President Bush said on Thursday failure to pass his $695 billion tax cut plan could make the economy grow more slowly than expected.
"If Congress doesn't act there is a risk we won't have economic vitality," Bush said as he pitched his plan at a suburban Atlanta high school.
He cited a recent growth forecast by blue chip economists, which he said was contingent on the tax cut being passed this year. The economy, he said, needed "good positive legislation that will turn the recovery into lasting prosperity."
Too bad that the recent growth forecast by blue chip economists doesn't exist:
There was only one problem with President George W. Bush's claim Thursday that the nation's top economists forecast substantial economic growth if Congress passed the president's tax cut: The forecast with that conclusion doesn't exist.
Bush and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer went out of their way Thursday to cite a new survey by "Blue-Chip economists" that the economy would grow 3.3 percent this year if the president's tax cut proposal becomes law.
That was news to the editor who assembles the economic forecast. "I don't know what he was citing," said Randell E. Moore, editor of the monthly Blue Chip Economic Forecast, a newsletter that surveys 53 of the nation's top economists each month.
"I was a little upset," said Moore, who said he complained to the White House. "It sounded like the Blue Chip Economic Forecast had endorsed the president's plan. That's simply not the case."