James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

The Obama Boom?

March 10, 2010

This Bloomberg story gives it the old college try with “Obama Defies Pessimists as Rising Economy Converges With Stocks.” It points out that the economy is expanding, job losses are down and stocks are up.

But that is not really the point is it? Unemployment is still twice as high as the average of the past two decades, and the recovery shows every signs of being a sluggish one given the depth of the downturn. Plus, the massive amount of public debt makes what growth there has been seem artificial. Certainly the public doesn’t seem to buying it, a view reflected by the cautious tone of the White House. Lots of talk about pulling the economy back from the brink, less talk about a new Morning in America.

Comments

I read the article on Bloomberg and actually the writer has a point. Still lots of clouds out there these days but the sun is trying to poke through and will win eventually. Perhaps some of the bloggers here on Reuters should lighten up a bit, including Mr. P.

Posted by gotthardbahn | Report as abusive
 

The general economy nowadays seems to be resting on a cushion of federal subsidy such that we really don’t know how much of it may be supportable without that subsidy. No significant private sector has had a chance to find its equilibrium. The only sector reported to have substantial growth is government itself! The jobless can now collect UC benefits and subsidized cobra for almost 2 years (in some states) — so why try harder to find a job that will probably pay less than your last one? Housing is putt-putting along at a snail’s pace, the subsidized churn truly benefiting only realtors and a few 1st time buyers. Business lending is still choked off; banks make more money with less risk simply leaving their funds in the vault.

Domestic demand for goods & services generally is negligible, and as you note elsewhere, international trade is not being encouraged by this administration. So where exactly does anyone expect true growth to come from?

Posted by ColoComment | Report as abusive
 

A lot of rah-rah out of the White House would be viewed with some suspicion nowadays, James. A more sober, measured attitude is in keeping with the times. That said, I read the article you mentioned and the writer had a point. Take it from a guy who’s no fan of Mr. Obama, a bit of optimism might be in order, a break from the relentless gloom on these pages. The American economy has an astonishing resilience that allows it to re-invent itself in ways unforeseen by all you pundits. Have some faith for a change.

Posted by gotthardbahn | Report as abusive
 

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