Don’t Be An Economic Girlie Man / The Strength Of The Bush Economy

During this campaign season, I don’t think the Bush administration has put enough emphasis on the great job they’ve done with the economy.

Consider that when Bush came into office, he was saddled with a recession that started almost the moment he arrived, huge corporate accounting scandals that began before he came into office, the bursting of the tech bubble which also began during the Clinton administration, and then 9/11.

Quite frankly, given all of those negatives, it seems to me that we were lucky that the economy and job losses weren’t MUCH WORSE than they actually turned out to be.

But in any case, Bush was offering exactly the right medicine for an economy that desperately needed a pick-me-up — tax cuts. Due in no small part to those tax cuts, the economy over the last year has been booming. Notice that I didn’t say “turning the corner” or “doing Ok,” I said “booming”.

We’ve now had 12 straight months of job growth, the unemployment rate is at 5.4% (down from 6.0% in Dec of 2002), and here’s how job creation has looked during the first 8 months of this year…

Jan – +159,000 jobs
Feb – +83,000 jobs
Mar – +353,000 jobs
Apr – +324,000 jobs
May – +208,000 jobs
June – + 96,000 jobs
July – + 73,000 jobs (Preliminary)
Aug – + 144,000 jobs (Preliminary)

That’s 1,296,000 jobs in just 8 months (162,000 per month avg) for those of you who are keeping track.

Now take a look at GDP.

3rd quarter of 2003 – GDP +7.4%
4th quarter of 2003 – GDP +4.2%
1st quarter of 2004 – GDP +4.5%
2nd quarter of 2004 – GDP + 2.8%

Average GDP growth over the last year – +4.7%
Average GDP growth in the 90s – +3.1%
Average GDP growth in the 80s – +2.9%

At the Republican National Convention, Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about “economic girlie men” who were pessimistic about the US economy.

Well, let me tell ya, anybody who looks at an economy that is growing at a +4.7 GDP per quarter clip and is averaging 162,000 jobs created per month and tries to tell ya that’s anything other than outstanding, isn’t just an economic girlie man, they’re either clueless or full of it.

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