Those who argue that Democrats might lose one or both houses of Congress are making an economic argument. Slow growth/high unemployment = angry, anti-incumbent voters. But what if the economy really perks up? First some analysis by Larry Kudlow:
Sometimes you have to take your political lenses out and look at the actual economic statistics in order to gauge whether we’re on the road to recovery or not. … No one has written more about the future tax-and-regulatory threats from the big-government assault of Obamanomics. But most of that is in the future. The current reality is that a strong rebound in corporate profits (the greatest and truest stimulus of all), ultra-easy money from the Fed, and some very small stimuli from government spending are all working to generate a cyclical recovery in a basically free-market economy that is a lot more resilient than capitalist critics would have us believe. So conservatives should not lose their cool and blow their credibility over a cyclical rebound that is backed by the statistics.
And now the econ team of Wesbury and Stein at First Trust Advisors:
Unfortunately, there is a group of people who still haven’t arrived at the station – mostly because they confuse politics with economic forecasting. Many Republicans and quite a few conservative television commentators are still trying to use the Clinton/Carville method of winning elections – “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” As a result, they keep telling anyone who will listen that the Obama agenda is going to kill the economy – RIGHT NOW.
But they will be wrong. It is true that more government spending and regulation, higher taxes, and government mandates will erode growth in the future. And it is true that recent growth in government will make it less likely the US will be the home of the next Apple iPad-type device. The fact of the matter is that big government and high tax rates hurt the entrepreneurial spirit and slow economic activity (see growth in Europe versus the U.S.).
But arguing that this recovery is not happening is a losing proposition. It is happening; And it’s V-shaped. We expected a V-shaped recovery as the panic ended, as monetary velocity returned and because Fed policy was easy.
Me: I think the key here is to see what happens with unemployment, incomes, housing and gas prices. Certainly the economic consensus is for unemployment to stay above 9 percent. And my own analysis shows a big lag between an economic turn around and public perception. Perhaps the jobless rate will outperform on the upside as it has underperformed on the downside. One thing to keep an eye on is Obama’s approval rating which is now 45-48, according to Gallup.