Even Paul Krugman misses George W. Bush

Goerge W Bush by Shutterstock.com

TEL AVIV - JAN 09:U.S. President George W. Bush during the welcoming ceremony in Israel on Jan 9 2008.US President George W. Bush visited Israel twice during his two terms.

Article Highlights

  • Even Paul Krugman misses George Bush

    Tweet This

  • Bush's recession recovery spending outpaced Obama's, believe it or not

    Tweet This

  • Spending after the great recession may not be what you expect

    Tweet This

George W. Bush is back. After the pleasantly bipartisan opening of his presidential library, his father's glorious sock-wearing and his brother's highly anticipated first steps toward a run for president, his approval rating has now climbed above that of his successor, President Obama. And the support he is receiving is coming from unexpected corners: even New York Times blogger Paul Krugman, a former Enron consultant, has jumped on the "Miss Me Yet?" bandwagon.

In a recent blog post, Krugman compares the response of the Bush administration to the 2001 recession to that of the Obama administration to the Great Recession, and finds that president Bush oversaw a response that was quite superior. Referring to current fiscal policy as "amazing" in how bad it is, he argues that W's policies, including to some extent the war in Afghanistan and the liberation of Iraq, helped the U.S. economy recover from the outfall of the tech bubble burst and the 9/11 attacks.

The graph below shows how different Obama's response to the Great Recession has been: in spite of persistent high unemployment, government spending, even in nominal terms, slowed relatively soon after the recession – and where Krugman claims that Bush helped the recovery through his national-security policies, Obama hindered it.



Who would have thought? It feels like only yesterday when Krugman referred to himself as "a premature anti-Bushist who pointed out how terrible a president he was back when everyone else was praising him as a Great Leader." As Carmen Twillie sang in '94: "It's the Circle of Life / And it moves us all / Through despair and hope / Through faith and love / Till we find our place."

Stan Veuger is an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Stan
Veuger

What's new on AEI

Rebuilding American defense: A speech by Governor Bobby Jindal
image Smelling liberal, thinking conservative
image Stopping Ebola before it turns into a pandemic
image All too many reasons for pessimism about Europe
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.