Post by Submariner Post by BÃllary
Smoke this, you pussy.
Calling this a smoking economy shows how low Repugs' expectations are for the
GDP in your case means "God Damned Pedophile"
GOP Delusions of Triumph
Dr. Paul Krugman, The New York Times Op-Ed Page, may 25, 2004
Republicans, we hear, are frustrated by polls showing that the public
has a poor opinion of George Bush's economic leadership. In their
view, the good news about Mr. Bush's economic triumphs is being
drowned out by the bad news from Iraq.
A recent article in The New York Times, citing concerns of
"Republican elected officials, pollsters and strategists," put it this
way: "The creation of nearly 900,000 new jobs in the last four months
a development that might otherwise have redefined the race in Mr.
Bush's favor has been largely crowded out of the electorate's psyche
by images from Iraq."
Funny, isn't it? In 2002, Republican strategists used the impending
Iraq war to distract the public from the miserable economic news. Now
they're complaining that Iraq is taking voters' focus off the economy.
But is the economic news really that good? No. While the recent
economic performance is better than in the administration's first
three years, it isn't at all exceptional by historical standards. And
after those three terrible years, the economy has a lot of ground to
Let's start with the "nearly 900,000 new jobs" created in the last
four months. Is that exceptional? Well, during the first four months
of 2000, the last presidential election year, the economy created 1.1
million new jobs. An e-mail message to Bush's supporters from Ken
Mehlman, his campaign manager, takes a longer view, boasting of 1.1
million jobs created since last August (when job growth finally turned
positive). But in April 2000, payroll employment was 2.3 million
higher than in August 1999.
And that was after seven years of sustained employment growth; rapid
job growth is hard to achieve when the economy is already close to
full employment. To find a year comparable to 2004, we need to look
back to 1994, when the economy was still recovering from the first
Bush recession. In the first four months of that year, the economy
added almost 1.3 million jobs.
The experience of 1994 also gives us some indication of how likely job
growth is to "redefine" an election. Between December 1993 and
November 1994 the economy gained 3.6 million jobs, a number beyond the
Bush administration's fondest dreams. Yet voters, convinced that Bill
Clinton was leading the country astray, gave his party a severe defeat
in that year's midterm elections. So it's interesting that a new CBS
News poll finds that 65 percent of Americans believe that the country
is headed in the wrong direction a level not seen since 1994.
If you want to convince yourself that I'm not playing games with
dates, go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site at stats.bls.gov.
Click on "U.S. economy at a glance," then on the green dinosaur next
to "Change in payroll employment" for a 10-year chart of monthly job
gains and losses. The chart reveals that for 37 months, from January
2001 to February 2004, the Bush administration presided over dismal
job numbers: employment for each month fell, or grew far more slowly
than the norm during the Clinton years. March and April were much
better, but they still weren't exceptional by 1990's standards.
And a mere return to Clinton-era job growth isn't enough: after all
those years of poor job performance, we need extra-rapid growth to
make up for lost time.
Here's one way to look at it. The job forecast in the 2002 Economic
Report of the President assumed that by 2004 the economy would have
fully recovered from the 2001 recession. That recovery, according to
the official projection, would lead to average payroll employment of
138 million this year 7 million more than the actual number. So we
have a gap of 7 million jobs to make up.
And employment is chasing a moving target: it must rise by about
140,000 a month just to keep up with a growing population. In April,
the economy added 288,000 jobs. If you do the math, you discover that
President Bush needs about four years of job growth at last month's
rate to reach what his own economists consider full employment.
The bottom line, then, is that Mr. Bush's supporters have no right to
complain about the public's failure to appreciate his economic
leadership. Three years of lousy performance, followed by two months
of good but not great job growth, is not a record to be proud of.
The Official Song of the 2004 GOP Convention