Wednesday, January 14, 2009

President Bush's Legacy: One of Our Greatest Presidents

by Jon Swift

As I recently predicted, in few months, with the benefit of hindsight, historians will look back on the Bush presidency as an unalloyed success and consider President Bush to be one of our greatest presidents. Although the White House has sent around its own talking points highlighting the President's accomplishments, I don't think they go far enough. So I have put together my own list of talking points, which should convince anyone why George W. Bush belongs on Mount Rushmore, along with Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and the other guy.

After Hurricane Katrina President Bush kept our cities safe.

In the three years and a half years since Hurricane Katrina not a single American city has been destroyed or partially destroyed. There are more than 10,000 cities in the United States and because of George Bush every single one of them, except for New Orleans, is still largely intact. Of course, no one could have predicted Hurricane Katrina, and if President Clinton had not left us so woefully unprepared, New Orleans would probably be in a lot better shape than it is now. But since Katrina, there have been numerous hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards, fires and earthquakes and none of them has gotten out of hand and wiped out an entire city because of the disaster preparedness policies President Bush put in place. For national security reasons we may not know until records are declassified how many other potential disasters, like epidemics or nuclear power plant meltdowns or alien invasions, were averted because of the work that government agencies did behind the scenes. Unfortunately, Presidents don't usually get credit for all the disasters that don't happen. But I think we should congratulate the President for doing a heckuva job on keeping America safe in the years since Katrina.

After the October 2008 stock market correction there have been no Great Depressions.

Although the excesses of the Clinton administration's failed economic policies finally caught up with us in October 2008, in the seven years before this economic downturn the economy was doing really well. Not every President can boast of seven years of prosperity. What's more, even since October there have been no Great Depressions, which means President Bush has given us eight completely depressionless years. Although some credit Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's swift and bold moves after the market tanked for staving off a depression, I think most economists will come to agree that it was Bush's 2001 tax cuts that really kept the economy afloat. Bush's prescient tax cuts lifted up the economy to such a level that any economic downfall just brought us back to where we were before instead plunging us into depression. Meanwhile, because of easy credit during the Bush years, more people had the opportunity to buy the homes of their dreams and live in them for a few years before they had to give them back. If Obama's economic policies do plunge us into a Great Depression, Americans will look back on the relative economic prosperity of the Bush years wistfully and have only themselves to blame.

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