President Calvin Coolidge once said that “the chief business of the American people is business.” Suffice it to say that when business benefits through economic policy, whether it be taxes or interest rates, the American people and ultimately the Treasury department benefit tremendously, as was observed under Presidents Kennedy in the 1960s, Reagan in the 1980s, and now George W. Bush in the 2000s.
After inheriting a marketplace recession after the tech stock boom of the 1990s, which was magnified by the attacks of September 11, Bush was quick to enact pro-growth economic policies by reducing the overall tax burden on American families and offering an investment credit for businesses, designed to spur investment after September 11 sent capital inflows spiraling down to next to nothing. Bush’s policies are for the large part a smashing success, as is evidenced by 36-consecutive months of job growth, with 5.7 million non-farm jobs added to the economy to date.
The Labor Department released economic data for August today, reporting the addition of some 128,000 new non-farm jobs last month, consistent with Wall Street expectations. Unemployment dipped slightly to 4.6% in August from 4.8% in July. The latest four-month average was 117,000 job gains a month, which suggests that the U.S. job market is relatively strong.
Despite the upbeat atmosphere on Wall Street, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) stated this week that, “Our economy is headed in the wrong direction, and President Bush and the Republicans in Congress are woefully out of touch with this fact.” So much for her desire for truth in government. The big news in August was that welfare cases had been reduced by more than 50% since the system was reformed 10 years ago. Former President Clinton praised the success of reform in a New York Times op-ed last week. Which proves that for Democrats, the economy is doomed if welfare rolls and government programs are not constantly increasing. After all, more welfare equals more compassion…or something along those lines.
The Times reported August 26 that the median hourly wage has decreased 2% since 2003, which stands to be one of the “longest periods of economic growth since World War II that fails to offer a prolonged increase in real wages for most workers.” If by this they mean that union workers had to take a $2 cut in their $45-an-hour wage to prevent the company from going under, this means nothing and will illicit no tears from most of America.
However, if the data is true, it is prudent to remember that Democrats had an opportunity to enact a package of economic policies that benefited American workers and families, including an increase in the minimum wage to $7.25 by 2009, an increase in the college tuition tax credit, the extension of the home mortgage insurance deduction, and a reduction in the estate tax. More concerned with their brazenly inappropriate desire to make Uncle Sam a benefactor of every family estate in America, Democrats rejected the interests of Americans in order to milk dead people they perceive as “rich.” Now I know that half of my inheritance is going to some pet project in San Francisco, while teenagers and some Americans wait around for a wage increase. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Nance. By the way, have you and Mr. Pelosi set aside money to pay the estate tax? No? I thought that multi-million dollar empire of yours might be tax sheltered in some way, which, by the way, America, is a closed-shop enterprise. No labor unions for Pelosi employees. Do as they say, not as they do.
While Democrats can cry wolf all they want, reality speaks for itself. The economy is robust, investment is strong, and inflation is low. However, America is still waiting for reality to come to a Democrat near you.