Monday, December 17, 2007

Bush's Weather Forecast

Bush sees storm clouds in economy

December 17, 2007

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — President Bush worked to reassure Americans on Monday about the economy but said ''there's definitely some storm clouds and concern'' because of the nation's credit crunch and mortgage problems.

''But the underpinning is good,'' Bush told business and community leaders at a gathering of Rotary Club members.

''We've had a pretty good economic run,'' the president said in a speech intended to show he is aware of the public's edgy mood these days. Consumer confidence has eroded as turmoil in the housing and credit market have battered the economy.

Bush tried to position himself as an advocate for working families by taking aim at his favorite target: the Democratic Congress.

''The Congress cannot take economic vitality for granted,'' Bush said. ''The most negative thing Congress can do in the face of economic uncertainty is to raise taxes on the American people,'' Bush said.

The audience of roughly 80 people listened to Bush with respectful silence. Yet a line that normally gets him applause — ''I'll veto any tax increase'' — drew no reaction at all.

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