August 7, 2004
The job figures released on Friday show that Bush's economy is in the doldrums. Employers added only 32,000 jobs in July, and the government had to revise downward the figures for job growth in May and June by a total of 61,000.
The inescapable conclusion is that the steam has gone out of the economy.
With gas prices above $2 a gallon, and with the stock market tumbling, and with real wages falling, consumers have less money to spend and employers are hesitant to hire.
Bush has few options readily available to him, since he already gave a tax rebate last year and he's been running deficits through the roof.
And what's worse for him is that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is set to raise interest rates on Tuesday, which will only dampen the economy further.
It will make it more costly for businesses to borrow money needed for new equipment, and it will make it more costly for people to get mortgages. (The refinancing boom has almost exhausted itself, so that stimulus can no longer be counted on. And it was that stimulus, plus the tax rebates--along with military spending--that kicked the economy into gear last year.)
Bush has lost 1.1 million jobs since coming into office, and the Administration is shy more than 2,500,000 jobs from its projections last year, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
This is a nightmare for Bush.
People know they are worse off than they were before he came to power. "Adjusted for inflation, the income of all Americans fell 9.2 percent from 2000 to 2002, according to the new IRS data," The New York Times recently reported.
The economy is Bushed, and people are likely to take it out on him.