Bad News for Democrats: Economy Grows 3.1%

All this fall, Democratic politicians and political operatives have been scratching their heads wondering why they couldn’t get any traction in their campaigns by talking down the economy and blaming the bad times on Republicans.

Perhaps the most puzzled were Democratic consultants James Carville, Stanley Greenberg and Bob Shrum-the three stooges of the left.

"Many more voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction (by a margin of 10 points) and have lost confidence in the economy," wrote the three at the top of an October 25 memo to Democrats.

But later in the same memo they admitted it was wishful thinking for Democrats to believe the economic issue was going to save them on November 5. "While the economy is creating a desire for change and impatience with the Republicans," they said, "it is not the kind of wedge or unambiguous issue that should become your sole focus in the last week."

Reality had conspired against the Class War Party.

On October 31, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released the latest figures on the economy. The inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic Product grew at a rate of 3.1% in the third quarter. That was more than twice the 1.3% rate of the second quarter.

Furthermore, the statistics belied the Democratic claim that Americans are losing confidence in the economy. Real personal expenditures increased by 4.2% in the third quarter compared to 2.7% in the second quarter.

Another good sign: Inflation stayed down, running at a minuscule annual rate of 1.1%.

Meanwhile, the latest numbers released by the Labor Department in early October, showed that the unemployment rate had fallen between August and September from 5.7% to 5.6%. The average rate during the 1990s-when Democrat Bill Clinton was President-was 5.7%.

The liberal Washington Post tried to spin the good economic news into bad news. "Many forecasters are now predicting growth at a 1% to 2% annual rate in the final three months of the year," the paper reported.

If they were really feeling lucky, they would predict a new recession.