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Dean Baker writes for the Center for Economic and Policy Research on Bush's recent maneuverings: "This is the first time in the history of the United States that the president has sought to provoke a financial panic to get legislation through Congress. While this has proven to be a successful political strategy, it marks yet another low point in American politics.
"It was incredibly irresponsible for President Bush to tell the American people on national television that the country could be facing another Great Depression. By contrast, when we actually were in the Great Depression, President Roosevelt said that, 'we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.'
"It was even more irresponsible for him to seize on the decline in the stock market five days later as evidence that his bailout was needed for the economy.