Chinese officials have said recently that America can't expect to keep up its international defense and security spending, at about 20 percent of the annual budget -- all while they keep increasing theirs. How convenient for them! Perhaps the United States also should have taken Gorbachev's advice on defense spending during the Cold War? Maybe America should pull back and just let the Chinese take over the global market for high-tech defense products entirely?
Europeans also fault Bush for deregulating Wall Street -- another myth. If anything, the problematic deregulation can be traced back to Clinton and Carter. Clinton's Financial Services Modernization Act allowed previously separated investment and commercial banks to finally merge with each other in a giant deregulatory orgy. It was Texan Phil Gramm and other Republicans who tried during the Clinton era to weaken Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which forced banks to give loans to people based on important criteria such as skin color rather than silly things like the ability to make payments.
Some say that Bush had eight years to scrap the Carter-Clinton programs. Sure, and just imagine what the reaction would have been had he tried, absent the post-2008 meltdown context, to take the mortgages and lines of credit out of the hands of minorities in the interest of imposing fiscal responsibility.
Bush did try to increase regulation of the financial sector through the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, increasing financial reporting and auditing, but he can hardly be blamed for the fact that people were set on gorging themselves on the full benefit of the Clinton-Carter programs.
Some argue that Obama is merely a victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the till ran empty. It might be easier to believe that if he'd remove his hands from it for even a second and stop crying for refills.
(Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and former Fox News host who writes regularly for major publications in the U.S. and abroad. Her website can be found at http://www.rachelmarsden.com.)
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