Wednesday, March 10, 2004

White House way off-message:

We were surprised to read that, as part of his presidential campaign, Bush is touting the benefits of free trade. Now, while that may be a good policy in general, there may be times when trade regulation is appropriate. Perhaps there are instances where trade is unfair. Or perhaps regulation of trade (i.e. protectionism) may be needed to help transition workers (or the economy) to a different mix. And of course, there is always the virtue of appearing to care about people affected by free trade. So it was surprising to read this story: Bush Touts Free Trade, Warns of 'Isolationists' And of course, the jobs picture isn't pretty, so the administration is pretty quiet on that front. But why has Bush ignored one genuinely bright spot in the economy, that "overall home ownership levels have hit record levels -- nearly 70 percent of heads of household own their homes"

Let us be clear. We don't want Bush to win this year, but strictly as an exercise in political judgement, why hasn't the administration touted the home ownership angle? Why wade into the free-trade/outsourcing swamp?

Is the White House political apparatus broken?

NOTE: Yes, we know that ownership is largely the result of low interest rates (courtesy of Greenspan), but that shouldn't prevent the White House from trying to get credit for the situation.


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