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The Bush Economic Miracle
What a difference a weekend makes! We go from panic stations on CNN on Friday:
President Bush will wrap up conferring with his economic team Friday on ways to keep the economy growing against a backdrop of higher interest rates, mixed data and fears of rising inflation.
.... to miraculous optimism in the LA Times following the economic meeting this morning.
Even though he's not running for re-election this year, President Bush knows just what he would focus on if he were: the economy and taxes. "If I were a candidate ... I'd say, 'Look at what the economy has done. It's strong. "If I were a candidate ... I'd say, 'Look at what the economy has done. It's strong. We've created a lot of jobs. ... I'd be telling people that the Democrats will raise your taxes. That's what they said. I'd be reminding people that tax cuts have worked in terms of stimulating the economy," Bush told reporters at a news conference.
The economy is slowing sharply. Job figures have been disappointing for two months. The housing market is flattening. Commentators think the Fed rate rise "pause" might now be a "full stop." And, if extended in 2011, the tax cuts will create deficits larger than anything yet seen. It tells you something about the rotten state of the Middle East the the President think the economy is his undersold good story.