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“Full Employment” — It’s Bush’s Fault!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 7:55 pm - March 20, 2006.
Filed under: Post 9-11 America

Best job market in 5 years for grads – Reuters (shockingly)

U.S. college graduates are facing the best job market since 2001, with business, computer, engineering, education and health care grads in highest demand, a report by an employment consulting firm showed on Monday.

“We are approaching full employment and some employers are already dreaming up perks to attract the best talent,” said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In its annual outlook of entry-level jobs, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said strong job growth and falling unemployment makes this spring the hottest job market for America’s 1.4 million college graduates since the dot-com collapse in 2001.

The firm pointed to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers which showed employers plan to hire 14.5 percent more new college graduates than a year ago.

The survey also found higher starting salaries this year. Graduates with economic or finance degrees will see the biggest gain with starting salaries up 11 percent to $45,191, while accounting salaries are up 6.2 percent, business management salaries up 3.9 percent and pay for civil engineers 4.3 percent higher.

That horrible US economy under George W. Bush! How dare he!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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43 Comments

  1. Well, it nice that Bush has created such a nice economy in the nice way that the Clinton did during his term in office. It’s very nice to think that one person can have such a G’normous influence over such a vast entity as the American economy. It truly makes one go to sleep at night with nice thoughts about the future knowing that the American President can always fix the economy. It’s just all so very nice!

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — March 20, 2006 @ 8:24 pm - March 20, 2006

  2. Hmmm…shall we compare this with the French students rioting over not being able to find work…and wanting to be guaranteed life-time employment once they get one? The talented and ambitious are leaving in disgust for London. The unambitious are remeining behind. Post-graduate unemployment in France is 25%, and many are underemployed….and the same in Germany.

    It’s not necessarily GW Bush or Bill Clinton, it’s the overall strenth of the American economy and “hope”. And a capital- and taxation-structure that doesn’t strangle big business or small business. Although as a small business-owner, I’ll say that my after-taxes income certainly has not gone up…but atleast I’m still making a profit. I’m a (small-R) “republican” since I fear that the Democratic politicians will increase regulation and taxes.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — March 20, 2006 @ 8:38 pm - March 20, 2006

  3. Well Patrick (gryph), if you and yours didn’t place the blame for a bad economy, no matter how false, on this President’s shoulders as has been done, we wouldn’t feel the need – strike that – the responsibility to attribute this economy’s success so single-handedly to this same man. And let’s not forget that W has presided over this eceonomy in a time of war and despite economically devastating terrorist attacks; a much more difficult task than doing so in a time of relative peace as Clinton did in the 1990’s.

    Frankly, no conservative would ever believe that one man alone can change an economy as vast as ours. That is a liberal meme, not ours. It takes leadership and the will of the American entrepenurial spirit. Still, you’d blame this President for this economy’s collapse in a heartbeat so we will crow over its success based upon W’s efforts just the same.

    Comment by PatriotPartner — March 20, 2006 @ 8:43 pm - March 20, 2006

  4. I definately remember some 2004 rhetoric about how bad the economy was, and when told, “but the economy is good,” the answer would be “tell that to the people who can’t find jobs.”

    I wasn’t impressed. About the time I was getting ready to graduate from high school and slightly before that, unemployment was upwards of 10%. I remember that because it scared me. Yet even when things improve, a rural area is not the best for finding work. Years later, looking for a job in California, someone remarked on how hard it was to find work and I think I even said, you have no *idea* until you can look for 6 weeks just to find a fast food job because no one is hiring.

    But the complaints are necessary, no matter how divorced from reality. If the economy isn’t in the toilet it’s easy enough to just say it is anyway, and when challenged respond “tell that to the people who can’t find jobs.”

    Comment by Synova — March 20, 2006 @ 9:06 pm - March 20, 2006

  5. Well Patrick (gryph), if you and yours didn’t place the blame for a bad economy, no matter how false, on this President’s shoulders as has been done, we wouldn’t feel the need – strike that – the responsibility to attribute this economy’s success so single-handedly to this same man. ….

