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The stalling economy: Obama's fault, or Bush's?
The Obama White House is still trying to push some of the blame for the lousy economy onto the previous administration. Is it too late for that?
The economy keeps sputtering, and Americans are faulting President Obama for its stagnation, while the president says he inherited these problems from George W. Bush.
The economy keeps sputtering, and Americans are faulting President Obama for its stagnation, while the president says he inherited these problems from George W. Bush.
KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Corbis
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s grim financial news mounts, President Obama keeps defending his handling of the economy. It's "very important for folks to remember how close we came to complete disaster," the president said Tuesday. Obama also blamed "policy decisions that had been made and challenges that had been unaddressed over the course of the previous decade." But Americans aren't buying it. A new Washington Post-ABC poll finds they increasingly fault Obama for the country's economic woes, with 59 percent saying he's doing a poor job on that front, up from 55 percent last month. Is it too late for Obama to pin the blame on George W. Bush?

This is Obama's economy: Whatever Obama says about Bush, says Victor Davis Hanson at National Review, it's his own economic miscues that have us mired in this mess. "The administration’s massive borrowing, new regulations, promised higher taxes, opposition to new oil leases and pipelines, takeovers (from GM and Chrysler to health care), and rhetorical assault on the successful in private enterprise have turned a bottoming-out recession into a near-permanent slump."
"Bush did it! Bush didn't do it!"

Nonsense. Bush shares some of the blame: "Republicans who blame our current economic crisis on Obama either have short memories or no shame," says Joe Scarborough at Politico. After all, Obama "inherited a broken financial system, a housing market in free fall, and a debt that doubled during the Bush years." Unfortunately, the current president's "unfocused policies and spendthrift ways" have made things worse. If he wants to turn things around, Obama "had better get moving soon. Time is running out."
"Obama's biggest deficit is time"

It doesn't matter. Americans will blame Obama: As a country, we "have an incredibly short memory," says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. And "elections are almost always about the future, not the past." So as Obama gets closer to November 2012, the electorate "will see the economy as either his problem or his accomplishment." He should stop referencing Bush.
"Barack Obama's economy?"

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