Sunday, May 11, 2008

Obama Hits McCain on His Praise for the Bush Economic Record



Here is the relevant part of the speech as written in his prepared remarks:

John McCain has served his country with honor, and I respect that service. But it was dead wrong when he said recently that he thinks our economy has made “great progress” under George Bush. Is there anyone outside of Washington D.C, who could truly believe that? Do you? Senator McCain is running for President to double down on George Bush’s failed policies. I am running to change them, and that will be the fundamental difference in this election when I am the Democratic nominee for President.
To provide some quantitative backup for Obama's claim, here's a chart I whipped up with the BLS website showing the average hourly wages (production and non-supervisory workers, constant dollar) over the Clinton and Bush II terms:

As you can see, 1996-2001 was a great time for wage growth. In contrast, average wages today are just barely above where they were at the end of 2001. What "great progress" in the economy is McCain talking about? (We'll look at other indicators in future posts.)

2 comments:

Jonah B. Gelbach said...

hey dp

can you shoot me an email?

j

MattYoung said...

Economists like Feldstein and Goolsbee need to work both sides of the equilibrium problem with respect to government operations.

Individual taxpayers, over time, adjust both their payments to government and goods received from government such that goods received are in proportion to taxes paid.

This idea that government is non-responsive to double sided efficient market equilibrium has been the major source of instability in our system.

I think classic liberals get this problem, because in America the classic liberal is generally elected to fill in the other side of the equation that progressives and conservatives leave out.