Many of the leaders of the Democrat party on the national level have lambasted the president lately over their infelicitous view that he has somehow presided over the worst economy since Herbert Hoover. Their crude attempts to deceive the American public have become so predictable that theyre reduced to using the same demagoguery they utilized in attacking the Presidents father in 1992.
Recent headlines across America now show their comments to be little more than sophistry as those headlines proclaim that economic growth and productivity had gains not seen in twenty years. Nearly unprecedented economic expansion was not a defining criteria of the Great Depression and no matter how much these liberal Democrats strive to associate the Hoover economy and the Bush economy, the facts just dont substantiate their accusations.
Productivity reached 9.4 % in the third quarter of 2003 almost matching the 9.7% growth of the second quarter of 1983. Productivity gains are vital to a growing economy because it helps to prevent inflation, allows companies to pay workers more without raising product prices and bolsters a companies profitability which leads to more corporate investment, spending, and hiring practices.
So far President Bush has overseen 11 quarters of economic activity and during that tenure, America has only seen 1 quarter of negative productivity. That was the quarter starting in January 2001, the month of his inauguration. During that quarter he was still appointing members of his administration, repairing vandalized keyboards with missing ws, and trying to recover all the stolen furniture that went missing after the Clintons left the White House.
A closer look at all eleven quarters show that 3 were above 8% growth. Lets put that in perspective: During the last twenty years American productivity has reached 8% or more during only five quartersTHREE of those took place during the current Bush administration! The other two were seen in 1983 (Reagan) and 1992 (GHWBush). During the Clinton presidency productivity only reached 6% one time and the economy saw six quarters of negative productivity.
Moving to the economic numbers the American economy realized an almost record breaking quarter of economic growth in the last quarter when it reached 8.2%, just under the 9% level seen in 1984 and those two quarters were the only times the economy has reached 8% growth in twenty years which included four different administrations.
Yet Democrats decry the Presidents management of the economy and its evident recovery calling it a jobless recovery. Why, just look at the unemployment rate, its steadily goingwell, its going down from a high of 6.2% to a current level of 5.9%. Thats not exactly Hoover-like where during the depression of the 1930s the rate rose to an average of 25%. Even the peak unemployment rate of 6.2% is lower than the high point of 6.9% during the previous administration!
Its questionable why leading Democrats are still attacking the tax cuts which most economists point to as the most significant factor in boosting the economy, raising household income levels, and giving middle-class working families more spending power. Democrat presidential contender Howard Dean wants to repeal all the tax cuts and even raise income taxes, which is exactly what Herbert Hoover did and helped to turn the depression of the 30s into the Great Depression!
Yet positive economic news continues to roll in despite the negativity of leading Democrats and the elite media. The Dow Jones Industrial passed the 10,000 point level again, something many liberals asserted would never happen while George W. Bush was president. During the month of November, 57,000 new jobs were created; consumer confidence and spending were at their highest points in years; corporate spending was up; US consumer prices fell; and single family housing starts rose to record levels.
Economic uncertainty may still exist in pockets of Americana, just as it always has, in spite of the progressive economic leadership exhibited by President Bush and his administration, but if dreaming of the days of Herbert Hoover makes liberal Democrats happy, it would seem that Howard Dean is their man!
Lee P Butler