    I challenge you to ever find a place where I have said any such thing. I don’t think any President has a great deal of control of the economy. So assigning blame or praise is like a passenger at a bus stop being responsible for their bus picking them up on time. (or not) But I forgot… according to you and yours Sullivinian definition of a Flaming Liberal, I must be one. Piffle.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — March 20, 2006 @ 9:39 pm - March 20, 2006

  6. Patrick the difference is the economy during the Clinton years included an enormous tech bubble that was well, fantasy. When it burst ,hundreds of thousands of jobs vanished into thin air. They werent as dems are want to say “good jobs”. This economy is amazing and herein Pennsylvania we are approaching full employment. And as a businessman ,I must start looking to import temp workers so my business doesnt stagnate. all hail George W creator of jobs wealth and prosperity! If he hadnt have cut taxes, been the only driving force behind cutting em to spur us out of the Clinton recession, he wouldnt get as much credit from me.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — March 20, 2006 @ 9:47 pm - March 20, 2006

  7. #2 Charging Rhino, wish I’d have said that. Question? who had more devoted and rabid protesters the past 3 days….the anti war darlings or the anti job frencheys?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — March 20, 2006 @ 9:52 pm - March 20, 2006

  8. Let’s not forget the shrinking deficits (that no one likes to admit). This, of course, doesn’t have much to do with fiscal restraint on part of the congress, but with the growing tax revenues of an expanding economy.

    Comment by John — March 20, 2006 @ 10:41 pm - March 20, 2006

  9. Let’s face it, it is wrong to blame Bush 41 for economic problems during his term, wrong to credit Bill Clinton for the “boom” in the 90s, wrong to blame Bush 43 for problems early in his term and wrong to credit Bush 43 for any “boom” that exists today. The American economy is so big and so tied to the global economy that a president can have only limited influence, good or bad.

    By the way, much of rural America, where I live, has little idea what you’re talking about when you point to economic good times.

    Comment by Jack Allen — March 20, 2006 @ 11:09 pm - March 20, 2006

  10. #1, patrick – quite a clever post! keep ’em coming

    Comment by ralph — March 20, 2006 @ 11:44 pm - March 20, 2006

  11. You know the loons have left the cage when Patrick-the-Pink secures ralph’s approval and support. LOL

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 6:22 am - March 21, 2006

  12. Well I do agree with Patrick in that I don’t think a president has a whole lot of control over the economy, I think much of what happens is cyclical.

    However I do think the president and congress can encourage, set, and create policy that makes job growth more likely.

    Comment by just me — March 21, 2006 @ 6:38 am - March 21, 2006

  13. just me, here in Michigan we have the Nation’s highest unemployment rate, staggering budget deficits, a burdensome tax code, third rate schools pumping out second rate students while the teachers are some of the best paid in the US, a retrenching automobile industry and calls by the state Democrats for diversification of the economy… and all Democrat Governor “Good Smile” Granholm can offer is “It’s George Bush’s fault!!”

    Somewhere, even in the dark recesses of a liberal mind, a light must be going off and suggesting that blaming the Prez for a state’s economic woes is a fraud. Just like saddling him for all that’s wrong on the national economic stage –but the truth is, Presidents CAN and DO make a difference. The extent of their impact –both positive and negative– is debatable.

    For years, liberal historians have told millions of students that Hoover created the Depression and FDR saved us by enacting an aggressive federal jobs program. For years, liberal historians have told us that the wage & price controls of Nixon led to the Carter recessions. For years, liberal apologists have been trying to discount RR’s leadership on taxes and his persuasion to rekindle America’s entreprenuerial spirit. For less time we’ve heard everyone from AlGore to HowieDean try to tell us that BillyClinton’s slick embrace of high tech companies led to the last budget surpluses we will ever see.

