Friday, November 07, 2003

Depressing Politics: With strong economic gains at his back, President Bush is going to North Carolina for a fundraiser and to talk about the economy. Of course, wherever he goes, Bush will be followed by protesters.

That in itself is no problem. But the creative kids plan to mock Bush's handling of the economy by staging a Depression-era bread-and-soup line. This is to show that unemployment has increased since Bush took office.

Nevermind that unemployment is now falling and that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has predicted that more jobs will be created as the economy grows. The truth is, economic conditions under Bush haven't even come close to anything similar to the Great Depression (over 20 percent unemployment, massive under-employment).

These protesters have a right to say whatever they want. But they can't expect to be taken seriously when they compare cyclical fluctuations in the economy to the worst economic disaster in American history.

Unfortunately, the Democratic presidential candidates say the same things. I just received a press release from Sen. John Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, that piddles on the news of job growth. "Today’s news cannot change the fact that, under this president, we will lose jobs for the first time since Herbert Hoover," the release says.

What? This is hardly the first time unemployment has gone up since Herbert Hoover, who was president at the start of the Great Depression. Many smaller recessions and job losses have taken place since then.

Democrats and protesters should find something intelligent to say in this campaign, or expect to be ignored.

The only thing really left to worry about are the budget deficits. While I believe we should cut government spending, we do have a war to fight. And the rising economy will help generate more tax revenue for the government to help get rid of the red ink. Overall, it looks like things are going to be all right.


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