Every Administration spins and sugarcoats the economic truth. But the Bush White House took this disingenuousness to new levels. The surest way to get yourself fired as a Bush economic adviser was to say something that was true. Paul O'Neill was ousted from Treasury for warning about deficits. Larry Lindsey was kicked out of the top White House economic job for predicting in 2002 that the Iraq war would cost $100 billion to $200 billion far below the actual cost but much more than what the White House was officially projecting. This disdain for reality, and for expertise, pervaded the Bush economic approach, and made it impossible for the Administration to react intelligently to real-world economic problems like the housing bubble.
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