How George Bush is Like Homer Simpson
Posted by Michael Cohen
One of my favorite Simpsons episodes ever is the one where Homer goes back to school to earn his degree in nuclear physics. Not surprisingly, for most of the semester, Homer screws around and doesn't study. But, the night before the final exam, he unveils his plan for getting a passing grade:
During the exam, I'll hide under some coats, and hope that somehow everything will work out.
Apparently President Bush has been watching the Simpsons because this appears to be precisely his strategy for turning the US economy around. This from his recent economic speech in New York City:
I'm coming to you as an optimistic fellow. I've seen what happens when America deals with difficulty. I believe that we're a resilient economy, and I believe that the ingenuity and resolve of the American people is what helps us deal with these issues. And it's going to happen again.
Just in case you found yourself momentarily captivated by the President's optimism, here comes the New York Times, playing the role of Lisa Simpson, to throw a big bucket of water over that one:
Mr. Bush said he was optimistic because the economy’s “foundation is solid” as measured by employment, wages, productivity, exports and the federal deficit. He was wrong on every count. On some, he has been wrong for quite a while.
Mr. Bush boasted about 52 consecutive months of job growth during his presidency. What matters is the magnitude of growth, not ticks on a calendar. The economic expansion under Mr. Bush — which it is safe to assume is now over — produced job growth of 4.2 percent. That is the worst performance over a business cycle since the government started keeping track in 1945.
It really does beg the question; if America had elected Homer Simpson eight years ago - would we be any worse off than we are today?