The evidence on this is getting to be overwhelming. I was born in 1960, so that means I have lived through the following Presidents:
G. W. Bush
So while Bush's rhetoric is often market oriented, the reality of his policies have been statist from the beginning.
He provided protection to the steel industry while claiming that free trade was a cornerstone of his policies. After 9/11 he has repeatedly argued that we must defend our freedom and way of life in the West, while residing over an expansion of statist power that restricts our freedom in the name of security and undermines the rule of law, and embroiled us in a military conflict with no clear end-game that actually makes us less secure and more vulnerable to crisis. He spends more than Johnson did and he is willing to intervene in the economy like Nixon and Carter. What sort of fiscal conservative and free market advocate is President Bush?
His latest proposal is for a rate freeze to stem the tide of foreclosures due to the subprime mortgage crisis. Bad policies caused the first distortion in the mortgage market, and now policy-makers will chase after the consequences of the first distortion with new interventions causing an entirely new round of distortions. Mises's dynamics of interventionism might be the single most important theoretical idea to understanding how the US economic system is slouching toward disaster.
So I am now more than willing to entertain the notion that George W. Bush has done more than any President in my lifetime to put the cause of liberty back with his military interventionism, domestic regulations, and economic policies. Unfortunately, I don't think there is an easy way for us to dig out from underneath the mess of interventions he has introduced in the US and abroad. I am now 47 years old and sick to my stomach with the idea that Ronald Reagan will be the only quasi-classical liberal President in my lifetime -- and Reagan himself had his own significant divergence between rhetoric and reality. For reasons similar to those that Steve Horwitz raised, I cannot get that excited about Ron Paul --- though I do appreciate that he is consistently challenging the Iraq War. My attitude toward politics remains extremely cynical, if somewhat more depressing now than ever before. (I tend to follow the idea that you can either laugh or cry at politics and I have always more or less laughed at the buffoonery , but the cumulative effect of Bush's policies is hard to laugh at --- especially since the prospects for a post-Bush push for pro-liberty policies is so unlikely. The prospect of the next President Clinton is scary because she will not be blocked by divided government and her ideas are 100% worse in terms of statism than even Bill's were.)
So like Mises before us, we may have to admit to ourselves that our aspirations to be theorists will be crowded out by the reality of becoming historians of a decline. Our only hope lies in the great creative and productive powers of the market economy (what is often called wrongly capitalism). If the Smithian gains from trade, and the Schumpeterian gains from technological innovation outpace the Stupidity of Government, then the negative consequences of government intervention can be ameliorated to a considerable extent (not completely but enough that wealth will continually be produced and we will continue to experience economic progress). But if the Stupidity of government policies curtails trade, and deters innovation -- in effect strangling the very engine of our progress -- then the decline of the US economy will not be just significant but catastrophic. It has happened elsewhere, it can happen here. And if so, George W. Bush's name will be remembered in history but for reasons that nobody will want to be remembered!