The Hubris of the Trillion-Dollar Man

Former President George W. Bush

said Thursday that America must resist the “temptation” to allow the government to take over the private sector, taking a subtle shot at his Democratic successor by warning that too much state intervention and protectionism will squelch the economic recovery…

“As the world recovers, we will face a temptation to replace the risk-and-reward model of the private sector with the blunt instruments of government spending and control. History shows that the greater threat to prosperity is not too little government involvement, but too much,” said Mr. Bush.

Um, what? The president who

  • expanded federal spending by more than a trillion dollars a year, before his disastrous last hundred days
  • federalized education
  • laid out “a smorgasbord of handouts and subsidies for virtually every energy lobby in Washington.”
  • protected the steel, agriculture, and textile industries from foreign competition
  • backed farm bills with lavish subsidies for producers
  • created the biggest new entitlement since Lyndon Johnson
  • bailed out Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, and dozens of other banks
  • provided government support for mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and other consumer debt, and
  • bailed out Chrysler and General Motors in direct defiance of Congress’s refusal to do so

now says that his successor is about to “replace the risk-and-reward model of the private sector” with “too much government involvement”? Shouldn’t President Bush be doing penance in a monastery somewhere, rather than embarrass the free-market cause by pretending that he wasn’t the biggest-government president in decades?