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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

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  66 Ratings  ·  14 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,
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by DoubleDay
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Steven Peterson
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Ben B
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Brian Ridge
May 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
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.
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bartlett makes a compelling case that the Bush socio-economic policy (gimmicky tax cuts, protectionist steel tariffs & bilateral agreements, Medicare Part D, etc.) owed far more
to short-term politics than (supply-side, free-trade) principles. Bartlett expects the
US to reap a fiscal whirlwind from Bush's policies, making benefit-cuts and/or tax-hikes
(perhaps even a VAT tax) inevitable. A provocative read.
Andy Biggs
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jim Jaqcobs
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Scurrilous and that is the best I can state! Read 20 pages or so...closed the book.

Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
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).
Matthew Matheson
Jan 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
Ronald reagan advisor
Steven Farmer
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
On Target. Aim. Fire. BOOM!
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Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read this when it came out, how apropos for the now.
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