Bush Would Have Created Government Motors Too

Is the GOP the anti-bailout party?


Matthew Continetti in the Weekly Standard on the GM takeover:

There simply was no way a pro-labor Democratic president from a Great Lakes state was going to allow GM and Chrysler to vanish and the gold-plated benefits the UAW had secured over the generations to disappear as well.

But it seems clear that the pro-Employee-Free-Choice-Act, Republican president from a deep red state who just left office would have supported the government takeover as well. Last December, Bush fully embraced the "too big to fail" view of GM and Chrysler and gave them $17.4 billion in loans. Now, maybe if Bush was still in office, he would not have opposed GM's creditors as much as Obama, nor put as much of a focus on "green" vehicles. But his record suggests that the basic policy Continetti is criticizing--government getting cozy with industry--would have continued.

So I find Continett's conclusion a bit hard to swallow:

All of this is both misguided and unpopular... In time, the electorate may even vote for politicians who stand with private enterprise. The political party with a track record of opposition to government overreach, overspending, and overindebtedness--and with proposals to roll back the bailout state--will benefit. It won't be the Democrats.

He leaves out the name of the party because he thinks the answer is obvious. But I would ask: yes, what party has that track record?