Thursday, October 30, 2003

Spun: Well, there's two realities here. One, the economic reality. Two, the political reality. We all know which one is more important. Just as the Dems lose their political podium from which to preach Bush's domestic ills, Bush I'm sure is ramping up his "see, my tax cuts really work" speech to be parroted by Commerce, Treasury and Cheney for good measure. That is the political reality.

The economic reality is that politics don't have short-term financial impact unless we're talking New Deal-level stimulus. Tax cuts don't do anything short term to impact the economy. Rather they make people save more, rather than spend. Plus, those tax cuts weren't even that big.

This, however, is not an anti-tax-cut rant. I'm sort of neutral on the whole thing, and as someone who studied economics, more interested in the economic reality than the spin accompanying it. Tax cuts serve their purpose, and there are many wonderful arguments for them. Eno and I had argued before about this issue, and one of my main objections is that if Bush was going to really cut taxes, then he shouldn't be half-assed about it.

The fact is the economy helps or hurts the standing president, but for no good reason. Clinton and Reagan started with a bad one, and then went out with a great one - two presidents with opposite idealogies, who garnered the same outcome. Yes, there is always Congress to appease, but the point is that it's really out of a president's hands. The Dems were hitting hard on the economy because it's a free shot, and everyone does it. However, it doesn't really advance the ball, because once in office, you do whatever you want anyway (remember Bush's smaller government pledge?).

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