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Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Carpetbagger Report > Once again, taking 'stock' of Bush's record

"From time to time, it's helpful to look back and see how the administration performs by its own standards. In February 2004, for example, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was on CNN defending the Bush administration's economic policies. When Judy Woodruff noted the president's poor record on job creation, Chao suggested there's only one number that matters.

Woodruff: I want to cite the one economic analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston. He said, these are his words, quote, 'very disappointing; we're not getting the jobs to replace the stimulus in the economy which will fade once the first quarter ends.' Another economist said, 'It's the weakest job-creation rate relative to economic growth on record.'

Chao: Well, the stock market is, after all, the final arbiter.

In retrospect, Chao may have wanted to pick a different standard of measurement, because if the stock market is 'the final arbiter,' Bush has some explaining to do.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones closed at 10,706.14. On the day Bush was sworn into office in January 2001, the Dow Jones stood at 10,732.46.

In other words, after five-and-a-half years of Bush's presidency and a series of budget-busting tax cuts, the stock market has a cumulative gain of negative 26 points.

Under Reagan, the Dow went up 148%. Under Clinton, it grew 187%. After five-and-a-half years, Bush isn't quite breaking even.

Sure, Republican administrations have consistently under-performed Democratic administrations on stock market growth, but who would have guessed that nearly five years after Bush took office, the Dow wouldn't have grown at all?
Tags: stock market, Dow Jones, Bush, Reagan, Clinton

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