Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why 2007 Was "A Very Good Year" For Bush

2007 must have been one of the worst years for George W. Bush during his entire two term presidency? Right? Wrong. Well, 'wrong' according to this columnist from the Bush-loving Washington Times. It's not the way you view the events of 2007, it's the way you spin them, relentlessly :
Against all odds, and despite the usual drumbeat of criticism, President Bush had a very good year.

The troop surge in Iraq is succeeding. America remains safe from terrorist attacks. And the Goldilocks economy is outperforming all expectations.

At his year-end news conference, Mr. Bush said with optimism that the economy is fundamentally sound, despite the housing downturn and the subprime credit crunch. The very next day, that optimism was reinforced with news of the best consumer spending in two years.

The prophets of recessionary doom, such as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Republican adviser Martin Feldstein, ex-Democratic Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and bond-maven Bill Gross have been proven wrong once again.

Calendar year 2007 looks set to produce 3 percent growth in real gross domestic product, nearly 3 percent growth in consumer spending, and more than 3 percent growth in after-tax inflation-adjusted incomes.

Meanwhile, headline inflation (including food and energy) will have run at 2½ percent, with only 2 percent core inflation.
Jobs are rising more than 100,000 monthly and the stock market is set to turn in a respectable year despite enormous headwinds. Low tax rates, modest inflation, and declining interest rates continue to boost Goldilocks, which is still the greatest story never told.

Mr. Bush's optimism is well-earned, in Congress too. He has stopped a lot of bad legislation on higher taxing and spending. He won on S-CHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) and the alternative minimum tax.

He mostly prevailed on domestic spending. And he got much of what he wanted on war funding without any pullout dates.
And he is not yet finished.

In the most dramatic statement of his holiday news conference, Mr. Bush said he will not stand for continuing congressional proliferation of pork-barrel earmarks.
"Another thing that's not responsible is the number of earmarks the Congress included in the massive spending bill," said Mr. Bush. "The bill they just passed includes about 9,800 earmarks. Together with the previously passed defense spending bill, that means Congress has approved about 11,900 earmarks this year. And so I am instructing Budget Director Jim Nussle to review options for dealing with wasteful spending in the omnibus bill."

This is huge. The statute of limitations for Republican overspending, over-earmarking, and over-corrupting that caused huge congressional losses in last year's campaign will not run out until the GOP shows taxpayers it again can be trusted on key issues of limited government and lower taxes.

In these matters, Republicans must be holier than the pope.

And while President Bush has been doing the Lord's work with his newfound veto pen, he must continue to wage war on earmarks if the GOP is to cleanse the political memory of Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, and Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Looking ahead, the economy also would benefit from a corporate tax cut for both large and small businesses, including corporate capital-gains. The U.S. dollar would reap the rewards as new investment flowed in from the world. Several recent studies also show businesses would pass on tax-cost savings to the work force, thereby bolstering wages and ultimately creating new jobs.
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