The American economy is based on consumerism. Americans buy things and the economy continues. It is a rather delicate balance that can be manipulated for political purposes. We are currently watching an attempt to manipulate that economy for political purposes–President Trump’s strongest positive for re-election is the impact his administration has had on the economy. If the Democrats can ruin the economy, they might have a chance to win the presidency in 2020. After watching their behavior for the past two years, I am not surprised by any tactic they might use. So how are the Democrats and their friends in the media attempting to impact the economy?
The Associated Press reported today:
The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore for investors in financial markets.
The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China added to recent signals of a global slowdown.
That spooked investors, who responded by dumping stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average into an 800-point skid, its biggest drop of the year. The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 3% as the market erased all of its gains from a rally the day before. Tech stocks and banks led the broad sell-off. Retailers came under especially heavy selling pressure after Macy’s issued a dismal earnings report and cut its full-year forecast.
The article goes on to list things that the writer is convinced are evidence of an imminent recession. But let’s step back a minute. The American economy is cyclical. We have been in a growth spike for the past two years due to tax cuts and deregulation. Those factors are not changing. Unemployment is at historic lows. There are more jobs than workers. There is no evidence of that changing. We might be due for a correction in the stock market, but it’s not time to panic.
This tactic has been used before. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush agreed to a tax bill with the Democrats. The agreement broke his pledge of ‘no new taxes’, but it also did something else. The tax increase on luxury items worked its way through the economy causing a recession. Workers in industries making ‘luxury items’ lost their jobs are sales of these items decreased due to the tax increases. As those workers lost their jobs, they stopped going out to dinner, traveling, and doing the things that people do when economic times are good. People in service industries and tourism lost their jobs. The impact trickled through the economy, and we were in a recession. We were coming out of the recession during the campaign, but the media failed to note that.
In the coming days, watch for a media narrative of ‘the sky is falling’. That narrative will be in play for the next year in order to convince American voters to vote Democrat.
The only way to crash this economy is to panic the public. Large investors in the market with a political agenda can begin that process. The media can fan the flames.
The fundamentals of the American economy are strong. If Americans refuse to play along with a media-created financial panic, all will be well.
Yesterday CNBC reported the following:
After a disappointing February in which just 20,000 jobs were added to the economy, the job market is back on track, adding 196,000 jobs in March.
That’s according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statics, which also showed unemployment remaining at 3.8% and wages increasing by 3.2% from a year ago.
“I think the March report will reassure investors after the weak report in February brought about concerns of a possible slowing economy,” Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain tells CNBC Make It. “The report is strong across the board and it’s hard to find any weaknesses. It shows that even after 102 months of positive job gains, the economy still has room to grow.”
At some point the economy will slow down. We have not yet dealt with the debt that runaway spending has created in recent years, and we have not yet fully revised trade deals that were detrimental to our country. However, March was a good month for Americans looking for work and Americans in the workforce.
The article reminds us that there may be a recession in the future, but not in the near future:
Though February’s numbers may have been alarming to some, Hamrick, Gimbel and Chamberlain agree that there’s no need to worry about a recession just yet.
“There’s no sign that one is imminent,” says Hamrick, though he adds, “we know that one is inevitable at some point.”
Gimbel adds that, “In 2018, we created, on average, about 200,000 jobs per month. That is astonishing at this point in the recovery and highly unlikely that the economy is going to keep that up moving forward. So if we drop down to creating 180,000 jobs a month, or 150,000 or even 100,000, that is OK.”
Having a businessman as President has been a good thing for the majority of Americans.
On March 22, President Trump nominated Stephen Moore to serve on the Board of the Federal Reserve. The establishment began their attack almost immediately. Why? Because Stephen Moore is a respected economist who will rock the boat of the establishment. He supports the economic policies of President Trump (which incidentally have been successful in reviving a struggling economy). The negative reports and personal attacks are all through the mainstream media–very little is being said about the accomplishments of Stephen Moore.
In December 2018, World Net Daily posted an article by Stephen Moore titled, “Fire the Fed.” Stephen Moore called on Chairman Powell to resign in wake of interest-rate hike.
