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Economy

Economic Woes

I don't think anyone on NLT has yet mentioned the Commerce Dept.'s economic report from Friday. The highlights:

  • The economy slowed more than expected. GDP rose 1.3% (economists expected 1.8%). 
  • Consumer spending increased by 0.1%, the weakest performance in two years.
  • Last quarter's growth was revised down from 1.9% to an anemic 0.4%.
  • The 2007-2009 recession was deeper, and the recovery weaker, than originally estimated.

Suffice it to say, the report is disastrous. Aside from the appalling numbers, it's also noteworthy that economists and news agencies continue to be surprised by "unexpected" downturns in the economy under Obama's fiscal policies. I don't recall these same news reports confessing surprise whenever the economy dipped under George W. Bush - in fact, one of my favorite headlines, following a quarterly boom in response to Bush's media-lampooned tax breaks, read (more or less): Unreliable Economy has Experts Worried. Worried for Democrats' talking-points, perhaps.

Getting back to the numbers, the New York Times concludes its news alert with a warning:

The news comes as Congress is debating how to put the nation on a more sustainable fiscal path, with measures that some economists worry could further slow the recovery and even throw the economy back into recession.

One wonders which measures the Times believes threaten a double-dip recession. I don't think there's any chance that Obama and the Democrats received this week's economic report as an indication of the failure of their economic policies. They are true-believers in their economic world-view, as Richard Adams notes below. It is dogma that higher taxes and increased government spending equals greater social good. Facts to the contrary are the result of capitalist (i.e., conservative) corruption in the system. As conservatives believe otherwise (to an equally dogmatic degree within the Tea Party Caucus), compromise is unlikely - hence the unresolved debt-ceiling debate.

One hopes for the best possible solution to the current stalemate, but the economic debate (which reflects a difference in political philosophy) will continue to be resolved through elections. Conservatives should press that point in 2012.

Categories > Economy

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