Bush defends Free Market (and Big Government)

In a speech to the Manhattan Institute, President Bush defends the free market.  Let me parse what I consider to be the key paragraph:

History has shown that the greater threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market, it is too much government involvement in the market. (Applause.) 

Great advice – though it would have been more useful if he gave this speech to George W. Bush circa 2001.

We saw this in the case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because these firms were chartered by the United States Congress, many believed they were backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Investors put huge amounts of money into Fannie and Freddie, which they used to build up irresponsibly large portfolios of mortgage-backed securities. And when the housing market declined, these securities, of course, plummeted in value. It took a taxpayer-funded rescue to keep Fannie and Freddie from collapsing in a way that would have devastated the global financial system.

Bingo – the financial collapse was a failure of government.

And there is a clear lesson: Our aim should not be more government — it should be smarter government.

“Smarter” government?!?  Sorry, but the correct answer is smaller government

That, in a nutshell, is the philosphy of Big Government Conservatism.  Not the idea that government is too big or does too much–but that if we elect Republicans, we will get smarter big government (note: this is too an easy a set-up for joke for me, but feel free to do so in the comments)