Skip to comments.Policy Memo: Economic Comparison Between 1996 And 2004
Posted on 06/22/2004 12:14:41 PM PDT by RWR8189
FROM: BC'04 POLICY DEPARTMENT
John Kerry is traveling the nation on his misery tour, inundating voters with his pessimism about America's economy. What voters may not realize, however, is that the growing economy that Kerry continues to talk down is remarkably similar to the economy Bill Clinton touted during his 1996 reelection campaign and that Kerry speaks of in glowing terms. Unemployment was 5.6 percent in May 1996, the exact same level as it is now. The average monthly payroll growth from January to May 1996 was 233,000 jobs, and from January to May 2004 the economy created an average of 238,000 jobs each month. Many key economic indicators are stronger today than in 1996, including GDP growth and homeownership.
President Bush's leadership has helped America overcome great challenges, including 9/11, war and recession. As a result of the President's pro-growth policies, America's economy today is strong and getting stronger-even stronger than Bill Clinton's 1996 economy.
Job growth is as robust as it was in the mid-1990s. Average monthly payroll job growth for the last five months is stronger than during the same period in 1996. And contrary to Kerry's claim, the gross job growth is occurring in high-paying industries including manufacturing. On average, more Americans were in part-time jobs during President Clinton's first term than President Bush's first term. Kerry says that today's job growth is occurring only in part-time work and food service jobs, yet ignores Clinton's eight year record:
The unemployment rate is lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The unemployment rates match President Clinton's during the exact same time periods.
Production has soared during President Bush's stewardship. Real GDP increased at an average 5.6% over the last three quarter, more than two percentage points faster than the comparable period of the Clinton Administration. Propelled by low inflation and middle class tax relief real after tax workers' pay has increased at more than twice the rate experienced at this point in the Clinton Administration, $1,900 under President Bush versus just $980 under President Clinton. Despite the stock-bubble bursting and mutual fund scandals, more American households own stock and mutual funds than in 1996. Where Kerry sees misery, consumers see progress and opportunity. Consumer sentiment is as high as it was in the mid-1990s and consumer expectations are strong as well.
Homeownership is at record levels and for the first time in our nation's history, more than half of all minorities own their own home. The National Realtors Association's Housing Affordability Index reveals that during the first quarter of 2004, the nation's typical household had 144.1% of the income needed to purchase a home at the median existing-home price, which was $170,800. In the first quarter, a median-income household ($54,517) could afford a home costing $246,100, which is well above the national median price of $170,800. In contrast, a median-income household could only afford a home with a median price of $145,000 in 1996.
Middle-income families are not only able to afford a home, but they're buying much larger homes. More than 57% of new home construction in 2003 were housing units larger than 2,000 square feet of floor area up from only 48% in 1996. And today, despite Kerry's claims that middle-income families are more squeezed, families are spending more dining out, giving more to charity, and even going on more cruises a vacation option once thought only available to the wealthy.
More To Be Done
President Bush has said that he will not rest until every American who wants a job can find one. He understands the difficulty of workers transitioning from old economy jobs to Innovation economy jobs which is why he has increased job training funding by 12% to $23 billion and raised support for Trade Adjustment Assistance by 150%. President Bush is determined, even with today's record homeownership levels, to close the gap between minority and non-minority homeownership. He has proposed the No Down Payment Mortgage and enacted the American Dream Downpayment Act to help thousands of families own their own home. The President's policies are working to strengthen our growing economy, train workers for high-paying jobs, and help Americans achieve their dreams.
Jobs and Unemployment: BLS
Economy: Richard Rahn, "Tallying Presidential Economic Success," Washington Times, 6/18/2004; Equity Ownership in America, SIA and Investment Company Institute, 2002; Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 5/21/2004; U.S. Census Bureau, "Statistical Abstract of the United States," 1996 and 2003; BLS
Homeownership: Census/HUD; National Realtors Association
Quality of Life: US. Census Bureau Current Population Survey; Food and Drug Administration; National Restaurant Association; Cruise Line International Association; "The 'personalities' of cruise ships," MSNBC, 12/12/2003; Giving USA 1996, 2003
Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...
They are getting on the bandwagon at Bush headquarters.
Two months ago I wrote a letter to the editor using a lot of these facts. The two leftists in my neighborhood are convinced we're in a great depression and hated my letter. Hah!
And lets not forget..the numbers in the Clinton column are because of policies adopted during the Reagan and Bush (senior) administration.
Bush needs to pull out the 2000 Economic Numbers to show how much the Economy has improved since he was elected.
I LOVE being a Republican.
Having the truth on your side does have its advantages.
Don't tell Willie Green.
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