Kerry Excuses Bush

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More from the Meet the Press interview:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator, again, in the interest of candor and clarity, you have promised to create 10 million jobs...


MR. RUSSERT: ...and cut the deficit in half in your first four years.

SEN. KERRY: Yes, sir.

MR. RUSSERT: If you don't achieve those goals, would you pledge that you would not seek re-election?

SEN. KERRY: Well, it would depend on the circumstances. If I don't because there's a war or something terrible happens, of course I'm not going to make that pledge.

Bush has seen two major military conflicts amidst an ongoing terrorism conflict, not to mention something terrible happening on 9-11. Just remember Kerry's predictive excuse the next time he complains that we haven't seen enough new jobs under Bush. He's already excused him for that.


Kerry may have excused him but I have not. Nor should I have to. We must remember the problem with Bush is that he has not created enough new jobs. He is not a genie and he can't make them out of thin air. The problem I have with him is that he still feeding us a line of Bull, that everything is going great when American people are hurting. Productivity is up because companies have to make their sales with fewer people. Unemployment is down because people have stopped looking for work NOT because they found any. Real wages are down when adjusted to inflation. Health care is going though the roof. Information jobs are being off shored. And there is still a general uncertainty when it comes to the economy. And he is ignoring all of this because a few economists (which I doubt he understands completely) say the economy is doing better.

Where's your logic, Jeremy? Kerry declares that he'll create 10 million jobs unless there's a war, while Bush has decided to lose 10 million jobs in the case of war. Just b/c Kerry doesn't create 10 million jobs in case of a war doesn't mean he excuses Bush for both not creating, and losing 10 million jobs in case of a war. For shame!

Isn't there a little bit of confusion about causation here, Mark? The problem is exactly parallel. Bush was faced at the beginning of his presidency with an economic downturn that including jobs loss, and it was made far worse by 9-11. If Kerry gets elected this fall, and the jobs situation doesn't improve, then it will be fair to say that he'll also be inheriting a problem from those who went before him, and if he thinks a war or something terrible happening would excuse him, then by parallel reasoning it would excuse Bush. Describing it the way you did is the shame, assuming you were serious. It's such an outrageous claim (that Bush decided to lost jobs and therefore started a war) that I'm not sure if you meant it.

Now I don't think there's anything to excuse Bush of. There would have to be a wrong done, and I think he's done what's in his power to speed the eventual recovery. These things take time and aren't easily helped by immediate government action. It's a little unfair to blame much of this sort of thing on presidents alone, even without huge events like wars and terrorist attacks, since other factors play a large role, e.g. Congress, state governments, other economies in the world who interact with us, etc.

Ben, I think you're not paying attention to what Bush actually says. You can't talk about recovery and progress without implying that there's something to recover from, so it's unfair to him to claim that he pretends there are no problems. He's focusing on what good is happening for two reasons. One is political. It makes him look better and helps people see what good his policies are doing. The second is that it's necessary. People aren't going to be productive (in the economic sense) unless they think positively. It's the job of the president to focus on the positives.

I'd dispute a number of your other claims (and their relevance as independent issues whose causes I would diagnose differently), but during grading season some things unfortunately just won't be able to receive the kind of response I'd like to give. That doesn't mean I've been convinced.

Hey J.,
Well, only half serious. Of course Bush didn't decide to lose jobs, he just decided not to do anything about the job loss other than cut taxes. Anyways, I'd still insist there is a difference. Bush has not merely not created enough jobs, many jobs were lost, millions of them, under his watch. So, Kerry saying that a war excuses job growth is not the same as saying that it excuses job loss. I do agree with you, though, that too many people put too much of an emphasis on a president's power in these regards (as well as this annoying tendency, both for Republicans and Democrats, to take credit for all the good things occuring during their presidency and blame all the bad things occuring then on the previous administration. The president is an executive, and can merely enforce legislation, propose some, veto some, fix budgets, and rally armed forces. There is far too much emphasis/responsiblity placed on presidents and their responsibilities. Still, a president is responsible to the degree that they can respond, or refuse to respond. Bush has merely cut taxes, and hasn't done enough to stimulate job growth. I'd like to know what empirical work's been done to prove that trickle-down economics actually work, 'cause it seems counterintuitive to me, but I don't like engaging in the kind of rants on either side based on principles that are either untested or based on dubious principles of human psychology. Ok,

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