Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Facts are Getting in the Way of the Truth

Our election is long over, and now that President Bush has started his second term, I guess it's a little safer to start printing stories like this one from the AP. We heard two things from the Democrats during the presidential campaign. Those were: 1) How bad George W. Bush's economy was and 2) What a total disaster the Iraq war has been. But the ecomony wasn't so bad after all. The best economy of the last 5 years, in fact. Heh.

With tomorrow's elections in Iraq, and given MSM's constant drumbeat of negativism, I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing stories about how things weren't nearly as bad as they have been reported the past 18 months. Given the utter lack of coverage on the recent historic (and successful) Afghan elections, I expect the media will do the same in Iraq and just go away quietly.

On the economy
I've been reading a book by Henry Hazlitt on economics. Hazlitt made his mark in post-WWII economics and helped define conservative, free-market economics. He wrote, "The art of economics consists of looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." I think it's poor administration to set policy to only address immediate economic "needs". As I see it, President Bush's policy has only been focused on the immediate. His "big" economic policy from term one was tax cuts for the rich to "stimulate" the economy. In addition, he's spent $150 billion on the war. The way I see it, lower taxes + expensive war in the face of deficit and debt = giant ass-fucking for the younger generations of americans (probably including you and me). To say that the economy "wasn't so bad after all" is to set yourself up to appear as a bad economic critic. We won't "know" what the economy was doing for a long time to come.

On the war.
Again, I don't think we'll know the success or failure of the war for some time to come. I'm writing this after initial reports of a strong turnout in the Iraq vote. First of all, we'll need to wait and see if the Sunnis voted in sufficient numbers to legitimize the results. On that note, I have to be sceptical about the results no matter the result. I've read reports that knowledge of individual candidiates was almost non-existant. Regarding the "results" of the war, it's way too early to call either way. Either we've created Bush's "Garden of Freedom" or a new breeding ground for terror. My guess is that it will be someting in between.

Watch the foul language on my blog, please. First, on the economy, all I said was that it wasn't as bad as the media (and their partners in the Kerry campaign) portrayed it. It was more of a statement on media bias than a statement on the economy. However, since you opened debate on it, then I'm sure you agree that the "boom" of the Clinton years was also a complete sham, given the dot-com collapse in 2000. Please let me know if you agree or not. Also, instead of all the negative criticism, please put forth your own ideas of what a good economy consists of (inflation rate, debt ratios, unemployment rate, GDP growth, tax rates, stock market performance, etc.).

I agree that federal spending is out of control. I don't like it, but I also don't agree that the war is the problem. There is so much fat in the federal budget. Get rid of the education department, NEA funding, and the agriculture department (among others)before cutting defense. Wasteful domestic spending dwarfs what we spend on the military.

On Iraq, you said ...."somewhere in between." That's really going out on a limb! The fact that elections were held yesterday is historic in and of itself. Clearly there is much work to do in Iraq. But the level of Sunni participation will not legitimize (or not) these elections. When overall voter turnout exceeds what we have in the U.S. (and indications are that it did), that legitmizes the election. Also, since yesterday was only the first of a series of three elections to set up the new Iraqi government, let's see if Sunni participation increases or decreases over time. I predict they will choose to participate in the process rather than sit out.

Thanks for the comments, you've given me some ideas for future posts.
Thanks for moving me over the edge. I am no longer interested in this.
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