Monday, August 09, 2004

Republican Talking Point vs. Fact #1

Bush Campaign rhetoric: "The economy has turned a corner."

Kerry retort: "The only corner this economy is taking is a U-Turn"

On Friday, it was reported that the economy created only 32,000 jobs in July, down from most economists' estimates of more than 200,000. Experts consider monthly job growth of between 200,000-300,000 to be the sign of a healthy recovery (and was about average during Clinton's presidency.)

In addition, the job growth numbers for June were revised downward to 78,000 and those for May were revised downward to 208,000.

No matter how Bush tries to spin this, jobs are down and all his optimistic projections of the effects that the tax cuts would have on the economy have turned out to be unfounded. As Paul Krugman notes in the New York Times:

What we've just seen is as clear a test of trickledown economics as we're ever likely to get. Twice, in 2001 and in 2003, the administration insisted that a tax cut heavily tilted toward the affluent was just what the economy needed. Officials brushed aside pleas to give relief instead to lower- and middle-income families, who would be more likely to spend the money, and to cash-strapped state and local governments. Given the actual results - huge deficits, but minimal job growth - don't you wish the administration had listened to that advice?

He sums up the situation like so:

So have we returned to prosperity? No: jobs are harder to find, by any measure, than they were at any point during Bill Clinton's second term...President Bush boasts about 1.5 million new jobs over the past 11 months. Yet this was barely enough to keep up with population growth, and it's worse than any 11-month stretch during the Clinton years...The job situation might have improved somewhat in the past year, but it's still not good.


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