Friday, May 01, 2009

Question: was Bush really a rampant deregulator?

Obama repeatedly called for restoring common-sense regulation on the campaign trail, and less careful partisan Dems have repeatedly blamed Bush's careless deregulatory policies for any manner of ills, including the current financial crisis. My question, like what?

And I dont mean to be glib. I'm actually wondering. In trying to understand the current crisis, it's important to understand the mechanisms or variables that actually changed along the course of affairs that led to this point as opposed to a less painful one.

I offer as the first piece of evidence that Bush may not have been to blame (acknowledging that it is an open question), this piece from my colleague Vero back in January. She demonstrates using aggregate measures of regulation that Bush, far from being a deregulator, was the biggest regulator in history (and makes the side point that Democrats in recent history have actually been the lightest regulators).

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