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  xThursday, June 19, 2003

bush vulnerability watch


Bush has officially accepted repsonsibility -- well, inasmuch as he ever does -- for the state of the economy through the 2004 election:
President Bush said Thursday the new tax cuts he supports will "put wind at our back" and boost the lagging economy that is on the minds of many would-be voters.

Democrats seeking to bump Bush from the White House hope he will be vulnerable on the economy during next year's presidential race. Even as he begins raising money for his bid for a second White House term, Thursday's speech in Minnesota was Bush's third this week devoted to the politically crucial issue of his administration's efforts on the economy.

Bush spoke the day before several of the Democratic presidential candidates appear about 20 miles down the road at the annual summer meeting of party leaders in St. Paul.

Some economic news was released Thursday that offered hope of better days, as new unemployment claims dropped for the second straight week and a key measure of future economic activity rose in May.

Bush did not propose any new tonic for the economy, but touted the huge tax cuts as beneficial to the nation.

Of course not; tax cuts are the only program he has.

By the way, this bit was interesting as well:
The president made no mention of the debate over whether weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq; their alleged presence had been his main rationale for war. Nor did he promise -- as he has on other occasions until recently -- that they will be found, only briefly claiming broad benefits of the ouster of Saddam Hussein's government.

"The regime of Saddam Hussein is no more, America is more secure, the world is more peaceful and the long-suffering people of Iraq are now free," Bush said.

When will the Democrats wake up and realize that this backpedaling means Bush knows (or his advisers do) that he's vulnerable?

And when will the Democrats wake up to Bush's lousy job at bringing prosperity to anyone who isn't alreeady rich? Regarding the economy, I expect that there will be some positive signs Bush will no doubt point to during his re-election campaign to tout his (cough) comeptent handling of the economy. The stock market will likely get a boost from Bush's continued program of corporate welfare.

I keep hearing that Bush's advisors want to avoid his father's fate by portraying him as "concerned" about the economy. I think this shows a fatal misperception of the average American (pandering corporations and the super-wealthy will do that, I suppose...)'s perception. Americans will certainly be told ad nauseum that Bush is concerned about the economy, especially as it continues to sputter under his atrocious handling. Yet the eonomy will have to undergo a truly miraculous recovery to replace the 3.72 million jobs already shed by the economy. Meanwhile, while voters are indeed likely to forgive a tax policy favoring the rich if they perceive they'll benefit as well, the disparities in Bush's tax largess will soon become appartent -- frankly, people will figure out they aren't saving all that much, while working longer hours, or at a worse job, or both.

It really couldn't be simpler: Bush's economic policies aren't remotely intended to benfit most Americans. That's why Bush needs to use misleading rhetoric about "average" tax cuts. It doesn't matter how "concerned" Bush appears to be about the economy if his Democratic opposition has the guts to challenge him on the actual results of his policies.





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