In the article, Stephen Moore states:
In one of the most remarkable Abbott and Costello routines in modern times, the economic wizards at the Fed again raised interest rates on Tuesday. Their crackerjack logic for doing so is to steer America on a course toward recession so they have the tools in hand to end the recession they themselves created. Can anyone tell us who’s on first?
Worse, this Fed move doubles down on its blunderous interest rate rise in September. President Donald Trump turned out to be exactly right: The central bank pullback on money would slow growth and crush the stock market in order to combat nonexistent inflation.
…Since its peak on Oct. 3, which, not coincidentally, was right after Powell gave a speech suggesting that the Fed might be through tightening money, the Dow has fallen by more than 3,500 points. Market fears about his bad judgment have cut the value of all U.S. stocks by about $4.5 trillion, which is enough to buy 16,000 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The Fed economists use twisted logic that the economy is “strong enough” to absorb the rate hikes – which is simply an admission that their policy will slow growth.
Stephen Moore needs to be on the Board of the Federal Reserve. His presence might prevent the Federal Reserve from raising rates just before the 2020 election in order to cause a recession. Just as the Federal Reserve kept rates low during the Obama administration to give the appearance of a healthy economy, they may raise those rates in the coming year to give the impression that President Trump’s economic policies are not working. They need a watchdog.
Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the coming Congressional session. The title of the editorial is, “Market Turmoil Shows Why Trump’s Pro-Growth Policies Must Continue.”
The editorial explains:
Kudlow (President Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow) tried to calm the waters. “Corrections come and go,” he told reporters at the White House. “I’m reading some of the weirdest stuff how a recession is in the future. Nonsense. Recession is so far in the distance I can’t see it. Keep the faith. It’s a very strong economy.”
Let’s be clear. Economic forecasts have been overly pessimistic for most of the Trump administration, with actual results consistently coming in “unexpectedly” higher than forecast. And Kudlow is right. There’s no sign of a recession on the horizon.
The editorial points out the indications of a strong economy and the steps needed to keep it strong:
Unemployment is at 50-year lows. Wages are growing at the fastest rate since the financial crisis. There are a million more job listings than officially unemployed people. Productivity grew 2.2% in the third quarter, after jumping 3% in the second quarter — the fastest growth rate in four years. Small business optimism and the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index remains at record highs.
After eight long years of sluggish growth under President Obama, the economy has been booming.
Still, the Fed has been raising interest rates, and as we’ve pointed out repeatedly in this space, the risk is always that they will go too far, too fast, and crash the economy. The trade war with China is taking its toll. And the economic expansion is old. The last recession ended 113 months ago, making this the second longest in the post-World War II era.
Which is all the more reason for the federal government to continue wringing every bit of growth-inhibiting policies out of the system. For his part, Trump needs to get a trade deal in place with China when he meets with President Xi Jinping at a G-20 summit later this month. And he needs to continue to deregulate where he can.
Unfortunately the Democrats in Congress have little interest in continuing the policies that have resulted in the current economic growth. They will make every effort to roll back the tax cuts and increase the size and spending of the federal government. Hopefully their efforts will not be successful.
This is a chart from today’s Wall Street Journal:
The article reports:
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.9% in the first three months of the year, according to the Commerce Department‘s third reading released Wednesday. That was the fastest rate of decline since the first quarter of 2009, when output fell 5.4%, and matches the average pace of declines during the recession.
In its third GDP reading, based on newly available data, Commerce said first-quarter consumer spending and exports were even weaker than previously estimated. Consumer spending growth was lowered to 1% from 3.1% previously, largely because health-care spending was weaker than previously estimated.
President Obama has been in office since 2009. His economic policies have been in place for more than five years. It is becoming obvious that those policies have not been effective in reviving the American economy. It is time to send people to Washington who have new ideas that will encourage small business growth and turn the American economy around.
The chart above shows the median household income of the Washington, D.C., area versus the median household income of the rest of the nation.
The article at Hot Air points out a few things about the graph:
From the mid-1980s to around 2007, the median household income rise in DC remained pretty closely linked to that of the nation as a whole. Anyone remember what happened in 2007, besides the economic slowdown that would turn into the Great Recession? Democrats took control of Congress and federal spending shot upward ever since. And at least according to the Fed, that disparity is actually accelerating, at least to 2012, with DC median income skyrocketing while the rest of us stagnate.
