The Economic Spin Cycle

August 18, 2002

By Tom Barrett,

I never cease to be amazed by the ability of liberals to twist facts to suit their needs. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with economic principles could see through the attempts of the liberal left to blame President Bush for an economy inherited from Bill Clinton. Apparently most media types do not possess even a rudimentary understanding of how our economy works.

Let’s look at a few facts (a practice that is very unpopular with the Big Three TV networks and most big-city newspapers). First, the economy was already entering a recession when Bush came into office. In contrast, when Clinton came into office, he inherited a strong economy from the elder Bush, and tried to take credit for it. His policies hurt the economy, and resulted in the recession the current Bush now faces. The fact is that the economy is like an ocean liner, not a speedboat. It turns slowly. The results we see today were set in motion four to eight years ago.

Next, our economy is not in nearly the sorry condition the liberals are “spinning” it to be. Most real economists - as opposed to the “talking heads” we see on CNBC and CBS - agree that our economy is basically in good shape. Unemployment is at an acceptable rate, the economy is expanding, and interest rates are at all-time lows.

Sure, the stock market has taken a nosedive. But that has happened before, and will happen again. The current bear market is a direct result of traders speculating in the market, rather than investing in sound companies. Regardless of liberal spin, Bush had nothing to do with that - the speculative “bubble” that burst was in place long before he took office. If anything, many of Clinton’s policies contributed to the wild speculation that we saw in the stock market. “Dot-com” companies with no earnings, and true valuations of less than ten dollars, traded up to hundreds of dollars per share.

Regardless of what your TV “news analyst” says (where do they get these people?), the stock market is not a direct reflection of the health of the economy. Rather, it is a reflection of the emotions of the buyers and sellers in the market. With Democrats and socialists firmly in charge of all the major news organizations, should anyone be surprised that Americans are being fed a steady diet of doom and gloom with regard to the economy? And what do you think that does to their emotions when they are making decisions about their stock portfolios?

What about the corruption among corporate executives? The Democrats in Congress have tried to spin this one by implying that the President is controlled by “Big Business.” They conveniently ignore the fact that all the corruption that is coming to light today either began during the Clinton administration, or was in place then and was ignored by Clinton’s team.

The worst liberal spin on the economy is to blame all our problems on President Bush’s tax cuts. In fact, this goes way beyond the “spin” zone and right into the category of outright lies. First, the tax cuts were incremental, to be phased in over a number of years. Only a very small portion had been implemented prior to 9/11, so the real economic impact cannot be accurately determined. However, the indications are that the cuts had a positive impact on the economy, if only because the American people were becoming hopeful that the government would let them keep some of their own money for a change.

Finally, the liberal spin doctors have completely ignored the economic impact of 9/11. They can’t blame the terror attacks on Bush (although they tried), so there has been an almost total news blackout on the devastation 9/11 wrought on our economy. But anyone with an ounce of brains must recognize the horrific effect the Attacks on America have had on our national economy. Our country has spent billions on the military in the last year as a direct result of terrorism. All areas of commerce have been affected by the general economic slowdown that is directly related to 9/11, but three sectors have been particularly hard-hit.

The insurance industry has had to pay out huge claims relating to the terrorism, and many more are pending. The construction industry has seen huge construction projects cancelled because developers cannot obtain terrorism insurance. And the travel industry, particularly the airline sector, has been devastated. Try to spin that into being Bush’s fault, Mr. Daschle and Mr. Gephardt.

I guess conservatives are just too honest. We tend to “tell it like it is,” rather than the way we want it to be. Liberals take advantage of this, and “spin” the facts until they bear no resemblance to truth. And the poor citizen who tries to gain some understanding of what is happening in the economy through the liberal media ends up feeling like he has been tossed into a large washing machine and run through the spin cycle.