Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Credit where credit's due.

On UCLAW Prof. Stephen Bainbridge's fervent recommendation, I am reading Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (2006) by Bruce Bartlett.

A money quote:

"I think it is telling that Bush's Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, was far better on the budget than he [Bush] has been. Clinton vetoed bills because they spent too much. Bush never does. Clinton not only reduced the deficit, but he actually cut spending. Bush has increased both. Clinton abolished an entitlement program. Bush created an extremely expensive new one. One can still argue about whether Clinton was a better president or a better man than Bush, but on this budget there is no ambiguity. Clinton was much better." (p. 18.)

Facts are stubborn things, and this fact is obstinate. What's remarkable about this critique (and endorsement of Clinton's budget policy) is that it comes not from the left, but the right. Bartlett worked in the Reagan White House and has impressive conservative credentials. As much as it probably pained him to pen this words, this reality cannot be caviled with.