemic than any one president. Congress gets a lot of the blame, and folks like Barney Franks and company have been ducking blame for years...

Fam Guy said...

Obviously Bush isn't 100% to blame for all our problems, BUT, he was at the helm for 8 years, and the buck stops there, in my opinion. Would I give Barney Frank and other Dems a pass? NO WAY. Most politicians are in it for themselves, not us, and 'follow the money' leads directly to Bush/Cheney/Big Oil. It wasn't just a coincidence that oil went WAY up when they attacked Iraq, based on lies. AND, the economy DID crash, under their leadership. Please, just admit the obvious.