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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Empty Grins

As George W. Bush set a new record for vacationing among American presidents, he sought to gussy up the latest down-time by summoning down to Crawford his “economic team”–i.e., the appointees who can be counted on to grin at the cameras and support the party line that everything’s hunky-dory.I don’t know what these folks did down there. Maybe they helped W. clear the sage brush. But they sure as hell didn’t confirm, adjust, or create any kind of national economic strategy, because we don’t have one.The President of the United States came out from the clambake and said that latest job numbers confirmed his tax cut plan.This photo op was obviously caused by (a) a relatively good job creation month, combined with (b) poll numbers showing Bush’s approval ratings on the economy dropping to 41 percent.The Bush economic plan, such as it is, depends on a cyclical rebound after the dot.com bust and the 9/11 swoon; the short-term stimulus caused by massive public and private debt and federal spending; a surge of cheap imports; and exceptional and dangerous foreign government investment.Our economy is balanced on a pin, and unfortunately, our economy is being guided by empty minds hiding behind empty grins.

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