Economists Optimistic, But Kerry Blasts Bush Policies

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - As Democrat John Kerry rails against President Bush's "failed policies on the economy," 56 economists surveyed by USA Today offered an optimistic outlook on the U.S. economy. In fact, one of the economists called this a "booming economy."

According to the report in Monday's USA Today, employers are expected to "add jobs steadily as the economy continues to expand."

The 56 economists surveyed by the newspaper predicted that businesses and consumers will continue to spend more money as the jobless rate falls. They expect inflation and interest rates to remain low.

USA Today noted that the rosy predictions come as jobs "take center stage in the presidential election."

On Monday, Sen. John Kerry was campaigning in California, where he planned to blast what he called President Bush's "failed policies."

According to a press release issued by the Kerry campaign, "John Kerry will spend Cesar Chavez Day, Monday, in California talking about his plan to create 10 million new jobs during his first term in office and get the economy back on track."

But the USA Today survey indicates the economy is getting back on track right now -- under President George W. Bush.

Hiring boost expected

"Business looks really very, very good," USA Today quoted Decision Economics President Allen Sinai as saying. Sinai told the newspaper that rising corporate profits will prompt more companies to hire more workers in the weeks ahead.

"In the survey conducted March 19-24, 31% of the economists said they expect hiring to begin in earnest in the second quarter," USA Today reported. "More than half expected considerable gains in the second half," the newspaper said.

Sen. Kerry has pounced on President Bush for costing Americans their jobs. On Saturday, after President Bush discussed good news about rising home ownership in his weekly radio address, the Kerry campaign put out the following rebuttal:

"Nearly three million Americans have lost their jobs since George Bush took office and the President's response is to give himself a pat on the back."

In his Saturday radio address, President Bush said the economy is growing, which is helping more Americans afford new homes. "Incomes are rising," President Bush said on Saturday. "The unemployment rate is falling. Mortgage rates are low. And because of tax relief, Americans have more to save, spend and invest -- and that means millions of American families have moved into their first homes."

But in his response to Bush's radio address, John Kerry said, "American jobs are being shipped overseas, health care costs are overwhelming working families, and George Bush still doesn't get it."

Kerry promised that "change is coming. When I'm President, we'll pursue a bold new economic plan to jumpstart job creation, renew American competitiveness, balance the budget, and create 10 million new jobs in the next four years."

On Monday and Tuesday, Kerry was bringing his "10 million new jobs" theme to California.

He planned to host a town hall meeting with students at a job training facility in Sacramento on Monday. According to a campaign press release, Kerry "will hear firsthand from students about the real impact of Bush's policies -- increased unemployment, more manufacturing jobs lost, rising health care costs, skyrocketing gas prices and decreased support for education -- and talk about his plans to get the economy back on track."

On Tuesday, at a rally at the University of California, San Diego, Kerry planned to talk about "the economic impact of rising gas prices and the effect on consumers and families," his campaign said.

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