    Guess what? Presidents can have an impact on the economy. They can have an impact on the global economy too –countries with solid leadership and coordination of economic interests do it routinely. Ask Japan. Ask Germany. Ask the French, if you can get them to put down the fire extinguishers.

    I think where Patrick and others go amiss is that they rush to blame the President for some things but are wont to give him credit when things go right. That’s the thrust of Bruce’s post here. And he’s right.

    Today I listened to Gallup’s leadership opine that a current poll shows Americans are pessimistic about the economy. Then he went on to note that economic issues are listed #2, 3, and 5 items in a survey of what’s wrong with America –Iraq was #1 with 19% of those polled identifying it as the chief concern (if I listen to the liberals, shouldn’t that number be like 60%?).

    The Gallup leadership then went on to say “there’s something for everyone to be concerned about… even the wealthy are concerned about paying for college education for their kids”. Good God, it’s like with the WOT, the polling is almost trying to led public opinion –shape the debate. The media has a stake in projecting doom & gloom; it sells. The Democrats want it to sell.

    I think Presidents can and do have an impact on the economy. You may see it as indirect. Patrick may never see it or be willing to admit it when the GOP is in the WH –unless it’s for ruin and damnation.

    But there you have it. Presidents CAN and DO have an impact on the national economy and –sometimes– can have an impact on the global economy as well.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 9:53 am - March 21, 2006

  14. just me, please see Jack Allen’s smarter, more concise comments above. He nailed it.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 9:58 am - March 21, 2006

  15. I think Presidents can and do have an impact on the economy. You may see it as indirect. Patrick may never see it or be willing to admit it when the GOP is in the WH –unless it’s for ruin and damnation.

    Not at all, I don’t think Clinton was responsible for his economy either.

    There is simply not a great deal a President can do to affect the economy. And the Federal deficit is going to be around long after this Administration is gone. If its a Dem in the White House are you going to blame him for that?

    The Congress has more of an ability to influence the economy than the President does. And the Federal Reserve board of course. And of course, this Congress has set such a good example of fiscal responsibility. -Not. They are actually worse than the Democrats.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — March 21, 2006 @ 12:16 pm - March 21, 2006

  16. #13 Lord knows I’m really concerned about those rich folks who worry about how to pay tuition at Yale.

    Not.

    Maybe instead of the Mercedes or Beemer they could make do with a V-Dub.

    Geez Louise.

    Comment by Synova — March 21, 2006 @ 12:51 pm - March 21, 2006

  17. C’mon GP, it’s the best since 2001, which was also a year Bush was in power. And when in 2001? Pre or Post 9/11. This is one of those stats that the GOP throws out there to state that we have a good economy, when 95% of the indicators state the opposite.

    Comment by Juan Penalosa — March 21, 2006 @ 12:51 pm - March 21, 2006

  18. #13

    What I actually meant to say was “Truth by Poll”.

    I blogged on that. 😉

    Comment by Synova — March 21, 2006 @ 12:52 pm - March 21, 2006

  19. Patrick, I didn’t expect you’d agree –bigots hold grudges when they’re called out and you’re no different than a white robed, pointy headed bigot when it comes to smearing all who believe in Islam.

    Presidents CAN and DO affect the national economy –they can also impact the global economy when working in concert with other economic policy players (some you note).

    I didn’t write that you thought Clinton was/was not responsible for the economy while President. I wrote that you were physcially incapable of giving credit to any GOP President for any achievement on the economy –in fact, on second thought, it’s probably more like a pathological barrier for you. That point is what we call a “truth”, Patrick.

    You obviously flunked history, political science, civics, and –if you took any–even economics in high school. The list of significant accomplishments of Presidents, leaders in other countries, and institutions in the world to affect economic change –either for constructive purposes or to an untoward end– is simply too long to point out to someone so short on insight or so filled with a fundamental unwillingness to learn.

