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, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  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).