The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It is an article of faith among Democrats that the administration of George Bush caused plagues, pestilence and the nation's economic woes -- and by derivation the political morass that bests Washington. The New York Times asserts huge budget deficits have resulted from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and Bush tax cuts -- which by the way lowered tax burdens for all Americans not just millionaires and billionaires. Consider, in 2007 -- the last fiscal year before the Great Recession and the Democrats took control of Congress -- the deficit stood at $161 billion -- about one-tenth its present size. Two wars were at full tilt, and the Bush tax cuts and prescription drug benefits, which congressional democrats are always inclined to cite, were in place -- all for several years. Hmm, how can that be? If Mr. Bush's policies caused the current big deficits, why did those require a change in party control, in Congress and then the presidency, to happen? Simple observation indicates those policies were not the cause, and huge deficits, like a lot of ills, were caused by the economic collapse of 2008, which was motivated by bad economic policies that political parties had a hand in creating. Mr. Bush, like Mr. Obama, inherited a country with deep economic troubles -- granted Mr. Obama's situation was much worse, because the nation's structural problems have been cascading through cycles of expansion and recession for several decades. Mr. Bush did pursue pro-growth policies and got unemployment down to about 5% before the Great Recession.
Together, Wall Street abuses and the trade deficit resulted in shoddy mortgages, a housing bubble and huge foreign-sovereign capital inflows that financed the bubble with little attention to the soundness of loans banks were making. Democrats in Congress have made it national policy to shift oil production from the U.S., where environmental risks may be managed, to developing countries, where they may not as well be supervised. President Bill Clinton negotiated China's entry into the WTO without creating suitable constraints on China's exchange rate and other mercantilist policies that make free trade a unidirectional affair. Mr. Bush and Republican Congresses turned a blind eye to growing abuses by bankers of their new freedom and China's protectionism -- those responses get an E from this professor. Subsequent to the 2008 meltdown, though, stimulus spending and targeted tax cuts -- passed at the behest of Presidents Bush and Obama, and Democratically controlled Congresses -- have failed to adequately lift the U.S. economy. Additional expensive regulation of Wall Street has not slowed damaging financial practices but only inspired new tactics and for big banks to cut off lending to their regional brethren, which chokes lending to small and medium-sized business. For example, the nation's leading bank -- J.P. Morgan -- is working as hard as it can to develop offshore business and neglecting responsibilities to assist a domestic economy that heavily financed the Wall Street bailout. Moreover, President Obama has made war on oil companies and manufacturing by indiscriminately tightening regulation, raising employee health costs and failing to aggressively address China's abuse of the international currency system and mercantilism.