Policy Mistakes

By Bill McBride

Over the last 20 years or so, we’ve seen several policy mistakes. The worst, of course, was the decision to invade Iraq (I opposed the Iraq war, and was shouted down and called names like “Saddam lover” for questioning the veracity of the information). Note: I started this blog in January 2005, and one of my earliest non-housing posts was “A Desolation called Peace” (I’m still angry).

From an economic perspective, the errors include the failure to properly regulate the banks and mortgage lenders, the Bush tax cuts, the original TARP proposal, and some minor mistakes in 2009 like the homebuyers tax credit and “cash-for-clunkers“. Also the premature pivot to austerity in 2010, and the failure to pass infrastructure spending programs in the following years, were clear policy mistakes.

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