February 17, 2004

You Don't Say

Economy May Work in Bush's Favor

As the presidential election hits its stride, candidates seeking to unseat the president have fixated on the still-sluggish labor market, hammering their contention that as long as jobs remain scarce, voters are not about to salute the economic recovery that Bush has been hailing.

But other facets of the economy may prove far better indicators of the sense of well-being that voters will bring to the ballot box in November, economic forecasters say. The booming housing market has given even struggling workers the ability to latch onto a tangible talisman of personal progress. Wage growth has been nearly stagnant, but thanks to Bush's tax cuts, disposable income has risen. And after nine quarters of slow but steady growth, the economy as a whole is poised to take off, giving some shaky households a sense of optimism about the coming year.

"The economy is really going to help the president this time around," said Joel Prakken, an economist with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, whose political forecasting model predicts Bush will win in a romp in November. "I'm not saying [the Democrats] can't find pockets where they can play the economy card, but it's going to be tough."

And, whaddaya know, someone who understands that the President doesn't control a vast "jobs machine" that he flips on and off at will:

Even Mary Beardmore -- a Bush voter in 2000 and still unemployed -- said she is willing to give the president a pass.

"You know, George Bush does not control the economy that much," she said.

Posted by Steven Taylor at February 17, 2004 08:01 AM | TrackBack

Housing data alone isn't an indicator that the economy is getting better. People need jobs and Bush’s jobs record is terrible. Manufacturing has lost 2.8 million jobs since July 2000. Most of those are in telecom, semiconductor and aerospace. A report by Criterion Economics for the NMRC (http://www.newmillenniumresearch.org/archives) said 1.2 million jobs would be created in the next 20 years if the Bush administration made broadband a national priority. His FCC hasn’t done a thing. It has a bunch of rulemakings pending on what broadband is and how it should be treated. Bush needs to crack the whip and make the FCC do something for this sector, which in turn, will revitalize America's overall job market.

Posted by: ramennoodle at February 17, 2004 02:36 PM
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