Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks

Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks

Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks

Bush on the Home Front: Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks

Synopsis

Military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq consumed so much attention during his presidency that few people appreciated that George W. Bush was also an activist on the home front. Despite limited public support, and while confronting a deeply divided Congress, Bush engineered and implemented reforms of public policy on a wide range of issues: taxes, education, health care, energy, environment, and regulatory reform. In Bush on the Home Front, former Bush White House official and academic John D. Graham analyzes Bush's successes in these areas and setbacks in other areas such as Social Security and immigration reform. Graham provides valuable insights into how future presidents can shape U.S. domestic policy while facing continuing partisan polarization.

Excerpt

As George W. Bush’s last year in office came to a conclusion, critics declared that our forty-third president was a failure. There are certainly many difficulties to be cited: the prolonged military occupation of Iraq, the messy aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the burgeoning federal debt, rising fuel prices, a proliferation of home foreclosures, the painful recession that began in 2008, and concerns about health care and income inequality.

Polls indicate that Bush left office as one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history. in 2008 his Gallup Poll approval rating reached a sixty-year low: 28 percent. the previous record low was set by Harry Truman in the midst of the Korean War. Ironically, Bush also holds the record for the highest approval rating in history: 90 percent in the days after the attacks of September 11, 2001. But for most of his presidency Bush struggled to achieve a 50 percent approval rating. Anti-Bush sentiment, coupled with a war-weary public and the scandals in Congress, contributed to the Democratic takeover of the House and . . .

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