Monday, October 08, 2007

Two Plus Two Really Does Equal Four

When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the bloom was already coming off the phony Clinton rose. The dot-com bubble had burst, the Dow was headed downward, and the recession that Mr. Bill's high-tax, high-spending economic policies had made inevitable - delayed but not denied by the pro-market remedies (most especially the 1997 capital gains tax cut) of the GOP Congress his initial excesses helped elect - was just around the corner, as the new President himself had warned in campaigning on the need to roll back the 1993 Clinton tax increase.

Against the abysmally ignorant Beltway conventional wisdom, Bush got his tax cut, though in two installments (2001 and 2003). The result? What Brother Hinderaker argues may be the strongest economy ever:
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new jobs figures – 110,000 jobs created in September. September 2007 is the 49th consecutive month of job growth, setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted expansion of the U.S. labor market. Significant upward revisions to employment in July and August mean employment growth has averaged 97,000 per month over the last three months. Since August 2003, our economy has created more than 8.1 million jobs, and the unemployment rate remains low at 4.7%.

Real after-tax per capita personal income has increased by over 12.5% – an average of over $3,750 per person – since President Bush took office. More than 30% of the Nation's net worth has been added since the President's 2003 tax cuts.

Real wages have grown 2.2% over the 12 months that ended in August. This is much higher than the average growth rate during the 1990s, and it means an extra $1,266 in the past year for a family with two average wage earners.

Real GDP grew at a strong 3.8% annual rate in the second quarter of 2007. The economy has now experienced nearly six years of uninterrupted growth, averaging 2.7% a year since the turnaround in 2001.
Remember that those six years included Clinton's recession, the 9/11 attacks and their economic aftermath, and an ongoing, if comparitively low-level, global war. When seen in that proper context, there's no doubt about it, the Bush boom, fueled by the the private sector economic engine President Reagan endlessly touted, leaves the false Clinton "prosperity" in the proverbial and literal dust. Is it any wonder why the Dems are so frantic to somehow try and force a tax increase on Dubya in order to crash the economy in time for next year's election? It's not as though they're having, or have ever had, any success "talking the economy down," as they ironically accused Bush of doing back in '01.

With this level of real growth, the case for Democrat schemes like the following becomes inordinately more difficult to make:
If Congress lets Bush's tax cuts expire, it would increase taxes by more than $1,800, on the average, for a family of four making $60,000 dollars a year. Small business owners would see their taxes go up by almost $4,000, and families with children would pay an additional $500 per child.

Beyond that, the adverse economic consequences of socialized medicine are incalculable. And we haven't mentioned what would happen if the federal government started mandating the shut-down of industry so as to reduce carbon emissions in a superstitious attempt to control the weather, while China and India do nothing of the sort.
The old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" comes to mind. Indeed, simply maintaining the gravy train argues in the opposite policy direction, for domestic energy exploration, energy and environmental deregulation, and entitlements privatization. It certainly doesn't make re-Bolshevization any sort of compelling campaign plank.

This may just be a hunch, but I wouldn't be entirely shocked if the Democrats let at least a several-year extension of the Bush tax cuts pass Congress between now and next summer. It's too late for them to sabotage Dubya's economic juggarnaut, Hillary's going to accordingly want to glom as much of the credit for it as she can, and with all the statist hijinx she has in store, the Donks are going to need all the inherited economic momentum they can get.

If the GOP nominee has the horse sense (and credibility) to get rhetorically ahead of that curve, Mrs. Clinton's coronational processional, quite unlike that of her husband sixteen years earlier, may find the going a lot tougher than they, or really anybody [hand sheepisly raised], is suspecting.