Why exactly does George W. Bush think he has even a smidgen of credibility when discussing economic issues? Here's what he said yesterday:
"I know it's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in," the former president said to applause from members of a local business group. "You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money."
Repeatedly in his hourlong speech and question-and-answer session, Mr. Bush said he would not directly criticize the new president, who has moved to take over financial institutions and several large corporations. Several times, however, he took direct aim at Obama policies as he defended his own during eight years in office.
"Government does not create wealth. The major role for the government is to create an environment where people take risks to expand the job rate in the United States," he said to huge cheers.
Brian Williams briefly mentioned it in his newscast yesterday, pointing out that it was actually Bush who signed the first bailout packages for the banks and auto and insurance industries. But that was really only the half of it.
Ed Shultz, on his MSNBC show yesterday, did an admirable job of tackling the rest of the matter:
What did he do? Attack the president of the United States and basically did what he does pretty well, which is rewrite history. Now Bush is babbling, trying to make sense out of the worst eight years this country has ever had since the Great Depression.
And if he‘s going to go out and do this, and I think we need to remind the American people, and I think we have an obligation to say this—Bush gave us what? Record deficits, record foreign debt, record trade deficits, butchering the middle class, letting the financial sector run wild with absolutely no oversight. Those are a just a few things—I don‘t have a whole hour to do this, but the American people are not stupid. Our new NBC News poll proves this. The American people do not blame Barack Obama for the fiscal condition of this country.
Here are the numbers. Fifty-three percent say that Bush and the congressional Republicans are to blame. Only six percent blame President Obama. Now, weeks ago, the president said he didn‘t want to second-guess the current president. That‘s exactly what he‘s doing. Bush is lying and he is setting the framework for the Republicans to make the case against President Obama at a very tough time. Gosh, how one speech can change people. It‘s almost like the state of the union address, the 16 words.
This is the last person that anybody in the Obama administration should pay attention to. Bush has no credibility. He has no authority. He has no clue what‘s going on. You see, he didn‘t stop with the economy. Brainless Bush went out and goes after, with a generic statement about health care reform. He really cared about that. He goes on to say, “There are a lot of way to remedy the situation without nationalizing health care.” He also said - “You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money.” I tell you what, just a couple of dandies out there on the rubber-chicken circuit.
This is a man who sat there for eight years—eight years—and did absolutely nothing when it comes to the number one issue in this country for families, which is health care. He told you to go out and get a private savings account. This is vintage Bush, appealing to the lowest common denominator when it comes to the problems we face as a country. I guess you could say that things haven‘t changed. They think we‘re stupid. But in the words of the former president, “Fool me once, you can‘t get fooled again, or whatever that was.”
Thanks, Ed. Somebody needed to say it. Too bad you seem to have been one of the few doing so.