Friday :: Feb 13, 2004

Consumer Confidence Plunges - Time To Challenge Bush's (Lack Of) Credibility On Economy Also

by Steve

Bush’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) Gregory Mankiw has already had a bad week, stemming from his pro-outsourcing comments, which were rebuked by his boss. These comments came in tandem with the release of the Bush CEA’s economic report and projections, which contained job growth projections that both the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute found without foundation. As the CBPP noted yesterday, in order for the job growth estimates in the CEA report to be met, the economy would have to add over 450,000 jobs a month for the remainder of 2004, which no one believes is remotely possible. Yet the CEA said so with a straight face.

Now Business Week has noted that the CEA report contained another whopper: an attempt to move the start date of the last recession from March 2001 back into the middle of 2000, so that it would fulfill Bush’s claim that Clinton was responsible for the recession, not him. Aside from the usual pathetic attempts by this regime to pollute what used to be an empirical process based on research to fit a political need to place responsibility on someone else, moving the start date of the last recession is not done by political hacks, but by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which has been doing it for decades. Furthermore, if anything, as the Business Week piece notes, it now turns out that job growth actually peaked in March 2001, which would argue even more that the recession sure as hell didn’t start in the middle of 2000.

Besides, it is well past time to begin tagging everything Bush and his economic hacks say about the economy as nothing more than “smoke and mirrors.” From the budgets that don’t contain costs for overseas military occupations, to tax cuts that never are fully costed out nor deliver the promised new jobs, to understated deficit figures, and short-sighted testimony from Fed Chairmen who feel it is better to take care of the rich than it is to deal effectively with deficits, we know that there is not a shred of credibility left with this cabal when it comes to talking about jobs and money.

The public is now seeing this as well. After seeing Bush talk up the economy in the last couple of weeks and now hearing Greenspan say for two days things are getting better, it was reported just hours ago that the latest snapshot from the widely-regarded University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey plunged unexpectedly in the first part of February, giving up all its recent gains. And the new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Bush is losing support with voters not just on Iraq, but also jobs and the economy. So the time is ripe for Kerry and his surrogates to open an offensive challenging the credibility and competence of Bush on these issues, and to do it forcefully.

Steve :: 10:35 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!