I submit no conservative can explain the answer to your question because the premise of your question is flawed. Which regulations were removed that would have prevented "this mess." The Republicans in Congress from 2001-2007 added 14,000 pages to the federal register (a 20% increase). How did "giving more money to the rich" help cause it? The Bush tax cuts affected everyone, rich or poor. Which social programs have been cut? Republicans added the Medicare Prescription Drug program, but I can think of no programs that were cut. Having said all that, none of those things "got us into this mess." This mess was caused by monetary expansion by the Fed providing incentives to mortgage lenders to make bad loans.