Friday, April 15, 2005
The Bush boom continues...
Wall Street suffered its worst single day in nearly two years Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 191 points for its third straight triple-digit loss. Deepening concerns over economic growth and higher prices led to the worst week of trading since August.
An already uneasy market began the biggest one-day selloff since May 19, 2003, after the Federal Reserve reported drops in manufacturing and other industrial production, and a Labor Department report showed higher oil costs driving up import prices.
Weren’t Bush’s tax cuts for the rich supposed to “jumpstart” the economy about two years ago?
If it was as simple a matter as cutting taxes for the rich to produce job growth, then what happened during the first four years of the George W. administration?
What we need is fiscally responsible leadership that does not allow deficits to get out of control and drive up interest rates to the point that it drags our economy down. That is not what we are getting from Bush and the Republicans.
As much as I dislike some of the spending of Bush (Medicare prescriptions, especially), the thought of turning to the Democrats as an alternative to hold government spending down is simply ludicrous...indeed, if you check out the debates over all of Bush's drunken sailor spending, the remarkable thing is that in each instance, Democrat leadership was complaining about not spending even MORE.
Are you suggesting that we're currently suffering under high interest rates? The 10-year Treasury closed Friday at 4.271%. This rate ended 2004 at 4.27%, ended 2003 at 4.01%, and ended 2002 at 4.61%. Before that, the last time they ended a year below 5% was 1966. Average rate from the 60's was 4.84%. 70's was 7.5%. 80's was 10.59%. 90's was 6.67%. 2000's is 4.79%.
Say what you will about Bush's economic policies, but the notion that interest rates are out of control (or even moderately high) is flat-out ignorant. Rates are very, VERY low.
Fortunately for Bush, he didn't need a healthy economy to win the election. Scaring the American electorate with tall tales of WMDs in Iraq was sufficient.
I also find it difficult to believe that Greenspan acted solely for Bush's political gain. He has a very consistent record of nudging the economy, despite who was in office.
Besides, even assuming you are correct, and that the economy was helped, well by golly, that's a good thing.
Also, 'concerns over economic growth and higher prices' does not mean that the economy has not been 'jumpstarted'. For example have you seen the gains in the banking industry? How about the economic growth spurned by the gains in the oil industry?
And why is rising import costs so bad? People have beem griping for years about manufacturing jobs going overseas. The higher it costs to import those products, the more likely those products will again be manufactured locally.
But I would just say that my knock against Bush is for the economic performance during the entire time he has been president and not just for this latest bad week on the stock market.
I can handle the ups and downs of the economic cycle, it's just when there are never any upturns that I start to get antsy. Did somebody say there was an upturn? What happened? Did I blink and miss it??
Perhaps...after all, you seem to have also blinked and missed 9/11 and its catastrophic effect on the early Bush economy.