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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Column: Misrepresenting Bush’s economy

The American economy is recovering, and recovering fast. Productivity, home ownership, across-the-board income levels, retail sales and consumer spending are all rising rapidly. The foundation of our economy, the American stock market, has recovered nearly $3 trillion in lost wealth. We have also recovered nearly 70,000 jobs, and many economists are predicting a 5 percent to 7 percent increase in economic growth over the next quarter.

In light of the fact that we are hardly two years removed from the devastating events of September 11 and are still facing uncertainty in Iraq and Afghanistan, these are promising, even remarkable numbers that point to one undeniable reality – more jobs are on the horizon and, as President George W. Bush assured us last spring, “help is on the way.” Like his predecessors John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, President Bush understands the wisdom in tax cuts. He understands that governments don’t grow economies, small businesses and individual citizens do. The government’s sole, yet crucial role is to create the conditions by which businesses and entrepreneurs have the economic incentives to save, invest and take risks. Unlike his na?ve Democratic counterparts, the president realizes that the Keynesian, liberal strategy of expanding the economy through bloated government spending is economically bankrupt. It is a strategy that only benefits big government and “tax and spend” liberal bureaucrats, not ordinary middle-class Americans. Our economy is surely not back to normal yet, but because of the Bush tax cuts the recovery has begun and renewed prosperity is not far away.

Still, if you were so unfortunate as to not have access to cable news (excluding CNN), you would know nothing of the promising state of our economy. On the contrary, you might think America is immersed in utter destitution and on the brink of another Great Depression. CNN’s “moaner-in-chief” Paul Begala makes it painfully clear on a daily basis that “Americans can’t find jobs” and – you guessed it – the president is to blame. Such a blatant distortion of the state of our economy has not been limited to party embarrassments such as Begala, who has succeeded in ranting himself into irrelevancy. More mainstream partisans such as ABC’s liberal-in-denial Peter Jennings make it a daily routine to convince viewers of how horrible the American economy is and conveniently overlook any news suggesting otherwise. That might, God forbid, make Bush look good. With a myriad of positive trends to choose from, here’s how Jennings presented a recent economic report:

“The jobs disappearing from the economy (numbered) 90,000 in August. Some Americans have given up looking for work altogether.”

This amid plenty of signs the economy is trending upward. As if the negative news was not made brutally clear before, Jennings previewed a story by saying, “Tens of thousands of jobs lost. And some of them may never return.”

Squashing any signs of economic recovery, Jennings emphatically reminded us in the same newscast, “the unemployment rate actually went down slightly to 6.1 percent, but it is not necessarily a positive development.”

Herein lies the real danger. At least with Begala the distortions are expected; thus, they are all the more easily dismissed. Jennings, however, passes as a bipartisan, nonjudgmental journalist. But he is actually delivering liberal distortions of the truth under the deceitful guise of fact and reality. Jennings’ dishonest “dooms day” portrayal of the American economy, along with the implication that seeking work is a futile endeavor, is an incredibly harmful and distressing message for many middle-class Americans who are struggling to find work. I am not asking for a sugarcoating of the news, only that we at least mention the good news instead of focusing exclusively on the bad.

Furthermore, how depressing it must be to belong to a party that depends on the failure of the American economy for its political success. While the vast majority of Americans see economic recovery as a cause for optimism and hope, the Democrats’ obsession with political power and destroying the Bush presidency forces them into disappointment, denial and extreme cynicism. I can just hear Begala and other Democratic Party hacks at morning strategy meetings receiving the news that the economy is doing well again – “Darn, people are starting to find work again!” or “People’s incomes are rising at all levels and they might actually like Bush!”

These scenarios might appear callous and downright ridiculous, but they reflect the desperate state of the Democratic Party. In short, the Democrats care more about what is best for them politically and very little about what is best for the country. If Bush supports it, they are automatically and unequivocally against it, no questions asked.

Using the 1980s as a historical guide, this newfound growth stimulated by the Bush tax cuts will be a mere precursor to an eventual economic boom. Of course, the 1980s also suggests the Democrats again “will raise your taxes” and pay dearly for it at the polls.

-The writer, a freshman majoring in political science, is a Hatchet columnist.

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