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“I’m not a [fill in the blank]”

Posted by Rick · February 18th, 2004 · 2 Comments

In an attempt to offset criticism about his “jobless recovery,” the President of the United States (George “Dubya” Bush) had been arguing that “the economy will add 2.6 million new jobs before the end of this year.”

The White House has begun to recognize that this is probably not going to happen.

At first, the White House, via White House economist N. Gregory Mankiw, said that this wasn’t a problem because, after all, sending U.S. jobs overseas — instead of giving them to Americans — had “long-term benefits for the U.S. economy.”

That’s right. If less Americans are able to find work, this is good for the country. If less Americans are able to support their families, this is good for the country. If more Americans are forced into unemployment, this is good for the country.

Perhaps the argument is based on the idea that if Americans get hungry enough and desperate enough, they’ll say to hell with minimum wage. We can recapture those jobs from China or other third-world countries once we’re willing to work as cheaply as they do. In January 2004, for example, the average annual income of Chinese hit $1,000. (Farmers there, though, don’t do quite as well. In 2001, the average annual income for a Chinese farmer was $285. Still, that was a 2.1% increase over their pair in 2000.) According to the United States Census Bureau, the 2002 median income in the United States declined 1.1 percent to $42,409; down from $42,900 in 2001. So, if we keep this up — or if the current administration can figure out how to accelerate it and the Chinese continue their wage increases — we could possibly recapture U.S. jobs lost to China in approximately, oh, just a few hundred short years.

Naturally, that doesn’t sit well, considering people will be voting for President in just about 9 more months. And the economy — more to the point, the jobless nature of the so-called recovery — is problematic for the Dubya. So having already dubbed ya all fools who will let him change his story as the need arises, he’s backing away from the statements of the White House economist.

Dubya knows you won’t believe this is good for the U.S. He has learned, however, that you’ll buy another line — and that there will be no negative political consequences when he uses it. And so the President now says, “I’m not a statistician. I’m not a predictor.” (This explains not only the 2.6 million jobs that won’t be created, but also Bush’s 2004 budget and the reason that cutting taxes while funding multi-billion-dollar wars hasn’t shrunk the deficit as he believed it would.) If he’s learned nothing else, Bush has learned the American public will forgive him both for changing his stories and for getting it wrong.

“I’m not a science buff.”

Weapons of Mass Destruction and Job Predictions aren’t the only ways the White House has gotten it wrong.

“[Scientists] accuse the administration of repeatedly censoring and suppressing reports by its own scientists, stacking advisory committees with unqualified political appointees, disbanding government panels that provide unwanted advice, and refusing to seek any independent scientific expertise in some cases.” (Glanz, “Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts,” The New York Times, Science Section, February 18, 2004.)

But the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan says that “this is an administration that makes decisions based on the best available science.” He did not indicate whether the White House scientist was housed in the same office as the White House economist who thinks “the loss of U.S. jobs overseas has long-term benefits for the U.S. economy.”

This is the same Scott McClellan, by the way, who previously explained the unimportance of the President’s mistake about the 2.6 million lost jobs by saying, “The President is interested in actual jobs being created rather than in economic modeling.” Presumably he had no comment in response to questions about whether the President was interested in actual science being done rather than White House anti-scientific modeling.

This is no surprise, though. The Bush Administration, unable to locate Weapons of Mass Destruction has repeatedly turned to his own tried-and-true Weapons of Mass Deception. No Weapons of Mass Destruction? That’s okay. That’s not really why we went to war, the Administration says, it was a global show of American power and democracy. No, wait, maybe it was to free the Iraqi people! Er, uh, okay…it was the CIA’s fault! They had bad intelligence!

In spite of the number of times he’s changed his stories (please note the plural there) regarding Iraq and al-Queda (please note that this should be the disjunctive use of “and”), his popularity hasn’t really dropped as much as it would have if he was not a pro-business Republican.

Democrat Bill Clinton screwed an intern, then lied about it. No doubt in some great part because of that, large numbers of American voters turned away from his would-be successor, Al Gore. In a sense, George Bush has found much greater success by turning this formula around. First he lied. Then, he didn’t screw an intern — Americans won’t stand for that. Instead, he screwed us, the American public and a few hundred soldiers who died because al-Queda took out the Twin Towers. Clinton lied because he was too embarrassed to reveal the truth; Bush does not appear to be in the least bit chagrined about changing stories.

It’s about time that Americans quit accepting facile explanations and the constant spin-respin cycle of the Bush White House. It’s about time Americans began to realize that spending billions of dollars on wars against countries that don’t have anything to offer except no-bid contracts for the President’s friends isn’t worth the economic consequences to future generations of Americans.

It’s about time we gave George Bush the votes to say, “I’m not a President.”

Categories: Politics-In-General


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Feb 18, 2004 at 6:12 pm

    He’s NOT a predictor. He IS a predator. What president worth his salt talks would say a line like that anyway?

    I’d like to see Bush in the unemployment lines like so many of us. Perhaps he could go back to setting up oil companies now that Iraq has given him job security.


  • 2 ramennoodle // Feb 19, 2004 at 8:27 am

    It’s exactly this kind of waffling that got us where we are today: 1.8 million jobs have been lost in last two years under Bush. Manufacturing has lost 2.8 million jobs since July 2000 (most of those are in telecom, semiconductor and aerospace). I lost my job in telecom and it took me 7 months to find another one in the field. A report by Criterion Economics for the NMRC said 1.2 million jobs would be created in the next 20 years if the Bush administration made broadband a national priority. His FCC hasn?t done a thing. It has a bunch of rulemakings pending on what broadband is and how it should be treated. Bush needs to crack the whip and make the FCC do something. Here is the link to the report (http://www.newmillenniumresearch.org/archive).

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