Bruce Bartlett

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Bruce Reeves Bartlett (born 11 October 1951) is an American historian whose area of expertise is supply-side economics. He served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush.




  • Although we cannot place all the blame for the dismal condition of LDCs on Keynesian economics, it bears a heavy responsibility for much of the pain and suffering in the Third World.
    • Bruce Bartlett, "Keynesian Policy and Development Economics" in Dissent on Keynes (1992).


  • What about the 200-year record of prominent Democrats who didn't bother with code words? They were openly and explicitly for slavery before the Civil War, supported lynching and 'Jim Crow' laws after the war, and regularly defended segregation and white supremacy throughout most of the 20th century.'
    • Bruce Bartlett, "Whitewash" (December 2007), The Wall Street Journal
  • That is just total nonsense and anybody who believes that is an idiot or a liar. The race issue was a fundamental problem. It was just a cancer on American society from day one.
  • Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect. They can start building some by admitting to themselves that Bush caused many of the problems they are protesting.

Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past (2008)

The Democratic Party was the party of slavery. It was based largely in the South and almost all of its leaders were slave owners, including Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson, considered by Democrats to be co-founders of their party.
Bruce Bartlett, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past (2008)
  • I began studying the political history of race in America. Having worked in Congress and at the White House, I have some familiarity with the nature of politics and how politicians think. I thought I could use this knowledge to illuminate this one aspect of the race problem in America in ways that might help us better deal with its long, sordid history. What quickly jumped out at me is a fact that seems obvious in retrospect, but which I had never really thought about. Virtually every significant racist in American political history was a Democrat. Before the Civil War, the Democratic Party was the party of slavery. It was based largely in the south and almost all of its leaders were slave owners, including Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson, considered by Democrats to be co-founders of their party.
    • p. viv
  • McCarthy was a Republican. The Democrats, however, have skeletons in their own closet and it's worth remembering them, too. For example, Democrat Woodrow Wilson's Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, who was just as rabid an anti-Communist as McCarthy, did far more to repress free speech and political freedom than McCarthy ever attempted. It wasn't a Republican president who locked up thousands of loyal Americans of Japanese descent in concentration camps for years. It was Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. And it wasn't a Republican who wiretapped and snooped on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but Democrats John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, who signed the order as Attorney General.
    • p. xi
  • The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and Jim Crow, and the 'Solid South' was solidly Democratic for one hundred years. All of the racism that we associate with that region originated with and was enforced by elected Democrats. It could not have been otherwise, there were virtually no Republicans in power in the south for a century after the end of Reconstruction... Redress a larger historical imbalance in the way people perceive the two major political parties. Democrats have been effectively cleansed of their racist past, their sins implicitly transferred to the Republicans.
    • p. xiii
  • It would be much better for everyone if the black vote was 'in play' and both major parties had to compete for it. As virtual captives of the Democrats since 1936, blacks have ended up being taken for granted by them and mostly ignored by Republicans.
    • p. xiv


  • After careful research along these lines, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s. Previously, I had thought the opposite. But facts were facts and there was no denying my conclusion. It didn’t affect the argument in my book, which was only about the rise and fall of ideas. The fact that Keynesian ideas were correct as well as popular simply made my thesis stronger.
    • Bruce Bartlett, "Revenge of the Reality-Based Community" (2012).

Obama is a Republican (2014)

"Obama is a Republican: He’s the heir to Richard Nixon, not Saul Alinsky." (21 October 2014), The American Conservative.
  • I think almost everyone, including me, thought the election of our first black president would lead to new efforts to improve the dismal economic condition of African-Americans. In fact, Obama has seldom touched on the issue of race, and when he has he has emphasized the conservative themes of responsibility and self-help. Even when Republicans have suppressed minority voting, in a grotesque campaign to fight nonexistent voter fraud, Obama has said and done nothing.
  • I don’t expect any conservatives to recognize the truth of Obama’s fundamental conservatism for at least a couple of decades—perhaps only after a real progressive presidency. In any case, today they are too invested in painting him as the devil incarnate in order to frighten grassroots Republicans into voting to keep Obama from confiscating all their guns, throwing them into FEMA re-education camps, and other nonsense that is believed by many Republicans. But just as they eventually came to appreciate Bill Clinton’s core conservatism, Republicans will someday see that Obama was no less conservative.