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July 6, 2004
Economy Poised To Be Best In 20 Years: AP

In a major boost to George Bush's re-election bid, the AP's Martin Crutsinger reports that the economic expansion may be the best since 1984:

The economy appears headed for a banner year despite a springtime spike in energy prices and a recent increase in interest rates. In fact, many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.6 percent or better this year, the fastest in two decades.

There were strong 4.5 percent growth rates in 1997 and 1999, when Bill Clinton was president and the country was in the midst of a record 10-year expansion.

But if this year's growth ends up a bit faster than that, it will be the best since the economy roared ahead at a 7.2 percent rate in 1984, a year when another Republican president Ronald Reagan was running for re-election.

Kerry and Edwards may have more problems trying to sell the "two Americas" theme that Edwards trotted out in the primaries, while the growth was still new and uncertain. With the economy continuing to expand and creating jobs in all sectors, especially manufacturing, the pressure will be on Kerry and Edwards to explain how they can create a better economy than one that grows at an estimated 4.8%, faster than any year during the Clinton administration. Raising taxes, as Kerry has repeatedly promised (in the guise of "rolling back the Bush tax cuts") will only kill off the capital investments needed to keep the momentum going.

NOTE: This outcome was predicted Saturday on our radio show by my Northern Alliance colleague, King Banian of SCSU Scholars. If you're not already reading King for economics and education issues, make sure you start now. And then drop him an e-mail and tell him to get a real hosting service so he can simplify the URL ...

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 6, 2004 5:00 PM

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