February 11, 2004
I recently commented on Bush's seeming lack of fiscal conservativism. That is one major point of attack by his opponents, and while I think he could do better in controlling the deficit, not everything is his fault. The other big attack point is the national employment level. You can reference this article in the NY Times. So far, there has been a loss of 2.2 million jobs since Bush took office. That's a lot. Opponents conveniently round up to a loss of 3 million jobs. Some of those have been made up, but anyway, you can't really blame the president for a major downturn (or an upturn) in an economy. All numbers say the economy is improving, though people focus on jobs, since that's closer to home.And it's a legitimate point; to an extent. Bush went and claimed 2.6 million jobs will be created this year. That's a little scary to hear Bush say it. I don't think it'll happen. I hope I'm proved wrong, but he pledged 1.7 million jobs last year, and there was actually a small net loss. I worry that all the negative press has gotten to him and he's getting desperate. There really isn't a ton he can do as far as I'm concerned. He can't make firms go out and hire people. He can try to increase firms' desire to do so by sparking low interest rates and giving more money to consumers to spend, and he's tried to do that (at the expense of a huge deficit), but it's ultimately not his call. I also worry that if a Democrat gets in, he'll take credit for an economy that is already climbing -- kinda like Bush inherited an economy that was sinking.
Posted by charr at 9:10 AM
It looks like I'm not the only one nervous about Bush's claim. Even the Treasury Secretary, John Snow is nervous.