the national interest

Wall Street Journal Picks Terrible Day to Call for Return to Bushonomics

They were the best of times. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

The editors of The Wall Street Journal editorial page probably thought they really nailed it when they put the finishing touches last night on this morning’s editorial lambasting the Obama administration’s “slow growth.” You really want to hold editorials like that for sometime after monthly jobs data comes out, so they’re not reading it at literally the same time the government announces the economy generated 248,000 new jobs last month.

The most entertaining aspect of the Journal’s editorial is that its confidence in the failure of the recovery has finally reached a stage at which it can abandon all reticence and openly call for bringing back the economic policies of George W. Bush, who cut taxes for the rich and made everything wonderful:

real median household income rebounded smartly in the middle of the last decade. That rebound occurred after the Bush tax cuts on capital income and marginal income-tax rates became law in 2003.

What’s needed now is a return to policies that put growth as the country’s highest economic priority.

Yes! Let’s return to the policies that, by letting Job Creators keep more of their money, produced an average of 20,000 new jobs per month. Or, if you exclude 2002, on the theory that the recession that began before his policies took effect was not Bush’s fault, Bush’s economy created 58,000 jobs per month. Or, if you exclude 2002 and 2008, on the other theory that the recession that began when Bush’s policies were fully in effect was also not his fault, his economy created 130,000 jobs per month. Which was also way, way worse than the economic growth that followed Bill Clinton’s class warfare tax hikes on the rich. All of which suggests, just maybe, cutting taxes for the rich does not have terribly large positive effects on growth.

WSJ Picks Terrible Day to Call for Bushonomics