This is part two of our series. Part one was about the strengthening of alliances. This one is:
Avoiding a (Bigger) Financial Crisis
With the tremendous problems in the worldwide economy, this statement may seem almost humorous. However, in truth it could be said that the Bush Administration's policies have prevented an even bigger collapse.
1. Preventing a Depression After 9/11
While I do believe that Bush's tax cuts were too deep, they were a big help in preventing a global depression after September 11th, 2001. With the economy already in a recession and great uncertainty in the future, the tax cuts were able to keep money in the market and not in the government's coffers. While later these cuts and increased spending caused large deficits later, for the two years after the September 11th attacks, they helped keep the economy keep its head above water.
In addition, the bailout of the airline companies prevented that industry's collapse and kept money flowing. Keeping interest rates down and increasing the money supply helped lead to the financial mess, but they did also keep liquidity in a shaky market.
2. Keeping the Oil Flowing
With the Middle East about to explode before Bush even took office, he was able to keep the global economy from collapsing by keeping petroleum running. Even though oil prices have shot up tremendously, there wasn't a shortage, which considering the events of the last eight years, is almost extraordinary.
Bush has strengthened ties with some oil producing nations like Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and Colombia. In addition, he has recently signed an order to allow more domestic drilling. However, his biggest accomplishment is to blunt the power of dictatorships causing oil shortages.
When Bush took office, the governments of the Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, and Russia were annoyed at American influence. These nations, if they acted together, could cut off oil for the West. In addition, a concerted military attack by Iran or Iraq (or both) on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia could have also caused a disruption.
Today, Libya has rejected terrorism and is looking for a closer relationship with the West while Iraq's dictatorship was destroyed. Two of the links of the Axis of Oil were removed. By preventing a sustained oil shortage, Bush may well have saved the economy.