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March 24, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Did George W. Bush save economy from total collapse?

Talton’s column misses the facts

Jon Talton’s article regurgitating Mitt Romney’s screed that it was George W. Bush and Hank Paulson who were responsible for keeping America from going into another depression is like listening to a pimp trying convince the cops he’s really just trying to reform the girls he employs. [“Did W. save the economy from total collapse?,” seattletimes.com, March 22.]

Not only did Bush not give a flying flip about the tanking economy, he turned loose a former CEO of Goldman Sachs to “correct” it. That correction made certain that Goldman remained on top and that its primary competitor, Lehman Brothers, went down the toilet, giving Goldman unprecedented profits in the aftermath. One thing Talton got right was John McCain going AWOL while Ben Bernanke — a terrified student of the Great Depression — really was desperately improvising, throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at a rapidly failing U.S. economy.

Bernanke’s predecessor, Alan Greenspan, ignored the warnings because of his Randian blindness to what was unfolding. Paul Krugman and others were jumping up and down screaming for Greenspan to take action, but to no avail. The right simply would not listen.

What Talton fails to grasp is that, while there has been a degree of continuity in the economic policies of Timothy Geithner and others like him, once Paulson was gone the Obama administration began to pull away from the previous administration.

Talton is correct, however, in identifying that the real struggle is not between Republicans and Democrats, or that it has anything to do with wild-eyed accusations of socialism. It very much is a struggle between the 1 percent and the rest of us.

— Philip Ryburn, Seattle


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