The Bush economy was based mostly in part on the housing and mortgage markets. With no regulations in place, a wild west type monetary explosion hit and fueled Bush's "ownership society." While the scam worked, it infused tremendous amounts of cash into the economy which consumers spent very aggressively while also racking up their credit card debt. This also made the rich, much richer. 1920's rich. When that unraveled we had a complete economic meltdown. The NY Times hits it up with a piece called: White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire
The New York Times published a great article this week-end about Bush's contribution to the economic meltdown.
More senior aides, like Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political strategist, were wary of overly regulating an industry that, Mr. Rove said in an interview, provided “a valuable service to people who could not otherwise get credit.” While he had some concerns about the industry’s practices, he said, “it did provide an opportunity for people, a lot of whom are still in their houses today.”
This is what comes of having the president's political hit man intimately involved in policy. None of this is to suggest that this wasn't based on the noxious free market fundamentalism of the conservative movement. It certainly was. They would have tried to deregulate and remove all oversight of the industry no matter what. But Bush-Rove-Cheney were a unique trio who were able to use the federal government to not only advance their self-serving economic and foreign policy ideology for the benefit of their rich contributors, they were also obsessed with using every lever of government as political tools to advance their electoral prospects and destroy the political opposition.
The problem is that they thought they could control forces that no government can control through marketing, lies and propaganda. And they got schooled. Unfortunately, everyone else is going to have to pay the price.
Read the whole article if you get the chance. It's yet another illustration of the stupidity, myopia, greed, arrogance and incompetence of the Bush administration --- and the total bankruptcy of conservative ideology when put into practice.