Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Point for Ponnuru: In a post on National Review Online's group blog, "The Corner," Ramesh Ponnuru has a little advice for the Democratic party on a talking point they may want to discard.
Rep. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, is attacking the president’s plan thus: “We stimulate the job market. The president’s plan stimulates the stock market.” Is this wise of the Ds? I would guess that more Americans have been hurt by the substantial decline in stocks than by the modest uptick in unemployment.
Ponnuru's right on this one (no surprise really). While unemployment has risen slightly, its still low compared to historic levels for an economic downturn. What has really hurt most people is the fact that their 401(k)s have have decreased in value with the burst of the tech bubble and the corporate accounting scandals.
While we need to reduce the unemployment rate, giving the stock market a shot in the arm is more important, both for overall consumer confidence and Bush's re-election chances. If the Dow is back above 10,000 by the 2004 election, Bush should have little trouble from Democrats on the economic front.
Sixty years ago, you could make the class-warfare argument that a tax policy that boosted the stock market helped only the rich. But with the proliferation of 401(k)s that line loses its potency.
Rep. Menendez, try again.