Avoiding the Carter Model

Kudlow: Bush is smart to stay chipper on the economy.


Here is a must-read. In his syndicated column, Friend of the Blog Larry Kudlow takes a contrarian route and praises President Bush for steering clear of populist pessimism (boldface mine):

Optimism, after all, is one of the few levers our chief executive can use every day. By remaining optimistic, Mr. Bush is borrowing a page from Ronald Reagan, and rejecting a whole book of malaise from Jimmy Carter. Mr. Bush is dealing with the housing and mortgage credit virus. But he will avoid anything that will doom future economic growth. He wants to stop overzealous regulatory legislation that will turn America back 30 years. And he won't bow to tax hikes and trade protectionism. While the rest of the world is embracing free-market American-style capitalism, he won't lurch left with big-government programs. Home prices must adjust lower to end the housing downturn. And it's precisely these lower prices that will allow young families to afford new homes. Prices may fall, but homes don't go away. Markets, not government, are the best way to sort this out.

On that last point, it's worth noting that the Housing Affordability Index has risen for six straight months and now sits at a three-year high.