John Merline sets the record straight at Investors.com.
A key attack line in President Obama’s campaign stump speech these days is to claim that the country has tried Mitt Romney’s economic policies already, and they were a dismal failure.
Romney, he says, wants to do two things: Cut taxes for the rich and massively deregulate the economy.
“The truth is,” Obama says, “we tried (that) for almost a decade, and it didn’t work.”
Bush-era tax cuts and deregulation, he argues “resulted in the most sluggish job growth in decades” along with “rising inequality, surpluses turned into deficits, culminating in the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes.”
There’s just one problem. Obama’s got his history wrong.
First, Bush was no big deregulator.
In fact, under Bush, the size and cost of the federal government’s regulatory machinery increased dramatically, as Bush imposed dozens of major new rules.
Regulatory staffing, for example, climbed 44% during the Bush years , according to a study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and George Washington University.
By contrast, regulatory staffing was essentially flat under President Clinton.
Likewise, federal spending on regulations shot up 45% in real terms under Bush, compared with 26% under Clinton.
After reading this article, I find myself in the odd position of being a Republican pining for the good old days of…Bill Clinton? Argh.