Maybe Democrats should have test-marketed the Blame Bush meme before taking it out for a spin in the final week of the midterm elections. After all, if Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) can’t sell in the 3rd CD in Massachusetts, which Cook rates as a D+9 district, where can it be sold? (Well, there’s always MSNBC.) McGovern gets boos and catcalls when he attempts to shift the blame for the financial collapse and Great Recession onto George W. Bush:
It’s not that Bush is entirely blameless, of course. Although at times he attempted to call attention to the problem at Fannie and Freddie, he also pushed the notion that government should interfere with mortgages to conduct social engineering, which was what created the housing bubble. Democrats like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank push for the mechanism that allowed Fannie and Freddie to securitize those loans to keep generating cash, using the mortgage-backed securities that infected and nearly killed the global financial sector. The roots of all this started in 1998 and 1999, when the Clinton administration — which McGovern praises — started pushing these interventions in the first place.
But there are more equally unserious statements here, especially when it comes to the deficit. The tax cuts “for the rich” that to which McGovern refers will cost $700 billion over the next ten years (and only “cost” if one considers that money the government’s in the first place, by the way), so the “cost” from the last seven years is significantly less. The US has spent about just over a trillion dollars in extra spending on the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the National Priorities Project. over the last nine years. In comparison, Democrats in Congress have increased federal spending by a trillion dollars a year, and spent over $800 billion on Porkulus. Which of these spending examples have added more to the deficit in the shortest period of time? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.