June 29, 2016
By John Tamney
It’s frequently said that the 2003 tax cuts were the high-water mark of the George W. Bush years. Rate cuts on income and capital gains lowered the penalty placed on work in concert with reduced penalties on the investment that creates new companies and jobs. Bush did well there, and considering the happy reality that it’s hard to get Congress to pass any kind of legislation, Bush did amazinglywell. The problem for him was that he didn’t stop at tax cuts. The rest of his economic record was pretty awful.
The list is long, but early in his administration he signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act with great gusto. This legislation forced CEOs to act as accountants, as opposed to entrepreneurs pursuing profits for shareholders. Legislation that threatens jail for an incorrect income statement tends to have that kind of chilling effect on normally innovative company heads.
Bush sought and negatively achieved tariffs on steel, softwood lumber, and shrimp, not to mention that his administration regularly bashed China and its imports to the U.S. despite those imports amounting to a daily raise for all Americans. That the Bush administration wasn’t exactly open to trade signaled to the markets that Bush and the Bush Treasury were very comfortable with a weak dollar. This was a reversal of the Reagan and Clinton years in which the dollar was strong, and largely stable. The dollar’s decline during the Bush years was rapid; the greenback having purchased 1/260th of an ounce of gold when Bush entered office versus 1/920th of an ounce around the time of his departure.
Read the full article at Forbes.com: The Donald Trump Comparison To Ronald Reagan Insults Reagan