    To answer your question, though, I’m not concerned about the federal deficit. I’m not concerned about balance of trade, either. I am concerned that this economy is doing much better than any liberal will provide credit but that’s understandable. And I won’t hold the federal deficit against any Democrat elected to the WH in 25-30 years because it’s going to take a generation before the Democrats are allowed back into power.

    You’ve never shown a readiness to abandon poorly formed opinions, Patrick. I don’t expect it from you now.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 1:13 pm - March 21, 2006

  20. C’mon GP, it’s the best since 2001, which was also a year Bush was in power. And when in 2001? Pre or Post 9/11. This is one of those stats that the GOP throws out there to state that we have a good economy, when 95% of the indicators state the opposite.

    Boozh, I’m surprised to see you here. How can you call this GOP blather when it’s Reuters reporting it? That is cut and past from the article, not an administration report. Reuters has not exactly been a propaganda arm for the administration. And are you saying 95% of the indicators show a stale or bad economy??????????????????? What indicators are those? I have seen some of the ones the Dems trot out to downplay the strength of economic growth. They cherrypick the worst they can find and ignore those that show otherwise, just as Kerry did in his presidential bid. I can do that too. Many pool service companies in the greater LA area are laying off workers and closing or moving to the San Joaquin Valley because the cost of housing, combined with the high cost of gas are forcing many home owners in the area to cancel their service and maintain their pool themselves. That’s bad, but you can’t base your “Bad Economy” argument on that because it is just one example of a regional micro-economic trend and doesn’t bear much weight when looking at the overall economy. Yet those are the typical examples Bush’s opponents trot out to try to show a bad economy. The condition of the economy is based on the summary of thousands of indicators, not on any one or small group of hand picked indicators. Every good economy has bad sectors. The Clinton years were bad for some sectors, good for others. Look at the manufacturing sector job loss during the “Clinton Boom”. But you couldn’t argue that the economy was bad based on a number of bad sectors during that period when the preponderance of the evidence shows otherwise. It’s also why you can’t honestly call the 2001 recession the Bush recession because all of the indicators were showing growing trends of economic weakness that started in 1998, probably started when the government filed the lawsuit against Microsoft. I knew we were in trouble when economists talking heads were starting to speculate that the Clinton administration’s economic policies has finally defeated the economic cycle.

    Comment by sonicfrog — March 21, 2006 @ 1:58 pm - March 21, 2006

  21. I can see the GOP slogan now: Two jobs for every grad!

    Seriously, though, Bush has been good for the economy, mostly because of that tax cuts the Dems keep grousing about. But if we don’t reduce domestic spending ASAP, we’ll have to pay the money back — with usurious interest.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 21, 2006 @ 2:40 pm - March 21, 2006

  22. Patrick, I didn’t expect you’d agree –bigots hold grudges when they’re called out and you’re no different than a white robed, pointy headed bigot when it comes to smearing all who believe in Islam.

    I think there must be lead in that tin foil hat you are wearing. It’s seeped into your brain. Again, if you can prove that I ever said such a thing, then do so. otherwise shut up. Its true I don’t think Islam is a good religion. I also don’t think Communism is a good idea either, that doesn’t make me bigoted toward communists. I don’t believe that all religions are equivalent in net moral worth. Thats because, unlike you, I’m not a moral relativist. Right and Wrong does exist. I’m sorry thats not Politically Correct enough for a long-haired hippie wannabe like yourself, you will just have to live with it.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — March 21, 2006 @ 3:12 pm - March 21, 2006

  23. I still think that much of what happens to an economy is outside of a presidents ability to control-especially in the area of job growth and job creation (sorry but a president doesn’t create jobs). What a president can control are the conditions that make for strong job growth and a strong economy.

    Much of what happens though is cyclical-there are always going to be highs and lows in any economy, the key is creating conditions that make the highs strong and the lows short.

