Headline in today’s Wall Street Journal:
Michelle Rena Jones cheered when candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden visited south-central Michigan in 2008. She supported Mr. Obama that November along with a slate of Democrats, including Mark Schauer in the 7th congressional district.
Now, the 40-year-old is rethinking her lifelong support for the party. She has been without steady work for two years, lost her home and car and began receiving cash assistance from the state for the first time. This year, she says, “I’m willing to take a chance on something different.” Another possibility, she says, is that she won’t vote at all.
Ms. Jones is part of an unmeasured, agitated mass: unemployed Americans who don’t believe the Obama Administration and Congress have done enough to produce jobs. With elections coming up, their unease is especially troublesome for the Democrats, who control both chambers.
Double duh. It amazes me that vulnerable Democrats, in collusion with brain-dead Republicans, have done their level best to derail or water down any legislation that may have helped to stimulate the economy further, or at the very least ease the pain of the long-term unemployed. What are they thinking?
Another headline, same paper:
Economists are getting more pessimistic about the strength of the U.S. recovery, but they don’t think policy makers should do anything more to support it, according to the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.
The 53 surveyed economists, not all of whom answered every question, offered a bleak picture of tepid growth and high unemployment. On average, they still don’t see the unemployment rate dropping below 9% through at least June 2011. They expect the economy to add just 136,000 jobs a month over the next 12 months, down from a forecast of 157,000 in the July survey. At that rate, job creation will barely keep up with new entrants to the labor force.
Another increase in initial claims for unemployment benefits reported Thursday by the Labor Department underlined the troubles facing the labor market. Initial jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 484,000 for the week ended Aug. 7, the highest level since February. The four-week moving average, which aims to smooth out weekly volatility, increased 14,250 to 473,500…
When asked about the biggest risk facing the economy, “too few jobs, too little wage income and too little consumer spending” was the most popular choice. Issues such as inflation, deflation, state- and local-government cutbacks and another downturn in housing garnered just a handful of responses each.
Well, that certainly seems like a dire situation, one that calls for some kind of government intervention, right? Sadly, No!
Despite the continued challenging conditions, 30 out of 48 economists who answered the question said the economy didn’t need any more fiscal or monetary stimulus. Six economists said more fiscal stimulus was necessary, while five want more monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and seven said that the economy could use both…
“The economy needs government to get out of the way,” said Stephen Stanley of Pierpont Securities.
The economists, though, generally didn’t support the idea of ending Bush-era tax cuts, which will expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts. Just three respondents said that the tax cuts on individual income should be allowed to expire for everyone. Thirty-two economists said they should all be extended, while 11 said they should be extended for people making less than $250,000 a year—the policy option backed by the Obama administration.
Many of the economists said any extension should be temporary while the recovery still is struggling to gain traction. But amid concerns about the deficit, 23 respondents said the extension should be offset with spending cuts or other taxes.
Situation normal, all fucked up. We just have to wait for the magic fairies of the free market to make everything better. Meanwhile, don’t get rid of those tax cuts on millionaires and billionaires – they might get upset, and decide to go Galt, or something.
One guess as to what the Obama administration and the Democratically-controlled Congress will do to respond to these developments. No doubt Robert Gibbs will announce that we “Professional” lefties should just shut the fuck up and be grateful for the awesomeness that is the Obama economic policy, and thankful that we aren’t all living out of our cars.