By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:20 PM PT
George W. Bush: After being pummeled by his successor, the 43rd president ends his silence on America's slide into socialism and timidity. He reminds us leadership is not something that comes off a teleprompter.
Read More: General Politics
Perhaps tired about being publicly blamed by the current administration for all our current ills, Bush spoke out in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday at the 104th annual gathering of the Manufacturers and Business Association.
On the same day President Obama announced expanded policing authorities for the Fed to deal with a "culture of irresponsibility," another move many feel will stifle the risk takers and entrepreneurs needed to grow the economy, Bush extolled the virtues of capitalism and the free market.
The stimulus did not escape his criticism. "It's going to be the private sector that leads this country out of the current economic times we're in," the Washington Times quotes him as saying. "You can spend your money better than the government can spend it."
As for charges Bush himself opened up the government spigots with the TARP, he defended his comparatively limited actions. "I firmly believe it was necessary to put money in our banks to make sure our financial system did not collapse," he said. "I did not want there to be bread lines, to be a great depression."
Bush isn't the one who is burdening future generations with ever-higher taxes and upwards of $10 trillion dollars in new debt. He is not the one nationalizing the auto industry, banks and health care.
He noted that his administration tried to rectify changes Democrats made to the Community Reinvestment Act and to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Bush has been blamed by the current administration for the housing bubble collapse. "We tried to reform (them)", Bush noted, "but we couldn't get it through the vested (Democratic) interests on Capitol Hill."
As for health care, "there are a lot of ways to remedy the situation without nationalizing (it)," Bush said. "I worry about encouraging the government to replace the private sector when it comes to providing insurance for health care."
So do we, seeing how well it's worked elsewhere. We note that when asked, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs couldn't name one country where a single-payer system was working.
On the war on terror, Bush said he too would have liked to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. "(But) I'll just tell you that there are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at the drop of a hat, and I don't believe persuasion is going to work. Therapy isn't going to cause terrorists to change their mind."
Certainly under Bush, trained terrorists would not be relocated to the beaches of Bermuda, and others wouldn't be getting lawyered up for trials in American civil courts. And no terrorist would be read his Miranda rights under any circumstances.
On the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that Obama has said compromised our moral principles, Bush said he wanted to "use every technique and tool within the law to bring terrorists to justice before they strike again." He succeeded.
President Obama has said his wouldn't be a third Bush term. Unfortunately, he has kept this campaign promise. We are paying and will continue to pay the price.