Ever since former president George W. Bush unveiled plans for the new presidential center in his name which would focus on fiscal restraint, he has faced fair amount of ridicule from folks like the Cato Institute. And not unjustifiably, given statements like “too much state intervention and protectionism will squelch the economic recovery” seem ironic coming from the guy who pushed trillions of dollars in bailouts, expanded entitlement liabilities, supported steel tariffs, pushed the 2008 stimulus (which had the same impact as the 2009 stimulus), increased government spending at a rate higher than any president since LBJ (if not higher), and the list goes on.
However, it was also Nixon who went to China. It was dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel who established the Peace Prize. It was Saul of Tarsus, persecutor of Christians, who became the Apostle Paul, the foremost leader of the Christian Church. It was Ed Rendell who became a model for a healthy diet.
Perhaps we should look at George W. Bush’s conversion the other way. As in “Even George W. Bush now acknowledges that government intervention won’t grow the economy.”