Dick Cheney On Bush-Era Spending: “We Could Have Done A Better Job”

Call this the understatement of the year:

During this weekend’s celebration of President Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday, former Vice-President Dick Cheney participated in an interview where he was asked whether the Bush administration did enough to control government spending, and he admitted “I think we could have done a better job on spending.”

Cheney seemed willing to accept the fact that the Republican brand may have been tarnished because of so much federal spending; however, he attempted to justify it by suggesting that the war on terror required a lot of expensive activity to make sure the nation was kept safe. He also delivered a veiled jab at congressional Republicans of the time, seeming to suggest that when Republicans controlled Congress, it was hard for the Bush administration to veto a spending bill that came from his own party.

Not really an excuse, of course. Bush could’ve been a leader but he never had it in him, and given the fact the he gave us stuff like Medicare, Part D, No Child Left Behind, and TARP, only a fool would believe he was a fiscal conservative.


FILED UNDER: Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. anjin-san says:

    > a fiscal conservative.

    If you know a Republican who is a fiscal conservative in deed, as opposed to in word, please make an introduction. Boehner & Cantor did not seem to have a problem with Bush’s vast expansion of the size, power and cost of the federal government when it was taking place.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    “If you know a Republican who is a fiscal conservative in deed, as opposed to in word, please make an introduction. ”

    This is because the Democrats are now the default conservative party, while the Republicans are a radical group devoted to tearing apart as much of our society as they can.

  3. wr says:

    They definitely could have done a better job. They left a small fraction of the nation’s wealth outside the hands of the top one percent.

  4. Trumwill says:

    The unfortunate thing is, I am not sure that they could have. The failure of the right to recognize this limitation is one of the things preventing it from having a genuine governing philosophy (instead of simply having a sometimes successful election platform).