Clive Crook does not mince words:
"Mr Bush has done the cause of fiscal moderation grave harm. He presided over an unwarranted surge in spending and he pushed for tax cuts that were so politically ill-conceived that, in the view of many Americans, merely undoing them is all the tax reform the country needs. The issue is not so much that he moved the structural budget balance from surplus to deficit – though he did and that was a great pity – but that he spared the country until further notice the effort of examining its priorities and mending its failing fiscal machinery. In this election year, control of entitlements and far-reaching reform of the tax system are not even being discussed. Before too long, both will be unavoidable fiscal necessities. Cancelling Mr Bush is not enough."When highly-respected, normally non-partisan Financial Times columnists like Clive Crook (or Martin Wolf) start sounding like Democratic partisans, you know Bush has really gone over the edge. There really is no defending Bush's fiscal record.