Good Economic News

Feb 07 2012

From the Huckabee Report:

The Labor Department reported Friday that the US economy created jobs in January at the fastest rate in nine months. It was enough to drop the unemployment rate from 8.5 to 8.3 percent. Sign are good that the economy is growing again. The White House immediately trumpeted the news as proof that President Obama’s policies are turning the economy around. Obama even warned Congress not to do anything to “muck it up.” I don’t know what he means. Maybe doing something nuts, like trying to reign in the deficit or, God forbid, pass a budget. No need to worry about that, though. Harry Reid just assured us that, for the third year in a row, the Senate will not do its duty and pass a budget. It’s sort of like if you were so deep in debt, you decided to just keep on spending but never open the credit card bill, because then you’d actually have to look at the damage.

I made this analogy before, but it bears repeating. The US economy is like a very strong swimmer that’s had a cement anchor hung around his neck. Just because he’s still able to tread water doesn’t mean it’s the anchor that’s keeping him afloat. Looking back at previous recessions, by this point in time, the economy should have long since roared back. The fact that it’s finally twitching a little doesn’t mean that the government is helping. It’s just that our economy is so strong and so resilient, and so ready to bounce back, that current Washington policy isn’t quite bad enough to completely immobilize it. But I’m sure the EPA and the battalion of other new regulators and czars are hard at work thinking up new shackles as we speak, not to mention all the ones that are on the way in bills like Obamacare that won’t kick in until next year. And that’s not even counting the fact that there are two ways to lower an unemployment percentage rate: either more people find jobs, or more people give up looking and drop out of the work force. We shrank to 8.3 percent both ways.

The problem for the Republican Presidential nominee will be to explain all this without sounding like he’s trying to talk the economy down. Republicans can’t be seen as rooting for bad news. Every American should want the economy to recover. But because that’s the key to Obama’s reelection, Republicans are naturally going to be skeptical when the media suddenly start rah-rahing about how great everything is going. If the Republicans hope to counter that, they need to honestly acknowledge and celebrate any genuine good economic news, but also clearly explain why it should and could be so much better.

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