Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Thursday, June 17, 2004

That's what I'm sayin'
Written by: Beck

OK, this is a partial transcript from Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics, but it highlights a point I (and others) have been making for a while here. The economy is doing great, but most people don't realize it because the media refuses to report on it. It's longish, but don't worry, there's plenty of white space for those who can't handle more than a handful of paragraphs (I kid!). Here, I'll even toss out some bold text for the really important bits.

WOODRUFF: The spotlight in the coming days on the campaign trail will be on the economy. While President Bush promotes an economic recovery, Senator John Kerry says it is not being felt by a lot of people. Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, takes a closer look at this issue that always seems to play a big role in the battle for the Oval Office.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Here's a little secret: the nation's economy is actually doing very well. President Bush has been trying to spread the word.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It shows that our economy is vital and growing. We've added 900,000 jobs over the last three months and 1.4 million jobs since last August.

SCHNEIDER: At that rate, the administration's projection of 2.6 million new jobs this year, a figure that was widely ridiculed a few months ago, now looks too low. Are happy times here again? Not if you ask the people who matter, the voters.

Only 35 percent say the country's economy is in good shape. President Bush's job approval on the economy is still low. It hasn't budged in months.

Don't people believe the good economic statistics? No, they don't. There's always a time lag between statistics and perceptions.

President Bush can ask his father about that. In June, 1992, the economy was more than a year into recovery but job growth was slow. Only 12 percent thought the nation's economy was doing well. The first President Bush had to argue that things were better than they had been 12 years earlier, in 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president.

GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Misery Index, the sum of inflation and unemployment, is 10.8 percent, down from 19.6 percent in 1980.

SCHNEIDER: How about when Bill Clinton ran for reelection in 1996? In May, 1996, the public's view of the economy was actually worse than it is now. But things picked up very fast. By the fall, nearly half thought times were good. Good enough for President Clinton to get comfortably reelected.

And look at the figure for May 2000. Wow. Sixty-six percent said times were good. But it didn't quite work out for Al Gore. Critics say he tried too hard to distance himself from Clinton's record.

Right now, when you ask people about the economy, they may not be thinking about growth rates and jobs created. They may be thinking about gas prices and health care costs, the bad news. The Bush campaign is trying to create a sense of economic momentum: we're on a roll here, folks. BUSH: And one reason I need to stay in the office is to make sure that we don't ruin the incentives and don't stop the momentum of economic growth by failed Washington D.C. policies.



SCHNEIDER: Here's another reason why the good economic news may not be having much impact. It's not being reported. A study by Media Tenor, an independent media analysis institute, reveals that news coverage of President Bush's economic policy has practically vanished from the major broadcast networks since the beginning of the year. It's all been Iraq. The improving economy is a secret.

WOODRUFF: But we're talking about it here?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, we are.

WOODRUFF: OK. Bill Schneider, thank you very much.
Yes, Judy, you were talking about it, but unfortunately, I don't think anyone actually watches Inside Politics. Still, it's a good sign when CNN's own senior political analyst realizes what's going on & is willing to talk about it.

(H/T: Best of the Web)

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