Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy
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Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  12 reviews
George W. Bush came to the presidency in 2000 claiming to be the heir of Ronald Reagan. But while he did cut taxes, in most other respects he has governed in a way utterly unlike his revered predecessor, expanding the size and scope of government, letting immigration go unchecked, and allowing the federal budget to mushroom out of control.
Despite their strong misgivings,...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by DoubleDay
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Ben B
I agree with Bartlett on some things and disagree with him on others, but this much is clear: he knows what he's talking about and he's not afraid to upset people. He does a masterful job of explaining and documenting exactly what was wrong with G W Bush from a domestic/economic/fiscal point of view. (I'm sure others have done the same thing with his disastrous foreign policy.) Anyone who wants to talk about economic or fiscal policy needs to know exactly how we got where we are today. This book...more
Steven Peterson
This is an interesting work. Many of the critical analyses of the Bush II Administration (George W. Bush as opposed to George H. W. Bush, referred to as Bush I below) have come from journalists or those on the left or from Democrats. This book is fascinating precisely because it is authored by a conservative, one who served in the Reagan White House and in the Bush I Treasury Department. In that, it is akin to Francis Fukuyama's critical analyses of neocons and the Administration's Nation-Buildi...more
A valuable and prescient book. It lays out a case for the notion that tax cuts won't be enough for the Republicans to win elections in the new century, and why the W Administration ran in ways that ensured its failure. The sections about the differences in operation between the Reagan and Bush White Houses are very instructive and make strong suggestions about the differences in result that we all saw. This Republican can only hope that the next administration pays attention before the party cem...more
The American Conservative
'Although modest in scope, Impostor is a critically important book. Bartlett demonstrates that Bush is no conservative. He notes: “I write as a Reaganite, by which I mean someone who believes in the historical conservative philosophy of small government, federalism, free trade, and the Constitution as originally understood by the Founding Fathers.”

Bush believes in none of these things. His conservatism, such as it is, is cultural rather than political. Writes Bartlett, “Philosophically, he has m...more
Brian Ridge
I hate Dubya as much has the next good liberal, but I found this book to be a bit tough to get through due to its focus on economic issues. Cleary, he can be similarly criticized for straying from conservative positions on a whole host of other issues, but the author never strays from economics (but to be fair, that is his area of expertise). At the end, he even veers off on some VAT tax tangent that has nothing to do with Bush.
Andy Biggs
He is right in his criticism of Bush and the long term ramifications of "compassionate conservatism" and other Bush policies to the Republican party and conservatism. But, his idea of raising taxes shows that Bartlett doesn't really understand what the Goldwater/Reagan conservative movement is about.
Fred Kohn
Bruce Bartlett shows off some of his economic expertise to devastating effect. The book's main flaw is that Bartlett sometimes lets his bitterness over some of Bush's actions color his commentary to the point that he loses the thread.
Written in 2006, Mr. Bartlett certainly predicted what was to come - including the most recent tax increase enacted with the fiscal cliff legislation.

Bottom line: If you loved R Reagan, you should have hated G W Bush.
If you weren't paying any attention during the past 10 years, this is a great primer into why everyone hates/hated G.W. Bush (conservatives and liberals alike).
Read this when it came out, how apropos for the now.
Steven Farmer
On Target. Aim. Fire. BOOM!
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Librarian Note: There are multiple authors on Goodreads with this name.
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