Friday, February 27, 2004

If Only President Bush Knew How to Brag

If Only President Bush Knew How to Brag

Democrats have convinced American that we're stuck in some sort of economic doldrums. This is easily contradicted by the facts, if only the president would use them. Rich Lowry says its about time that George Bush took charge of the debate.

President Bush is taking a beating on the economy, partly because he has failed to realize the power of numbers. In his 1996 re-election campaign, Bill Clinton took the numbers from a recovering economy and repeated them until the American public reached the point of statistical saturation and became convinced the nation had achieved economic nirvana. It was a classic case of "talking up" the economy. Lately, Democratic presidential candidates have done exactly the opposite, making a recovering economy seem a cesspit of misery. If Bush is to save his presidency, he must push back. He must tout his numbers.

The numbers speak of strong overall economic growth. The gross domestic product -- the figure for the total output economy -- grew at an 8.2 percent rate in the third quarter of 2003, and at a 4 percent rate in the fourth quarter. The GDP is forecast to grow at a 4.5 percent rate in 2004. As economist J. Edward Carter writes: "For the third consecutive year, the U.S. economy is poised to grow faster than most other industrialized economies. France, Germany and Japan, for instance, are not expected to grow even half as fast as the United States."


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