    And if you get to specific industry problems-there really isn’t much a president can or really should do for that industry-the problems within the industry have to be solved by the industry or see their product go somewhere else. Certain industries have seen this happen-textile and the auto industry have both seen this happen.

    Comment by just me — March 21, 2006 @ 3:44 pm - March 21, 2006

  24. just me: latest case of a president actually creating jobs? How about BillClinton’s hire of 100,000 community police officers to make Americans feel safer? Granted, 100k in the sea of total employment isn’t much –but for college campus police depts it was a boon. How about the military expansion under W? Aren’t those jobs he’s mostly responsible for creating? How about RR’s Star Wars Initiative –he created a ton of jobs in the aerospace industry by pressing that federal program into place.

    And you’re right –Presidents can create the right economic conditions for job growth and job creation in the private sector… but, then, that’s positively affecting the economy, no? I argue they CAN and DO affect the national economy –Patrick the bigot says No.

    You sort of shifted the question to: can a president create jobs? But to answer that question, yes, in a limited way. Can the president effect the national economy through his/her actions? You bet. In the last century, FDR literally recreated America’s economy through massive federal expansions and shoving us into war. Nixon nearly destroyed the economy with his wage and price controls. Carter ruined investor confidence in America with his silly backward, Georgia swamp, peanut farmer economic policies and malaise in leadership. Ever hear of investor confidence? Come on, this is a no-brainer.

    If you’re now arguing that many of the micro-decisons made in a national economy are outside the President’s direct control –sure, I agree. But the question Bruce raises is fair: if the Democrats and Patrick (cause he’s playing the “I am an Independent” fiction card) can torch the President on the national economy, why, when things are going well in many sectors, can’t he take some credit.

    At least he isn’t like AlGore –claiming on one hand to be the father of the Internet and the greatest peacetime expansion in history.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 4:54 pm - March 21, 2006

  25. Patrick, you’ve been hanging around SpongeBob SquarePants too much… the sea water is getting to you.

    No, you wrote that Islam is a bad religion –not “Its (sic) true I don’t think Islam is a good religion”. Then, being an equal opportunity bigot, you took a swipe at Christians, too. Nawh, that’s a hatefilled bigoted attitude you got there Patrick. Like I wrote: bigots hate being held to account.

    Please refrain from telling me, in your cheap imitation of a union hall goon, to “shut up”. Like my 8 yr old son is fond of saying to bullys on the playground: You aint the boss of me. Bullys are often bigots, Patrick.

    As for this screed “Thats because, unlike you, I’m not a moral relativist. Right and Wrong does exist. I’m sorry thats not Politically Correct enough for a long-haired hippie wannabe like yourself, you will just have to live with it.”

    I can only write it’s tough to respond to rants, screeds and spewing hate. Where ever did you get long-haired hippie wanna be? or that I endorse only Politically Correct? or that I’m a moral relativist? Is this all seawater bilge? Or are you seriously adrift on the sea and grasping at any mirage on the horizon?

    Patrick, for someone who doesn’t read posts by VdaK or me, you seem to fixated on the notion of denying your true bigoted inner self. Could you be a self-loathing bigot? Just curious, you big pink starfish.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 5:05 pm - March 21, 2006

  26. “I can only write it’s tough to respond to rants, screeds and spewing hate.”

    Remember this?

    “You’re an atheist along with the whole anti-America, anti-business, anti-GOP, anti-conservative, anti-Life Democrat/GayLeft/Unionized Educator waltz boi…. I hope God wipes that smirk off your face right before she sends your sorry ass to Hell for an eternity. You deserve nothing less.”

    YOU dare say someone spews hate? YOU, who have littered this site with your invective? You hypocrite.

    Comment by hank — March 21, 2006 @ 5:38 pm - March 21, 2006

  27. Hank, once again, what is incorrect in that statement about you? Come on, bigboi… you haven’t been able to answer that in days and days.

