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Classic Bill Richardson

You’ve got to love it. Governor Bill Richardson’s attempt to portray himself as a fiscal conservative (subscription) is nothing short of amusing.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson on Thursday blamed President Bush for the nation’s economic woes as he released his own economic plan.

It includes a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, and it would eliminate congressional earmarks to reduce wasteful spending, and reduce tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

If anyone on the national scene takes time to look into Bill Richardson’s actual economic policy as Governor, they too would realize how ridiculous this is. First, someone please help me understand exactly what “economic woes” Bill Richardson is blaming on President Bush. Take a look at some of these facts presented by William Poole, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in a speech made earlier this year:

Three remarkable facts deserve attention. First, real GDP growth, though sluggish in 2002, has been robust since 2003, and the unemployment rate is now down to 4.6 percent. Second, long-term inflation expectations have hardly budged. Third, the quarterly average yield on 10-year nominal Treasury securities is actually slightly lower today than it was in mid 2002. The economy has performed well despite a near tripling of crude oil prices since December 2001. In years past, an energy price shock of this magnitude was typically associated with a substantial increase in inflation and a sharp recession.

Two things are different about energy price increases this time. One is that the increases were primarily a consequence of a booming world economy, which raised energy demand rather than a supply shock. Second, monetary policies here and in most other countries have done a fine job of anchoring inflation expectations.

Now, I am a fiscal conservative, so I do admit I’m not at all pleased by the overall growth in government spending we’ve experienced at the federal level. However, for this same reason, I can tell you unequivocally that Governor Richardson is not the man for the job in Washington. State spending in New Mexico during Richardson’s tenure has increased at an astronomical rate.

All I can think is that maybe Bill Richardson’s Eastern Nevada Field Director, Kristian Forland, helped draft the economic policy before his departure. At least, that would explain the fuzzy mathematical logic.