HOW ABOUT THE GEORGE BUSH ECONOMIC CONTRACTION PLAN OF 2005?….One of the things that poor old Jimmy Carter gets no credit for is the fact that he didn’t try to juice the economy in 1979 to coincide with his reelection campaign in 1980. He had other problems as well, of course, but he certainly paid the price for this particular piece of Southern Baptist integrity.

George Bush, on the other hand, apparently has no similar voice in his head to guide him. Quite the contrary, in fact:

The administration’s estimates show its proposal would boost economic growth by only 0.4% this year, but 1.1% in 2004. The projections suggest the plan could have a contracting effect of half a point or more in 2005.

The estimates — and especially the conclusion that the administration’s plan would pack its biggest punch in the midst of the presidential campaign in 2004 — apparently sparked controversy inside the Bush camp. Bush press aides ordered them yanked from a White House Web site only hours after they appeared following the president’s Tuesday speech unveiling the package.

(Emphasis mine.)

You can argue about whether or not the economy needs a stimulus right now, but how do you justify a plan that by their own estimates will provide a significant stimulus for only one year ? 2004, by coincidence ? and actually has a negative impact in 2005, when the election is over?

But then, this is the same administration that spent two solid pre-election months in 2002 making sure that the Iraqi resolution in the UN stayed front and center, needlessly delaying any chance at agreement until the very day of the election. Then they let it die.

Are these guys a piece of work, or what?

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