Item: Since January, the economy created 1.6 million payroll jobs. The unemployment rate remained at only 5 percent in November -- historically low -- jobs and jobless claims having recovered from a Katrina "spike."
Item: Though the minimum wage hasn't risen since 1998, the earned income tax credit results in about the same hourly compensation as 1982.
Item: Interest rates and inflation have risen, but mostly due to (hopefully temporary) energy prices (page 4)--and both remain historically low.
Item: Despite predictions, home sales haven't slowed.
Item: The Federal budget deficit decreased by 80 billion last year (page 9) and, as a percentage of GDP, is below recent peaks.
Item: Productivity grew between 4.1 percent (page 6-7) and 4.7 percent in the third quarter.
Item: Public debt topped 8 trillion. But that figure ignores inflation; in real terms, the actual level is about the same as it was in 1980. And the amount of public debt held by foreign governments is stable:
(source: Treasury Department)
Item: Armed with similar data, Angry Bear created a nifty chart:
(source: Angry Bear)
Conclusion: I'm unhappy with the Administration's inability to reduce public spending. Still, as Angry Bear observes:
while spending on Defense and Homeland Security (the red line) has indeed risen quite sharply under the Bush administration, other types of discretionary spending (the green line) have risen only quite modestly, and are still slightly below where they were in 1995.So don't overreact. America's economy is booming, "galloping" even--especially as compared with Europe.
Angry Bear's data here and here. And don't miss Pejman Yousefzadeh in Tech Central.
Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) summarizes the Bush economy. And Jerry Bowyer on National Review Online publishes this "killer" chart:
(source: Bush Boom Continues Unabated)
(via Glenn Reynolds, RedState.Org)