Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Now what is it? Here's an interesting tidbit from Slate:

According to figures released by the Office of Management and Budget in 1999, the recovery from the 1990 recession started in April 1991, nearly two years before Clinton took office. Furthermore, the Dow Jones Industrial Average didn't begin skyrocketing until Republicans captured Congress in 1994. The Dow gained just 538 points during the two years in which Clinton enjoyed a Democratic Congress. The Dow then soared nearly 7,000 points in the six years during which Clinton faced a Republican Congress. And the nation's Gross Domestic Product didn't starting recording annual increases of 4 percent until 1996.

I only wish this would permanently dispel the myth that President Clinton created economic expansion and that President Bush created a recession.

The President of the United States cannot turn the economy on and off like a switch. Yes, he can indirectly influence the economy through policies, but many other factors come into play. In the 1990s, the biggest factor was the dot-com and technology boom. When that fizzled, so did the economy.

People need to remember that the recession started in March of 2001, a mere two months after Bush took office. The economy was slowing down for the year before that, while Clinton was in charge. Yet Democrats still blame Dubya. Sen. Hillary Clinton gave a speech in September of 2001 blaming Bush for the shrinking surplus of the federal budget. She goes on to state, "The Administration has begun to destroy in less than eight months what it took our nation, on a bipartisan basis, eight years to achieve."

The surplus was shrinking because the economy was in a recession, not because of the paltry tax cut Bush had just passed. The recession was caused by the dot-com implosion, not by anything President Bush or President Clinton did.

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