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The Political Economy
Now that the election campaigns are behind us, we can look at the U.S. economy in a more dispassionate way. In that light, it seems clear that 2004, as widely anticipated, will register the strongest economic performance in quite a while - both when we cast a backward glance and when we look forward.
The combination of 4 percent growth, 2 percent inflation, and rising employment will not quite qualify 2004 for the Guinness Book of World Records. But there will be little reason to don sackcloth and ashes.
Of course, looking ahead to 2005 and beyond, there is no shortage of economic problems facing the United States. Policymakers in Washington will be dealing with a variety of challenges. Let us start with the announced policy agenda of the Bush Administration.