News Release

Bush Economic Forum: Beyond the Photo-Ops

JOHN MILLER
Professor of economics at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and contributing editor for Dollars & Sense magazine, Miller said today: “The Bush administration is rounding up the usual suspects — conservative politicians, economists, business types, and even large donors — for a forum on why that pesky economy refuses to respond to Bush tax cuts and what to do about a federal budget now hemorrhaging red ink. Unfortunately, Tuesday’s economic gab fest is likely to shed little light on how to restore robust economic growth in a sluggish economy saddled with excess capacity of business capital, staggering levels of consumer debt, a teetering stock market, and record-setting levels of economic inequality. Abandoning what is left of Bush’s tax giveaway for the wealthy — which will be enacted too slowly to have any stimulative effect on the economy — and restoring much-needed infrastructure spending and social services would do far more to get the economy going again and put people to work than Bush’s economic program. But those ideas won’t make it onto Tuesday’s agenda sure to be filled with blather about how more giveaways to the rich and less government are the only way to get the economy going again. The economic policies made by and for people attending the conference are the problem, not the solution.”
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JULIANNE MALVEAUX
An economist and columnist, Malveaux said today: “The so-called economic summit lacks merit on its face. Most of those who will attend have paid to sit in the room. The ‘ordinary people’ who Mr. Bush will talk to have been carefully vetted to mute any criticism of Mr. Bush…. This is little more than a photo-op, a partisan infomercial. If Mr. Bush were serious about talking about the economy, he’d talk about the incredible disappearing surplus, about the layoffs that have taken place in the last few months, and about next steps in corporate governance. Instead of shaping a substantive discussion, though, Mr. Bush and his handlers have concentrated on image, having seemingly spent more time and thought designing an attractive and media-friendly backdrop for the summit than on the plight of the millions of Americans who have been hurt by the Bush economy. One million six hundred thousand fewer Americans have jobs now than when Mr. Bush began his presidency. How many of them have been invited to the summit?”
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RICHARD B. DU BOFF
Professor of economics at Bryn Mawr College, Du Boff said today: “The Republicans are worried that the Bush administration is not speaking with a ‘strong economic voice’ these days: they fear that they are in trouble for the November elections and that the President may meet the same fate as his father in 2004. Why are they surprised? The President believes that the only things wrong with the economy can be fixed by tax cuts for the rich and eliminating regulations on business. Does he need a more commanding public figure to confirm that? Or does he realize that unemployment, stagnant real wages, and inadequate medical care threaten the well-being of tens of millions of Americans, and that state and local governments, which provide many of our public services, are financially squeezed and cutting back?”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 332-5055 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167