President Bush Uses the D-Word

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In fact, he used it five times this morning in an appearance before the American Enterprise Institute:

And what makes this issue difficult to explain is — to the average guy is, why should I be using my money because of excesses on Wall Street? And I understand that frustration. I completely understand why people are nervous about it. I was in the Roosevelt Room and Chairman Bernanke and Secretary Paulson, after a month of every weekend where they’re calling, saying, we got to do this for AIG, or this for Fannie and Freddie, came in and said, the financial markets are completely frozen and if we don’t do something about it, it is conceivable we will see a depression greater than the Great Depression.

So I analyzed that and decided I didn’t want to be the President during a depression greater than the Great Depression, or the beginning of a depression greater than the Great Depression. So we moved, and moved hard. The autos obviously are very fragile and I’ve laid out a couple of principles. One, I am worried about a disorderly bankruptcy and what it would do to the psychology and the markets. They’re beginning to thaw, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.

A depression greater than the Great Depression. Is this candor–or alarmism?

UPDATE: I asked Justin what he thought, and got this answer:

Greater than the Great Depression, huh? You mean like the depression of the 1870s? Karen wonders if these comments constitute candor or alarmism. I lean towards the former. It would have been nice if he’d decided to avert the depression back in 2005 or 2006, though.