“ONE, TWO … FIVE!”
|| By FITSNEWS || In case you missed it, the American economy isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders. In fact the latest gross domestic product projections look downright terrible. Almost as though the country is headed into another recession. Err, bagel.
Establishment “Republican” presidential hopeful Jeb Bush thinks he can fix that. The former Florida governor gave a speech earlier this year in Detroit in which he claimed his administration would – in contrast to the policies of Barack Obama – “stimulate” economic growth to the tune of four percent a year.
Wait … just four percent? During his 2012 presidential campaign, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty vowed to hit the five percent annual growth mark – although his setting of that “big, positive goal” clearly did not translate into popular support for his candidacy.
So … when was the last time the American economy grew at a five percent clip? 1984.
That’s right … more than three decades ago. The last time it grew at a four percent clip? 2000. Fifteen years ago …
In fact, GDP grew at four percent or better from 1997-2000 – roughly mirroring the second term of former U.S. president Bill Clinton. Of course as this website noted at the outset of the “Great Recession,” Clinton’s economic legacy was tarnished by his administration’s support for politically correct home loan mandates which helped usher in the utter collapse of America’s sub-prime lending market.
Since 2000, peak U.S. GDP clocked in at 3.8 percent in 2004. It last hit the three percent threshold in 2005 – at 3.5 percent.
By contrast, growth exceeded five percent in twelve out of thirty years from 1950-1980. And it exceeded four percent in seventeen out of those thirty years.
Of course this was before the era of obscenely big government – before the perpetual expansion of the welfare state, before the dawn of unchecked crony capitalism, before the radical redistribution of wealth, before Obamacare and before two totally unsuccessful “Wars on Terror.”
In one of our favorite West Wing episodes, fictitious U.S. president Jed Bartlett discusses the difference between a “robust” and “anemic” economy.
“I’ll tell you what else; historically two to two-and-a-half percent GDP expansion is classified as lackluster – even anemic economic growth,” he explained. “Four-and-a-half to five percent is needed just to be considered robust and not even spectacular.”
Well America’s economy has been anemic for a long time … and it will continue to be as long as “Republicans” and Democrats in Washington, D.C. continue pursuing their current fiscal policies.
In fact aside from his rock solid views on education, we’ve seen nothing from Bush to indicate he would actually pursue the sort of policies that would put free markets first.