With consumer confidence falling and gasoline and food prices at record highs, President Bush delivered an unusually dark assessment of the economy on Tuesday, saying the nation is in “very difficult times, very difficult.”...
“If there was a magic wand to wave, I’d be waving it, of course,” Mr. Bush said, referring specifically to gasoline prices, which have climbed $1.40 a gallon in 18 months. “But there is no magic wand to wave right now. It took us a while to get to this fix.”...
Mr. Bush has spent much of his presidency riding high on claims of solid job growth, but with nine months left in office, he has to confront a new reality. In recent weeks, he has said the economy is in a “rough patch.”
This month, he expressed optimism, saying, “I’m confident we’re going to come out of it.”
But his tone on Tuesday was more somber, reflecting a new report that found consumer confidence plummeting as home prices have collapsed more rapidly than at any time in 20 years....
President Bush thinks that current US economic problems are primarily cyclical in nature - that the United States is experiencing a temporary downturn. But high gas and food prices are only a problem because median American incomes are not rising as fast as inflation.
Our stagnant median income is not a temporary problem. I agree with Governor Huckabee when he recently wrote, "Our economic problems are structural and not just cyclical."
We are experiencing stagnant income and slow growth due to the lack of investment in American production, which in turn is due to our self-destructive tax system and foreign government mercantilism. The FairTax would solve our tax system problems and Import Certificates would end foreign government mercantilism.
Early this year, President Bush and the Democratic congress put in place a stimulus package that should alleviate the cyclical problem. We should have a burst of temporary growth when consumers spend their rebate checks and when corporations move up their 2009 investments into 2008 in order to take advantage of the temporarily accelerated depreciation schedule. But in 2009 we will return to slow growth unless we begin to address our long-term problems.