Politics & Policy

The Bush Vote, by The Numbers

Don't forget which policy actions worked come Election Day 2006.

Remember the pre-election accusations that President Bush wasn’t doing the job when it comes to the economy? Well, it appears that the voters made the right decision last November, and the proof is in the numbers.

While anti-American pessimism sweeps over an old Europe that brandishes a 10 percent unemployment rate, the numbers suggest that the U.S. economy is experiencing strong economic growth and falling unemployment. Larry Kudlow in fact estimates that the U.S. is on its way to adding 2 million jobs in 2005, with incomes rising fast. According to his latest client report,

Using the aggregate work-hours and average hourly earnings indices, we can construct an income growth measure. This measure shows a robust 5.2 percent growth over the past twelve months. Actually, the annual growth rate has been in that range for the past five months. It is no wonder that June chain store sales beat expectations with a 5.3 percent gain, the biggest gain since May 2004.

This good news is reinforced by the mid-year 5 percent unemployment rate, down from a peak of 6.3 percent.

President Bush’s economic success is no turn of luck. In the wake of a burst technology bubble and the 9/11 attacks, Bush fathered major tax cuts that contributed to lifting the economy out of recession and into expansion. While the Federal Reserve’s lower interest rates are often credited with putting the economy back on track, it was fiscal stimulus that made the difference as immediate demand was pumped into an otherwise lackluster business sector.

The president’s detractors (Sen. John Kerry, et. al.) said his policies wouldn’t work. They instead wanted a big tax increase to offset a rising budget deficit. Remember that misdirected policy option when you head to the ballot box for the midterm elections in 2006.

Low interest rates have also worked miracles by helping create a higher standard of living for both homebuyers and homeowners. Virtually all residential housing has risen dramatically in value over the past two years. This rise gives consumers a new source of credit — the best kind as interest on real estate is tax deductible in most cases.

The seeds of further economic expansion are being sown. Found wealth in real estate is making its way into consumer spending, which in turn is pushing consumer sentiment higher. Record corporate wealth is finding its way into rising factory orders and intentions for increased spending on plant and equipment. Free-trade policy is keeping prices low while the opposition wants to trigger major trade wars. Remember who encouraged lower interest rates and defended free trade when it comes time to vote in 2006.

Voters made the right choice on the economy, and also on security. While some in Congress suggest that we are in a quagmire in Iraq, it’s important to point out that not one major terrorist attack has occurred on U.S. soil since 9/11 while Spain and more recently Britain have experienced terrorism first hand. While more terrorist attacks at home are always a possibility, we are nevertheless approaching the fourth anniversary of 9/11 with no additional terrorist attacks in the U.S.

The attacks of 9/11 unleashed an unparalleled U.S. response in Afghanistan and Iraq. And by the numbers, it was the correct response. While the press is quick to report civilian casualties in Iraq, little is heard about the killing and capture of terrorists in that country. My bet is that the press has the numbers and just prefers not to reveal them. (We certainly have come a long way since Vietnam, when success or failure was measured by the enemy body count.)

If you are part of the growing America that is benefiting from President Bush’s economic and foreign-policy programs, you won’t have to think too hard about which party to support during the 2006 races.

– Thomas E. Nugent is executive vice president and chief investment officer of PlanMember Advisors, Inc. and principal of Victoria Capital Management, Inc.

Most Popular

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

Election-Meddling Redux

It is not an attack on the American election. It is an influence operation aimed at the American media, using the $60 billion per annum American intelligence apparatus to pull it off. And it’s working. On Wednesday night, it was suddenly announced that U.S. security services would conduct a press ... Read More

Election-Meddling Redux

It is not an attack on the American election. It is an influence operation aimed at the American media, using the $60 billion per annum American intelligence apparatus to pull it off. And it’s working. On Wednesday night, it was suddenly announced that U.S. security services would conduct a press ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More
Elections

Biden Lies Again and Again

Joe Biden is a career liar and he lied some more in the debate, for instance when he dismissed the now well-supported New York Post story about Hunter Biden's business dealing as "a Russian plant." There is zero evidence for this. He offered this line: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More