    I didn’t defame Islam. Patrick the Big Pink Starfish did… but you got some room to wiggle.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 5:49 pm - March 21, 2006

  28. But the question Bruce raises is fair: if the Democrats and Patrick (cause he’s playing the “I am an Independent” fiction card) can torch the President on the national economy, why, when things are going well in many sectors, can’t he take some credit.

    This I think is a fair question. But since I wasn’t on the “It’s all Bush’s fault because the economy isn’t booming” bandwagon, I can still say that I think the main influence a president (and congress) has on the economy is creation of economic conditions that favor growth-but when it comes to many of the nitty gritty details, it is mostly outside the presidents control.

    Comment by just me — March 21, 2006 @ 7:16 pm - March 21, 2006

  29. Fair enough, just me. Didn’t mean to imply you were part of any bandwagon –apology extended.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 21, 2006 @ 7:30 pm - March 21, 2006

  30. Everyone-
    Let’s tone down the personal references, please.

    Comment by GayPatriot — March 21, 2006 @ 8:54 pm - March 21, 2006

  31. Since conservatives like Bill Hobbs (http://billhobbs.com/hobbsonline/003156.html) have been claiming that “the Clinton recession” was responsible for the federal budget deficit, does this mean that all this growth will now automatically balance the federal budget? No more recession, no more deficit. Right? Isn’t that orthodox neocon theology?

    If there is no longer a recession going on, what excuse do Republicans have now for their continuing failure to do what Bill Clinton did four years in a row–namely, to balance the budget?

    Comment by Anonymous — March 21, 2006 @ 9:05 pm - March 21, 2006

  32. I get tired of liberals who when a republican is president, and the economy booms say he s not responsible. Reagan, Bush 43. But when Clinton has the same, they credit him.And they did credit him at the time. When i ask democrats who will have a civil exchange, to name 3 or 4 things Clinton did in his 8 years, they list usually 3…..the family leave act, welfare reform (a conservative, republican initiative) and his “great economy”.
    If you dont want to credit Bush 43 then take point #3 away from Clinton. Most liberals dispise welfare reform and cant believe Bill signed it. So in 8 years Mr Clinton’s legacey was the family leave act.
    Over the weekend the ancient medias latest story line is the Bush 43 people are tired and a shake up may be needed. If they are, anywonder. After 8 years of wasted leadership. W said it his first week , “I’m here to lead”. To not credit him for the economy, means tax cuts dont spur economic growth. I dont know anyone who believes that.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — March 21, 2006 @ 10:19 pm - March 21, 2006

  33. #31
    does this mean that all this growth will now automatically balance the federal budget?

    Yes, it does. A growing economy causes tax revenues to increase. When tax revenues increase at a larger rate than spending, deficits disappear. Currently, tax revenues are increasing at roughly twice the level of federal spending. It’s what happened in the 90s and it could very well happen again.

    Comment by John — March 21, 2006 @ 10:54 pm - March 21, 2006

  34. 33: True, John. But our spending is growing, too. It’s all but given that our current reductions are insufficient. If the economy takes even a slight dip, we’ll have to raise taxes to cover current spending — just like state governments had to raise taxes in the early ’00s. What made Bush’s tax cut possible was the fiscal restraint Congressional Republicans imposed during the Clinton administration.

    BTW, I’m wondering: Are taxes really going down overall? True, federal taxes are lower — Bush’s one area of unqualified success — but in much of the country, state taxes have gone up. (Republican and Democratic governors are equally responsible for this.) Plus, in many hot real-estate markets, assessments have shot through the roof, and local governments have not reduced property taxes to compensate.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 22, 2006 @ 4:57 am - March 22, 2006

  35. #34
    But our spending is growing, too

    Spending grew every year of Clinton administration and we still ended up with budget surpluses.

