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By the Numbers

A little perspective from George Will:

Despite Kerry's reiteration that George Bush's presidency is the first since Herbert Hoover's to coincide with a net job loss, the public seems, unsurprisingly, unaroused. The unemployment rate (5.4 percent) is what it was when President Bill Clinton coasted to reelection in 1996. And the economy's growth rate over the past four quarters (4.9 percent) is higher than the rate over the year before the 1996 election (4.0 percent). Kerry's excoriation of Bush over budget deficits is blunted by the fact that while the government was running deficits in 47 of the past 55 years, gross domestic product has grown almost sevenfold and 79 million jobs have been created.