Bush on the Home Front

Bush on the Home Front

Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks
John D. Graham
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/30/2010
Format: Paperback 19 tables
ISBN: 978-0-253-22215-2
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2011 AAUP Public and Secondary School Library Selection

Military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq consumed so much attention during his presidency that few people appreciated that George W. Bush was also an activist on the home front. Despite limited public support, and while confronting a deeply divided Congress, Bush engineered and implemented reforms of public policy on a wide range of issues: taxes, education, health care, energy, environment, and regulatory reform. In Bush on the Home Front, former Bush White House official and academic John D. Graham analyzes Bush’s successes in these areas and setbacks in other areas such as Social Security and immigration reform. Graham provides valuable insights into how future presidents can shape U.S. domestic policy while facing continuing partisan polarization.

Author Bio

John D. Graham is Dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. From 2001 to 2006 he served as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, White House Office of Management and Budget.


“In this magnificent book, John D. Graham shows that George W. Bush was a domestic policy activist from start to finish—pertinacious, astute, and surprisingly successful. With a thin electoral mandate, faced with great political polarization and a consuming foreign crisis, Bush 43 nonetheless advanced his domestic agenda to an impressive degree. Bush on the Home Front scores the wins, losses, and muddles—and lays out a penetrating analysis of legislative and administrative strategies that every future president will want to study. John Graham has admirably combined insider insight and scholarly detachment; right out of the box, he has set a very high standard for histories of a complex and contentious period in American politics.”
 — Christopher DeMuth, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

“For anyone interested in the legislative process and how presidential action can overcome or exacerbate partisanship, this book is a must-read.”
 — Lee H. Hamilton, Former U.S. Representative (D-IN), 1965-1999

“Chronicles a number of important policy issues addressed during the Bush presidency.”
 — Veronica V. Stidvent, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

“An important contribution to scholarship on the Bush administration and on presidential policy-making strategies more generally.”
 — Gary Jacobson, University of California, San Diego

“Informative, thoroughly researched, clear both in structure and presentation, and provocative. . . . Will likely serve as a source document for other views of the Bush presidency. . . . A significant addition to the public policy literature on the Bush presidency.”
 — Donald R. Arbuckle, University of Texas at Dallas

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Ambiguous Mandate, Polarized Congress
2. Lower Taxes, More Spending
3. The Social Security Debacle
4. Making Sure Kids Learn
5. Drug Coverage for Seniors
6. Producing More Energy
7. Consuming Less Energy
8. Cleaner Air, Warmer Climate
9. Illegal Immigration: Punishment or Amnesty?
10. Tort and Regulatory Reform
11. Meltdown and Bailouts
12. Taking Stock, with Lessons for Future Presidents


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