Last week's report from the Commerce Department that the economy grew by a nearly 3 percent annualized rate (2.9 percent) in the second quarter -- a significant improvement over its earlier 2.5 estimate. That is a very strong growth rate by any criteria, stronger than other industrialized economies and signals the economy is headed for a "soft landing" from its torrid and unsustainable first-quarter pace of 5.6 percent.Yes, there are problems and people in certain industries such as the automaking are really struggling. But, overall, the strength of this economy in light of 9/11, two wars, and Katrina is just amazing. Unfortunately, the media will continually focus on the bad and the uncertainty rather than the amazing resilence of the American economy.
President Bush pauses during a speech to the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) The economy's health will be a critical issue in this year's elections, but President Bush and the Republicans have not been getting the credit they deserve for keeping the nation's economy on track through a storm of devastating catastrophes, from Sept. 11 to Hurricane Katrina.
Much of the nation's perceptions about the economy's health come from the news media, which all too often reports it in the most negative light possible. But the numbers tell a far different story about an economy in which consumer spending, which represents about two-third of economic growth, remains strong, exports are rising, oil and gas prices have come down a bit, and wages are rising along with business spending.
This matches the evidence that the media reports the state of the economy more negatively when the president is a Republican.