NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Democrats Will Say Success is Artificial

November 3, 2003

Democrats have been ridiculing President Bush's economic performance, calling him another Herbert Hoover. For a brief time, the crack scored political points and added energy to the campaigns of Democratic presidential contenders, says the Tampa Tribune.

So now what will they say? The economy grew in the third quarter at an annual rate of 7.2 percent and consumers are spending more and businesses are once again investing in equipment. Soon this activity will translate into swifter job growth.

For one thing, Democrats will say the success is artificial. That complaint is already being heard in Europe:

  • Otmar Issing, chief economist at the European Central Bank, says U.S. economic policy is ``unsustainable'' because it relies on big budget deficits and inflationary monetary policy.
  • Never mind that Germany's budget deficit is expected to be nearly 4 percent of its economy this year, even though Germany didn't fight a war and isn't trying to rebuild a foreign country.
  • The deficit here will be about 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, but with the economy and government revenues increasing, that percent will begin to fall.

Expect the new anti-Bush theme to be the same as Issing's: Good times won't last because tax cuts mean bigger budget deficits, and the federal borrowing will send interest rates higher and kill economic growth.

President Bush believes his tax cuts will be more than offset by economic growth, as has happened before under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

So with the desperation-driven Hoover tag becoming laughable, dare Democrats call Bush another Ronald Reagan? The next best tax-cutting choice is just as risky for them, says the Tribune: Jack Kennedy.

Source: Editorial, "Robust Economy Undermines Democrats' Assault On Bush," Tampa Tribune, November 3, 2003.


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