The latest numbers are out on the economy and they make me feel like an American at a cricket match: I hear a lot of cheering, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why…This week, the Commerce Department reported that second quarter GDP grew by 1.7 percent. That was greeted with hosannas because it’s slightly more than economists predicted. But it was also about half what it needs to be to generate enough jobs, or what it should be, this long after the recession ended. And it was accompanied by downgrades in the growth numbers of the previous two quarters, so how solid can that number be? Just to get to that anemic 1.7 percent, the Administration had to change the whole formula for calculating growth. They now add in things like money spent producing sitcoms that may eventually be syndicated, like “Seinfeld.” Don’t get me wrong, I want the economy to boom. But to do that, we need economic policies that create real growth, not a “Seinfeld” economy that’s based on nothing.

Of course, the left in America claims that 1.7 percent growth is not only terrific, but it could’ve been much higher, if only the Republicans in Congress hadn’t forced all that government austerity onto us. You know, those deep sequestration buts that this year will result in Washington spending only $642 billion more than it takes in. But there’s a problem with that theory. Well, several, but the biggest one is that downgrades in estimated growth go all the way back to the first quarter, while even the smallest beginning sequester cuts didn’t kick in until March. What did arrive on January 1st that might have delivered a gut-punch to economic growth? How about nearly $2 trillion worth of new taxes?

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