We have a choice to make as Americans. It’s not a Democrat or a Republican choice–it’s an American choice. Do we keep spending ourselves into bankruptcy or do we begin to act like adults and live within our means? The choice is ours. We have an election coming up in about a year. Forget party labels–they really aren’t worth much right now. Find out what the candidate’s position is on spending and formulating a federal budget (we haven’t had one since 2009). Find our what the candidate’s past voting record is on fiscal matters. These things are not hard to find. Thomas.gov is an excellent source of information for votes, sponsors of legislation, and actions of past Congresses. Do your homework–your country depends on it.
Mort Zuckerman posted an article at the Wall Street Journal yesterday analyzing the latest jobs report. Mort Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report. In the article Mr. Zuckerman points out that the longest and worst recession since the end of World War II has been followed by the weakest recovery from a recession in that period.
The article points out that the jobless rate is actually increasing–not decreasing:
The jobless nature of the recovery is particularly unsettling. In June, the government’s Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are “jobs.” No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.
That’s just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can’t get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.
That is not a recovery.
The article also points out:
That brings us to a stunning fact about the jobless recovery: The measure of those adults who can work and have jobs, known as the civilian workforce-participation rate, is currently 63.5%—a drop of 2.2% since the recession ended. Such a decline amid a supposedly expanding economy has never happened after previous recessions. Another statistic that underscores why this is such a dysfunctional labor market is that the number of people leaving the workforce during this economic recovery has actually outpaced the number of people finding a new job by a factor of nearly three.
We need a serious change of economic policy to turn this around. ObamaCare is a major part of the problem, but over regulation and over taxation also play a part in this problem. Unemployment numbers of above 7 percent should not be allowed to become the norm.
CNS News is reporting that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has predicted that federal revenues for 2013 will exceed $2.7 trillion in 2013, slightly higher than the $2.6 trillion the government collected in 2007, when the last recession officially began.
The article reports:
Government revenues had fallen by nearly $500 billion during the recession to $2.1 trillion in 2009, contributing to the $1.5 trillion deficit that year. However, federal revenues have been recovering since the recession ended in June 2009, and the CBO now projects that they will slightly eclipse their pre-recession peak.
In fact, the $2.7 trillion in revenue will be the most money the federal government has collected in history.
Obviously, if government revenue is the highest it has ever been in history, why do we have to increase taxes?
The article reports:
“Democrats say we should replace the president’s ‘sequester’ with revenue increases, or delay it. Republicans say we should replace [it] with responsible reforms that will help put us on a path to balance the budget in 10 years,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Frankly, I would love to see federal revenues increase, but I am not convinced they will. Unemployment is still high, and the number of people working part-time who want to work full-time is at an all time high. Much of the revenue the government gets comes from personal income taxes, and if the unemployment situation does not change, I don’t think the revenues will change significantly. The CBO does its calculations based on the numbers it is given. It would be interesting to know where they got the numbers that convinced them 2013 was going to be a banner year for tax revenue.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that incomes in America declined more in the three year expansion since 2009 than during the longest recession since the Great Depression. The ‘great recession’ in America officially ended in 2009. There is a technical definition of a recession, and according to that definition, the recession in America ended in 2009. However, the income and unemployment numbers for Americans have not improved.
The article reports:
“Almost every group is worse off than it was three years ago, and some groups had very large declines in income,” Green (Gordon Green, Sentier Research LLC.), who previously directed work on the Census Bureau’s income and poverty statistics program, said in a phone interview today. “We’re in an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.”
While gains in hourly earnings and average hours worked per week may have had “a minor mitigating effect” on income declines, they couldn’t offset a jobless rate that hasn’t fallen below 8 percent since February 2009 and a record duration of unemployment, according to the Annapolis, Maryland-based firm.
The average duration of unemployment increased to a record 41 weeks in November and remains at 39 weeks, Labor Department data show. Almost 5.2 million Americans have been out of work for at least six months.
This snapshot of the economy does not bode well for the re-election chances of Barack Obama.