Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...


Wednesday, February 18, 2004  

Everyone's piling on the President for backing off his jobs promise. I won't let that stop me from joining the fray.

Recall last year about this time that Bush was rolling out the third of his kickbacks, err, tax cuts. For the first time, economists started to get skittish, so he rebranded them "Jobs and Economic Growth." Here, see for yourself, it's right on the official webpage.

The President will not be satisfied until every American looking for work has found a job. (Bold theirs.)

President Bush, ladies and gentlemen: dissatisfied.

Meanwhile, Scott McClellan was getting his daily beating by the press. Tired of goring him on the President's military record, they went after jobs today. Some of the exchange:

Q Can you answer the specific question, though? Was this report -- was the prediction of this many jobs, 2.6 million jobs, vetted prior to publication by the entire economic team?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's an annual report, David. It goes through the usual -- it goes through the usual --

Q That's not the question. Was it or was it not vetted by the entire economic team?

MR. McCLELLAN: It's an annual report. It goes through the usual --

Q So you don't know, or it was, or it wasn't?

[Here there's a lot of badgering before McClellan finally answers the question.]

MR. McCLELLAN: -- it goes through the normal -- it goes through the normal vetting process.

Q So the answer is, yes. I'm not done yet, I've got another one.

MR. McCLELLAN: Okay.

Q Why -- if you're suggesting that people will debate the numbers, that's kind of a backhanded way to say, oh, who cares about the numbers. Well, apparently, the President's top economic advisors do, because that's why they wrote a very large report and sent it to Congress. So why was the prediction made in the first place, if the President and you and his Treasury Secretary were going to just back away from it?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one, I disagree with the premise of the way you stated that. This is the annual Economic Report of the President and the economic modeling is done this way every year. It's been done this way for 20-some years.

Q So why not -- why aren't you standing behind it?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think what the President stands behind is the policies that he is implementing, the policies that he is advocating. That's what's important.

Q That's not in dispute. The number is the question.

MR. McCLELLAN: I know, but the President's concern is on the number of jobs being created --

Q My question is, why was the prediction made --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and the President's focus is on making sure that people who are hurting because they cannot find work have a job. That's where the President's focus is.

Q Then why predict a number? Why was the number predicted? Why was the number predicted? You can't get away with not -- just answer the question. Why was that number predicted?

MR. McCLELLAN: I've been asked this, and I've asked -- I've been asked, and I've answered.

Q No, you have not answered. And everybody watching knows you haven't answered.

MR. McCLELLAN: I disagree.

You can almost hear McClellan mutter under his breath "hey, these lame responses worked when Ari fed them to you; why are you comin' after me?"

posted by Jeff | 4:21 PM |
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