    If the economy takes even a slight dip, we’ll have to raise taxes to cover current spending

    Taxes don’t cover current spending now. Are you suggesting we raises taxes? If so, which ones and by how much? Do you think there is any relation between tax rates and economic growth?

    in much of the country, state taxes have gone up

    and now that the economy has rebounded, these states are seeing surpluses and are considering tax cuts as well as increases in government spending. My guess is more spending.

    assessments have shot through the roof

    Maybe it’s just me, but I like it when the value of my home increases.

    Comment by John — March 22, 2006 @ 9:07 am - March 22, 2006

  36. Tim #34, are taxes really going down you ask?

    Here in Michigan the last governor –who was a GOPer– cut taxes overall by about $3.8b and found a way to insulate seniors from being pushed out their homes by rising prop taxes. The GOP state House and Senate are trying to cut onerous business taxes and prevent new taxes from being enacted.

    The Dem Gov wants to keep the business tax, wants to add classes of merchandise and services taxable under the sales tax, and wants to change prop taxes so that schools can get additional monies.

    We have about a $1b structural budget deficit and most of the Dems say “raise taxes” and the GOPers counter with “cut spending”. The truth is, there will never be enough $$ for schools, colleges, cities, state govt because they’ve come to expect a large share of funding through state govt. Cutting taxes under the last GOPer gov was great, but he also needed to cut govt programs more deeply and ween colleges off the state trough –that didn’t happen because state revenues continued to pour in.

    It looks like the Dem Governor will lose her power this fall because of her lack of leadership, her embrace of anti business taxes, and her failure to do much for Michigan beyond blame Geo Bush for the economy.

    Taxes going down in Michigan? Yep, but the reductions were put in place by GOPers and, some new ones, will be over the Dem Governor’s politically dead body.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 22, 2006 @ 3:00 pm - March 22, 2006

  37. Ummm, John… you just contradicted yourself. You said that cutting taxes causes the economy to grow… and then you said that the economy has rebounded in the States that have raised taxes. Which is it? According to what you yourself say, cutting or raising taxes is really irrelevant to economic growth… the economy is rebounding in the States that raised taxes and in the ones that didn’t. You said it yourself.

    If your position is correct, then the States that raised taxes should not be recovering economically, or at least they should be recovering less than those States that did not. But there is no evidence of that. Why are States that raised taxes recovering just as well as the States that didn’t? Why are some States that raised taxes recovering MORE than those that didn’t? It just doesn’t make sense…

    Comment by Anonymous — March 22, 2006 @ 5:47 pm - March 22, 2006

  38. #38
    You said that cutting taxes causes the economy to grow

    Where did I say that? I always try to avoid such blanket statements. I did ask Tim what he thought the relation was between the level of taxation and the economy. I’ll ask you the same.

    Anyway, it is a little more complicated than that.

    For a short example, let’s say in the down times states raised excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. That would generate an increase in income with little effect on the overall economy (except for maybe the black market economy). These types of taxes are rarely repealed for that reason.

    You would also have to look at a state by state basis to see what taxes/fees were raised and who paid the increase, compared to the offset of the lowering of federal taxes. Some level of taxation is necessary. Finding the correct balance is the tricky part.

    Comment by John — March 22, 2006 @ 7:35 pm - March 22, 2006

  39. Just an afterthought. When I pay my state and local taxes I know that my money will stay in my state/locality. It won’t be spent on a bridge to nowhere in Alaska or a rain forest in Iowa.

    Also, for a more detailed look at state budget matters, check out this (pdf file).

    Comment by John — March 22, 2006 @ 7:47 pm - March 22, 2006

  40. 36: Spending grew every year of Clinton administration and we still ended up with budget surpluses.

    That’s because the economy outpaced federal spending during the Clinton administration: Governmental growth was kept to a minimum, thanks to Congressional Republicans. As a result, Federal spending relative to GDP was lower in 2000 than in 1994. State governments, on the other hand, used revenues from the 1990s economic boom to fund massive new social programs, and when the economy took a mild downturn in Bush’s first term, even Republican governors like Riley and Huckabee were pushing for tax increases. It’s the old fable of the grasshopper and the ants (except that the grasshopper managed to survive the winter by taking more of our money).

