Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bush Hails Tax Cuts For Boost In Growth

In a speech on Wednesday, President Bush did something I wish he would do more often -- he took credit for our healthy economy. From the Washington Post:

GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3 -- President Bush said Wednesday that the combination of Republican tax cuts and new pro-business policies is helping to spread "economic vitality" across the country and has put the White House ahead of pace toward trimming the deficit in half by 2009.

"The economy of ours is strong, and it is getting stronger," Bush told a group of economic conservatives gathered for the American Legislative Exchange Council meeting here. The president said the tax cuts enacted in his first term "stimulated" economic growth and helped generate a recent surge in government revenue that is helping to erase some of the deficit.

An objective news story would have ended there. It would simply tell us where Bush was and what he said there. But far be it from the mainstream media to let such positive comments stand on their own. As a service to us, they have to make sure we know the President's motive for saying such things so that we can see this speech for the image-rebuilding PR sham that it is. As we read in the next two paragraphs:

Bush's comments marked the beginning of a White House offensive to take credit for both the economic uptick and three pro-business policies recently passed by the Republican-controlled Congress.

The president has not realized the lift in public polls that aides had hoped for amid the upbeat economic news and bipartisan agreements on Capitol Hill. With Bush's approval ratings stuck at or near all-time lows in several national surveys, GOP strategists suspect that high gasoline prices and uncertainty in Iraq have overshadowed job gains, a strong stock market, and better-than-expected economic growth and legislative results.

Thus the writer now has now found a way to bring Bush's approval numbers into a story where it otherwise would have no place. This was simply a speech at a convention. Nothing more had to be reported other than what happened and what was said. Some of you may say that the reporter was merely giving us the ever important "why" of the story. But might not the "why" be because he was speaking to the American Legislative Exchange Council and perhaps Bush thought it might be wise to talk about the economy to an economic group? Just a hunch.

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