Bruce Bartlett is one of the most influential writers in Washington today. His New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy(Doubleday, 2006), garnered national attention months before publication and his weekly column was the most widely read on economics by policymakers at the White House and in Congress.
As R. Glenn Hubbard, former chairman of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers (2001-2003), has said: “Bartlett’s insightful and thought-provoking analyses of tax issues and the economic outlook are always in time for White House discussions and decisions. His work is read—and used in arguments—by almost everyone involved in economic policy in the administration.”
In fact, Bartlett’s columns are a “must read” for anyone interested in politics and economic policy. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston, Bartlett’s writings “are closely followed in Washington” (New York Times, 9-13-04). Says radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, “You know that feeling you get when you learn something that ‘turns the light on?’ That’s how you will react to every Bruce Bartlett column.”
Even Democratic strategist James Carville acknowledges Bartlett’s influence. “He’s an influential ideas man in the Bush administration” (Had Enough? [Simon & Schuster, 2003], p. 102).
Although he is a conservative, many liberals have acknowledged Bartlett’s objectivity. These are a few on-the-record comments they have made about him:
- Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist: “A champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush’s governance.” (New York Times Magazine, 10-17-04)
- Paul Begala, political advisor to President Bill Clinton and John Kerry: “An honest Republican economist.” (CNN, 8-13-02)
- Bob McIntyre, Citizens for Tax Justice: “One rare, principled conservative.” (The American Prospect, 12-3-01)
- E.J. Dionne, Jr., Brookings Institution: “Prophetic.” (Washington Post, 2-4-00)
Bruce’s willingness to criticize his own side when it is wrong led him to be fired by a conservative think tank. David Brooks had this to say about it in his New York Times column (10-23-05): “The economist Bruce Bartlett is a man of immense intellectual integrity. In an era when many commentators write whatever will affirm the prejudices of their own team, Bartlett follows his conscience and has paid a price. He was fired by his conservative think tank for being critical of President Bush.”