Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Snow wanders off the reservation on jobs predictions 

Who does he think he is? Paul O'Neill? Edmund Andrews of The Times writes:

Treasury Secretary John W. Snow distanced himself on Tuesday from the Bush administration's official prediction that the nation would add 2.6 million jobs by the end of this year.

Unemployment and the nation's surprisingly sluggish pace of job creation has become a significant political weakness for Mr. Bush, who is on track to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to end his first term with fewer jobs than when he started.

What with the war spending, and the Republicans spending like drunken sailors, it would be pretty amazing if the economy didn't respond to what looks to this non-economist like a good old-fashioned Keynesian stimulus, well-timed for an election year.

Will spending on weaponry, losing our manufacturers, outsourcing our knowledge-based industries, and replacing good jobs with McJobs and security guard work make for a healthy economy and a happy body politic? I don't know. Some days it looks to me like the only growth industry is lying: Sure looks like a lot of Republicans are making good money at it.

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