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Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted…
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Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan…

by Bruce Reeves Bartlett

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The author, Bruce Bartlett, is also the author of Reaganomics. He worked in the Reagan White House and in the first Bush Treasury Department. So he has pretty good conservative credentials. Bartlett says that while W ran as Reagan's heir, he has not governed like him. He attacks George W. Bush for his massive spending that, according to Bartlett, will result in the need for future tax increases.

Surprisingly, he commends Clinton for cutting spending and leaving a budget surplus. But he doesn't hold back from attacking liberals, either, saying that their greatest sin "...is their belief that it is possible for them to know everything necessary to manage the economy and society."

This book offers a good hard look at President Bush and our country's economic state. The overall tone is expressed in the first chapter: "I know conservatives, and George W. Bush is no conservative."
  TPLThing | Nov 1, 2006 |
Bartlett focuses almost exclusively on economic and fiscal policy in his effort to expose George W. Bush as the worst president since Nixon, at least. This can be a little dry, but generally successful.
I tend to be more interested in the social aspects of the Bush ideology, and though I have a good understanding of economics for a layperson, I don't follow the policies as closely as I could. I was surprised to read exactly how poorly planned these policies were by the Administration, and though I knew Bush was a "big-government conservative" I guess I hadn't realized just how big. While "Impostor" didn't focus on my main areas of interest, it was pretty eye-opening and I always find it refreshing to find conservatives/libertarians passing negative judgment on the Bush administration. ( )
1 vote nperrin | Jun 4, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385518277, Hardcover)

George W. Bush came to the presidency in 2000 claiming to be the heir of Ronald Reagan. But while he did cut taxes, in most other respects he has governed in a way utterly unlike his revered predecessor, expanding the size and scope of government, letting immigration go unchecked, and allowing the federal budget to mushroom out of control.

Despite their strong misgivings, most conservatives remained silent during Bush’s first term. But a series of missteps and scandals, culminating in the ill-conceived nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, has brought this hidden rift within the conservative movement crashing to the surface.

Now, in what is sure to be the political book of the season, Bruce Bartlett lays bare the incompetence and profligacy of Bush’s economic policies. A highly respected Washington economist—and true-believing Reaganite—Bartlett started out as a supporter of Bush and helped him craft his tax cuts. But he was dismayed by the way they were executed. Reagan combined his tax cuts with fiscal restraint, but Bush has done the opposite. Bartlett thus reluctantly concluded that Bush is not a Reaganite at all, but an unprincipled opportunist who will do whatever he or his advisers think is expedient to buy votes.

In this sober, thorough, and utterly devastating book, Bartlett attacks the Bush Administration's economic performance root and branch, from the "stovepiping" of its policy process to the coercive tactics used to ram its policies through Congress, to the effects of the policies themselves. He is especially hard on Bush’s enormous new Medicare entitlement…and predicts that within a few years, Bush's tax cuts and unrestricted spending will produce an economic crisis that will require a major tax increase, probably in the form of a European-style VAT.

Bartlett has surprisingly kind words for Bill Clinton, whose record on the budget was far better than Bush’s. Whatever else one may think of him, Bartlett argues, Clinton cut spending, abolished a federal entitlement program, and left a budget surplus. By contrast, Bush has increased spending, created a massive entitlement program, and produced the biggest deficits in American history.

In fact, Bartlett concludes, Bush is less like Reagan than like Nixon: an arch-conservative Republican, bitterly hated by liberals, who vainly tried to woo moderates by enacting big parts of the liberal program. It didn't work then, and it won't work now—and may have similar harmful effects for the GOP.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:28 -0400)

George W. Bush came to the presidency in 2000 claiming to be the heir of Ronald Reagan. Reaganite economist Bartlett started out as a supporter of Bush and helped him craft his tax cuts, but he was dismayed by the way they were executed, and has reluctantly concluded that Bush is not a Reaganite at all, but an unprincipled opportunist. He predicts that within a few years, Bush's tax cuts and unrestricted spending will produce an economic crisis that will require a major tax increase. Bartlett has surprisingly kind words for Clinton, whose record on the budget was far better than Bush's. In fact, Bartlett concludes, Bush is less like Reagan than like Nixon: an arch-conservative Republican, bitterly hated by liberals, who vainly tried to woo moderates by enacting big parts of the liberal program. It didn't work then, and it won't work now.--From publisher description.… (more)

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