A New Strategy for Economic Growth or Just Another Political Stalking Horse?

By: August 22, 2011

 “A New Strategy for Economic Growth,” a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal and co-authored by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, raises some interesting questions, both economic and political.

First, let’s talk about the politics. It’s hard  to read anything written by Jeb Bush and not wonder if it’s just the latest political calculation designed to prepare the country for a third Bush in the White House. Conservative Republicans have suffered through two Bushes, father and son, at the helm of the country for twelve of the last twenty-four years. Now comes the prospect of yet another Bush, offering himself up perhaps as a 2012 dark horse, but more likely positioning himself for a 2016 run.  Despite the unpallatable nature of that prospect to many conservatives, we must acknowleget that it is, after all, a free country, and if Jeb Bush wants to run in 2016, he has that right, even as the rest of us continue to suffer from Bush fatigue.

With that obvious political note out of the way, let’s examine the merits of the article offered by Mr. Bush and Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the Federal Reserve.

They argue, quite simply, that economic growth is the answer to all our current woes, and that we need a long term strategy to best accomplish that growth, instead of just short-term government policy measures to try to simply maintain stability. They also argue that the government ought not to be picking winners and losers. No company should be “too big too fail.” They don’t really lay out the consequences of failure.  How will it play out, for instance, in the future, if we let a major bank or automobile manufacturer fail?

I would like to see a Voices of the Tea Party book published by a qualified economist that closely examines the 2008 “too big to fail” related bailouts and addresses this question: “What would the picture have looked like if those federal government bailouts had not occurred ?”

We’ve been treated to many alternate military histories by such authors as MacKinley Cantor, who wrote a great little book titled “If the South Had Won the Civil War.”  Now it’s time for an alternate economic history.  Jeb Bush himself could write this compelling title: “If My Brother Hadn’t Bailed Out the Banks and the Auto Companies.” That’s an e-book I would buy!

Quincy Williams is a tea party supporter who lives in a blue state where he works for local government.

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