Bush Boom Continues

Trump’s new chief economic adviser has a checkered past for spotting recessions.

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On Wednesday the Washington Post reported that former CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow accepted a post as the new chairman of President Donald Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors. Here’s what Kudlow wrote for National Review on December 7, 2007, on the eve of the biggest economic downturn in the United States since the Great Depression:

There is no recession. Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S economy continues moving ahead “‘quarter after quarter, year after year’”defying dire forecasts and delivering positive growth. In fact, we are about to enter the seventh consecutive year of the Bush boom.

The pessimistas are a persistent bunch. In 2006, they were certain a recession was just around the corner. They were wrong. Instead, the economy posted two consecutive quarters of near or above four-percent growth.

Earlier today, a doom and gloom economic forecast from Macro Economic Advisors was released predicting zero percent growth in the fourth quarter. This report is off by at least two percentage points. These guys are going to wind up with egg on their faces.

There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen. At a bare minimum, we are looking at Goldilocks 2.0. (And that’s a minimum). Goldilocks is alive and well. The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come. Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told.

If this analysis was any indication, Goldilocks was eaten by bears. While the National Bureau of Economic Research wouldn’t officially announce the recession until 2008, the government determined that the recession officially started in December of 2007.

Even once he recognized the reality that a recesssion had arrived, Kudlow remained upbeat. In April, 2008, he penned another column for National Review, this time headlined “The Therapeutic Power of Recessions.”

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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