George Will has a throw away line, actually a throw away parentheses, in his column today. In criticizing President Obama he refers to President George W. Bush as “The Great Alibi.”
Alas, in the world of conservative thought, or what passes for conservative thought, eight years of reckless government spending is best forgotten. President Obama does not have that luxury. He must clean up the mess he was left.
And what a mess it was. We Americans have short memories, so it is easy to forget the huge surpluses George W. Bush inherited when he took office. It is easy to forget the completely unfunded expansion of Medicare through the Prescription Drug Benefit. It is easy to forget the billions upon billions spent on the war in Iraq, none of it accounted for in Bush’s budgets because it was deemed “emergency spending.” It is easy to forget that if the obscene tax cuts for the wealthy had not been enacted, we would not be worrying about paying for health care today because there would be ample funds in the Treasury.