Just As I Thought

Blame it on Clinton - still.

Dubya has now begun blaming Bush Recession II on Bill Clinton.

“Two-and-a-half years ago, we inherited an economy in recession,” he told donors at a Bush-Cheney ’04 reception yesterday in Miami. He has raised the same accusation in fundraising appearances since mid-June in Washington, Georgia, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

It’s a good applause line for a crowd of red-meat political supporters. The trouble is it’s a case of what the president has called, in another context, revisionist history. The recession officially began in March of 2001 — two months after Bush was sworn in — according to the universally acknowledged arbiter of such things, the National Bureau of Economic Research. And the president, at other times, has said so himself.

The bad news came on Nov. 26, 2001. The NBER, led by an informal economic adviser to Bush, Martin Feldstein, pronounced that economic activity peaked in March 2001, “a determination that the expansion that began in March 1991 ended in March 2001 and a recession began.”

I will admit that Bill Clinton presided over a massive economic upswing that was – in my opinion – almost entirely false, based as it was on .coms that never made a profit nor produced a real product. I’m not entirely sure how much one could blame the President for that sort of thing – nor for the collapse of it. What you can blame a President for is not taking sufficient nor correct steps to get out of it.

Mr. Bush, who ran in part against Mr. Clinton, a non-candidate, has decided to run against him again! Guys, one more time: Bill Clinton is no longer President. He is not running for President. Get a new strategy. And Karl Rove, stop manipulating facts.

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