Coastal Post Online


February, 2004

Bush Tries To Mislead About Economy Twice In 24 Hours

Within a span of 24 hours, President Bush twice attempted to mislead the American people about the economy and his tax policies. On Friday, January 9, the president said, "Unemployment dropped today to 5.7% [which] is a positive sign that the economy is getting better."

But the president didn't add that the unemployment drop occurred not because the economy was getting better, but because continued weak job growth led 309,000 people to stop looking for work. As one nonpartisan economist said, "Most of these dropouts would still be in the labor force working or trying to work if the economy were doing better."

The president made no mention that only 1,000 total jobs were created in December-a "shockingly low number," where most economists had expected job growth to be around 100,000 to 150,000 for the month. Thirty-three months after the beginning of the recession, this recovery is distinguished from all previous cycles of job contraction and resumed growth since 1939, according to the Economic Policy Institute, for not having fully recovered job levels to those above the pre-recessionary peak within 31 months from its start.

The following day, the president touted the same economic policies that helped create the unemployment crisis. Despite the bad economic news, he said, "Tax relief has got this economy going again," and bragged, "every American who pays income taxes got a tax cut." His use of the phrase "income tax," however, was tailored to divert attention from the millions of low-income American taxpayers (who pay payroll tax but not income tax) who received nothing. Bush's 2001 tax cut completely excluded 31% of all families in America. Similarly, Bush's 2003 tax cut completely excluded 31% of all taxpayers-including one million children of military families.

from Daily Misleader



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