A Growing Economy
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
For all the economic gloom and doom being projected from the democratic podiums in Denver — and for all the reality of the slowdown in New York — national economic statistics are showing that, far from being in a recession, the American economy is growing at a respectable, if not a breakneck pace. The revised figure for quarterly growth in the second quarter of the year that was announced yesterday by the Commerce Department was a seasonally adjusted, annualized, 3.3% — better than three of four quarters of the Clinton administration’s last year in office. And that is a real rate of growth, meaning it is adjusted for inflation. It’s certainly not a recession, which would require negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters.
These columns have found much to criticize in the policies of the Federal Reserve and in the erosion of the value of the dollar as measured in gold during the Bush administration. But by the yardstick of GDP growth, President Bush’s tax cuts are keeping the economy humming. The progress is even more striking when measured in comparison to Europe, where, by the European Union’s own measurements, economic growth in America outpaced that in Europe. This is despite the fact that Europe is saddled with neither Benjamin Bernanke nor Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac. Europe’s second quarter 2008 figures have not yet been revised but they showed a seasonally adjusted growth rate of either 1.5% or 1.7%, depending on whether you include 15 Euro countries or a broader group of 27 that includes the United Kingdom and Sweden.
If America adopts the European-style economic policies being urged by Senator Obama — higher income taxes, more deference to labor unions, more government-sponsored health care, more government infrastructure spending — we can expect slower economic growth. Unemployment rates, too, are higher in Europe, by about a percentage point, although some argue that the statistics are not directly comparable. All of which is to say that while President Bush’s stewardship of the economy hasn’t been perfect, it is far from the disaster that the Democrats are depicting it as. The GDP statistics tell the story, as do the employment numbers. But the statistic that is perhaps the most telling of all is that of the millions of immigrants who come to America from countries around the world not only for political and religious freedom and the rule of law but for the opportunities our country offers to participate in economic growth.