Obama: Bush the Third

The New York Times reports that the bank bailout plan to be unveiled by new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was crafted after “spirited” debate among President Obama’s top advisers. Well and good.

But here’s the takeaway, from page 2 of the online article:

And for all of its boldness, the plan largely repeats the Bush administration’s approach of deferring to many of the same companies and executives who had peddled risky loans and investments at the heart of the crisis and failed to foresee many of the problems plaguing the markets.

Just as President Obama’s approach to Afghanistan and Iran will prove to be more of the same.

The highlight of the president’s press conference yesterday was his slap at Republicans in Congress who dared criticize the bloated spending bill that’s been painted up and called “stimulus”.

“It’s a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they’ve presided over a doubling of the national debt,” Obama said. “I’m not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.”

“What I won’t do,” he said at another point, “is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place.”

He’s right, Republicans did double the national debt. So why is President Obama’s solution to the crisis to quadruple it?

In other words, if massive government spending can get us out of this depression, why didn’t the wild spending of Bush II head it off?

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