George W. Bush rode into Washington almost eight years ago astride the horse of smaller government. He will leave it this winter having overseen the biggest federal budget expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt seven decades ago. He has done what he thought was necessary to keep the country safe.
That commitment became a centerpiece of his 2004 convention speech: “Whatever it takes.” There has been no repeat of a Sept. 11-style attack on U.S. soil, a fact that may turn out to be one of this president’s enduring legacies.
But Mr. Bush may also be known as having set the table for another age of big government.
• Big government gets bigger
• Pentagon spending growth outpaces auditors
• Is limited government passe?