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George W. Bush speaking at the National Institutes of Health
Here's George Bush speaking at another Institute. (National Institutes of Health)
George W. Bush will long be remembered as the polio of American economic policy. Keeping that in mind, here's a bunch of words that really don't go together:
The George W. Bush Institute is launching its first book, which features experts weighing in on ways for the U.S. to jumpstart the economy toward 4 percent gross domestic product growth.
I always expected George W. Bush's name would eventually hang above the door of an Institute. Or a Clinic. That aside, has there really been a screaming need to hear what George W. Bush would do in the event of an economic catastrophe? I think we already found out the answer to that. It's like asking opinions on what color your house should be from a fellow you find huffing paint in a supermarket parking lot. Sure, he's an expert, but not in any way that's going to appreciably help.

Luckily, the president's own offered wisdom will be inconsequential:

The former president writes the foreword for "The 4 Percent Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs," which will be released Tuesday. He is set to give brief remarks at an event Tuesday evening in Dallas featuring several of those who contributed to the book.
Thank God for that, but the real heavy lifting is done by others, including "five Nobel Prize winners," which sounds promising. Less promising is the brilliant solution being offered, which can best be summed up as that shit we already did, to disastrous effect, but screw you because we're an Institute.
[Institute executive director James K.] Glassman said ideas in the book for stimulating the economy include broad tax reform that would keep taxes low – extending the Bush-era tax cuts, broadening the tax base by getting rid of special exemptions and loopholes, taxing consumption rather than income and lowering corporate taxes.
That's almost awe-inspiring in its non-originality. Apparently the Nobel Prize winners involved won for their work in developing new classes of hallucinogens and/or time travel.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that anything George W. Bush was involved with be a serious endeavor. I realize we cannot all build homes for the homeless or raise awareness for this or that disease, but it somehow seems both fitting and depressing that the George W. Bush contribution to American discourse will continue as an oblivious homage to asinine, long-discredited ideas. He started out as a hollow-headed cheerleader, and now he is finishing up as one.

As exhibit A of our former president's supreme and utter disregard for anything resembling actual thinkery, I present to you this, from a recent interview with the deciderer himself.

“Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful,” Bush told the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson. “But I have no desire for fame and power anymore. … I crawled out of the swamp and I’m not crawling back in.”
Case effing closed.

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