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Quotes - Dubya the Economist
(Dubya's grasp of economics on full display)
In terms of the economy, look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession.... Now, obviously these are very difficult economic times. When people analyze the situation, there will be — this problem started before my presidency, it obviously took place during my presidency. The question facing a President is not when the problem started, but what did you do about it when you recognized the problem.
How about the question of when the President admits that a recession was occurring? Let's just say that Dubya was awfully reluctant to do that: 1 | 2 | 3 White House, Jan. 12, 2009
You know, one of the very difficult parts of the decision I made on the financial crisis was to use hardworking people's money to help prevent there to be a crisis.
And how did that go? White House, Jan. 12, 2009
I was in the Roosevelt Room and Chairman Bernanke and Secretary Paulson, after a month of every weekend where they're calling, saying, we got to do this for AIG, or this for Fannie and Freddie, came in and said, the financial markets are completely frozen and if we don't do something about it, it is conceivable we will see a depression greater than the Great Depression. So I analyzed that and decided I didn't want to be the President during a depression greater than the Great Depression, or the beginning of a depression greater than the Great Depression.
Good to know he was being motivated by thoughts of his legacy. Apparently he considers the country to be in the start of a depression, too, not just a recession. Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2008
CHARLIE GIBSON (ABC NEWS): Do you feel in any way responsible for what's happening [with the recession]?
DUBYA: You know, I'm the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President.
So it appears he doesn't feel in any way responsible, and his grammar is as good as ever. Camp David, Maryland, Dec. 1, 2008
It's in our economic interest that we continue to open up markets in our neighborhood, particularly with a nation that is growing like yours. And yet, we can't get a vote out of Congress. I've been asking the Democrat leadership in Congress for a vote, and they've consistently blocked the vote.
Dubya singles out the "Democrat leadership" with an intentional wording choice reminiscent of many previous instances, White House, Sep. 20, 2008
The SEC is also requiring certain investors to disclose their short selling, and has launched rigorous enforcement actions to detect fraud and manipulation in the market. Anyone engaging in illegal financial transactions will be caught and persecuted.
Perhaps they will be, but I think the main objective will be to prosecute them. White House, Sep. 19, 2008
If you listen to anybody who owns a small business, they will tell you that the rising cost of health care is troubling not only to their balance sheet but to their soul, because they want their employees to have the best. A small business owner really does care a lot about their employees.
That's what you call a blanket statement. I'm sure no one has ever worked for an employer who doesn't have the employees' best interests at heart. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Sep. 12, 2008
There's no question about it. Wall Street got drunk. It got drunk and now it's got a hangover. The question is, how long will it sober up and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments?
In Dubya's fascinating metaphor, I guess those fancy financial instruments are like "foofy" drinks for the ladies. Houston, Texas, Jul. 18, 2008
REPORTER: And banking — do you think the system is in trouble?
DUBYA: I think the system basically is sound, I truly do. And I understand there's a lot of nervousness. And — but the economy is growing, productivity is high, trade is up, people are working. It's not as good as we'd like, but — and to the extent that we find weakness, we'll move.
Dubya's statement of confidence in the banking system weeks before its collapse, White House, Jul. 15, 2008
Some of the incentives in the pro-growth package are for small businesses and businesses with accelerated appreciation, incentives to invest.
Or depreciation... the White House transcript didn't bother to correct this one. White House, Apr. 17, 2008
SUSIE GHARIB (PBS): Umm, why the hesitation about the "R" word? Isn't it time to call it what it is?
DUYBA: Well, because, uhh, you know, there's a, there's a definition for the "R" word, and we hadn't reached the definition, and secondly, uhh, I am confident in the long-term growth of the country. Uhh, umm, I — if, if you want me to say we're in a tough patch, having a tough time, it's — bad, eh, you know, it's a, ta — times are rough — I'll say all those three, because that's the truth. And the key the American people have got to know is, raather than, you know, fretting, we moved, and we moved a very robust, pro-growth pa, ahh, package, uhh, that, uhh, will — you know, will start movin' money into the economy quickly. Uhh, by the second week of May, people start getting their rebate checks, plus we sent a signal to businesses large and small that there'll be additional incentives this year for you to invest, which — uhh, I think will lead to jobs.
Uhh... Note that Dubya never uses the "R" word, and at the same time, he really never makes the case that the country isn't in a recession. White House, Mar. 12, 2008
CHRIS WALLACE (Fox News): Mr. President, what are the chances that we're either in a recession or headed for one?
DUBYA: I think the experts will tell you we're not in a recession, and they will tell you that there's a lot of uncertainty. And therefore, the question is what do you do about it.
Even Chris Wallace probably wondered which experts would claim that with a straight face, White House, Feb. 10, 2008
Listen, the estate tax is a lousy deal, particularly for farmers and small business owners. I mean, you get taxed twice. You get taxed when you build your business, and then they tax you when you die.
Not only is his take on the estate tax inaccurate in depicting who it affects the most (very wealthy inheritors), but he also claims that a person is taxed once while alive, and again while dead. I'm pretty sure it's the inheritor paying the second round of taxes. Chicago, Illinois, Jan. 7, 2008
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