Why Isn’t Bush Trumpeting the Economic Boom?
Larry Kudlow asks an interesting question:
Will someone please explain why the Bush White House and the Republican Congress are not trumpeting this economic boom on a daily basis? Their polls are sagging, but the economy is soaring. This simply shouldnÃ¢€™t be.
If former President Clinton had overseen this economy, heÃ¢€™d have held daily Rose Garden news conferences to mark the occasion. In fact, former President Reagan did just that in the booming 1980s Ã¢€” he gave speech after speech touting the success of his supply-side tax cuts. Yet President Bush seldom goes into the current economic story, and when he does itÃ¢€™s just a mention.
Why the silence? Even the media canÃ¢€™t keep mum about this economy: Ã¢€œConsumer confidence is up as gas prices drop.Ã¢€ Ã¢€œNew home sales hit record levels in October.Ã¢€ Business capital spending is strong across the board. Core retail sales are surging.
The recovery narrative is not new, but hardly a day passes without the arrival of more positive economic data.
Real GDP has grown at 3 percent or better for ten straight quarters, averaging 4.1 percent at an annual rate for the best performance since the middle 1980s. Wall Street expects the good times to continue, with a consensus of economists predicting 4 percent growth for this yearÃ¢€™s fourth quarter.
Business profits have increased at a double-digit pace for nine straight quarters, only the third time this has happened in 55 years. At 8 percent of GDP, after-tax earnings are at a record high. Ditto for household net worth and total U.S. employment. In fact, average monthly job creation over the past two years is running at 179,000, more than five times the GM layoff total.
While I’m less ready than Kudlow to ascribe these figures to the president’s tax cuts and other government policies, the numbers are indeed impressive. Given that Bush was unfairly criticized when the business cycle was going against him, he might as well try to get credit for the turn for the better.