    Taxes don’t cover current spending now. Are you suggesting we raise taxes?

    I would prefer we didn’t, but I’m not sure how we can avoid it at this point. I would love to believe that economic growth will cover all our new spending now and forever, but we have some massive new entitlements — as well as old ones like Social Security — which make these rosy forecasts less than plausible.

    As for the link between lower taxes and economic growth, by now that’s established fact. Reducing taxes isn’t the only factor in economic growth, but it may be the most important one.

    and now that the economy has rebounded, these states are seeing surpluses and are considering tax cuts as well as increases in government spending. My guess is more spending.

    That’s what is happening in Virginia, where Democratic governor Mark Warner teamed up with Republicans in the General Assembly to pass a massive tax hike — which turned out to be completely unnecessary. Since the taxes only recently took effect, we haven’t felt their negative economic impact yet. If the General Assembly manages to lower taxes this year (highly unlikely with Democratic governor Tim Kaine in charge), we may dodge the proverbial bullet.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I like it when the value of my home increases.

    I like it, too — but the value of your home isn’t the same as the tax assessment on your home. In many parts of Virginia, homeowners are paying 20% more in property taxes from last year to this. (For Arlington County, the increase was more like 40%.) That’s a major hit, affecting everyone from landlords to small business owners: It drives the cost of living up. For elderly people who own their own homes, these skyrocketing assessments can spell disaster.

    MM: I’m glad to hear Michigan has a fiscally responsible Republican governor. Perhaps Alabama and Arkansas could borrow him for a while (at least Alabama voters could reject Riley’s tax increase). Fiscal conservatives are rare in the GOP, and they’re extinct everywhere else.

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 22, 2006 @ 8:08 pm - March 22, 2006

  41. In that last post, the word “has” in the final paragraph should read “had.”

    Comment by Tim Hulsey — March 22, 2006 @ 8:10 pm - March 22, 2006

  42. Tim in #41

    That’s because the economy outpaced federal spending during the Clinton administration

    No, it is because tax receipts, due to the growing economy, outpaced spending. Government can grow by whatever rate and show a surplus if tax revenues are growing at a greater rate. Spending as a percentage of GDP is a good indicator of how big government is, but in itself doesn’t determine deficits/surpluses. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of fiscal restraint. The combination of larger tax receipts and smaller government is a much more prudent way of getting in the black.

    I would prefer we didn’t[raise taxes], but I’m not sure how we can avoid it at this point. I would love to believe that economic growth will cover all our new spending now and forever

    If I understand you correctly, while our current deficits are shrinking, you are suggesting raising taxes to pay for future costs.

    I would advocate reforming the programs in question and leave tax rates where they are.

    but we have some massive new entitlements — as well as old ones like Social Security

    We only have one new entitlement; Medicare Part D. A big mess, yes but I think some sort of prescription plan is necessary. To make it feasible, it should me means tested.

    but the value of your home isn’t the same as the tax assessment on your home

    Property taxes are assessed on the value of the property. Most, if not all, taxing bodies must base their assessment on some sort of actual value. Where I live, there is an appeal process where you can contest their assessment.

    For elderly people who own their own homes, these skyrocketing assessments can spell disaster

    We have a senior property tax freeze here (in Illinois), which I think is fair. If you don’t have that in Virginia, the seniors can sell their property for a killing and move to a low property tax, no income tax state like Florida. That is what usually happens when states get greedy.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. Apart from the above, I think we agree on more things than we disagree.

    Comment by John — March 22, 2006 @ 11:17 pm - March 22, 2006

  43. For the best tax rates for GayPatriot seniors, see here.

    Comment by John — March 22, 2006 @ 11:44 pm - March 22, 2006

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