Tales from the Trail

Did GOP victory boost economic optimism?

USA-TAX/It’s not exactly a tsunami of euphoria. But Republican victories in the midterm elections may have helped goose economic optimism, at least among …well… Republicans.

A new Gallup survey finds that Republicans grew more optimistic during the first week of November, as Tea Party candidates led a GOP charge that captured the House and narrowed the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Republicans grew 13 points rosier on the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, compared with October, and that change appeared strong enough to drive an increase in optimism across the board.

In fact, Gallup suspects the overall performance could foreshadow improvement in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey, which includes a barometer of current conditions that hit its lowest level since November 2009 last month. We’ll soon USA-ECONOMY/know. The next survey report comes out Friday.

Meanwhile, Gallup says other factors that may have helped make people happier on the whole include the surge on Wall Street, the Federal Reserve’s new $600 billion grove and a better-than-expected jobs report.

Senator Coburn cites Thomson Reuters at healthcare summit

USA-HEALTHCARE/Republican Senator Tom Coburn is obviously a big fan of Thomson Reuters. He cited Thomson Reuters reports throughout his presentation at the White House healthcare summit.

Coburn, an Oklahoma physician who opposes the sweeping Democratic healthcare overhaul, said lawmakers should focus first on reducing hundreds of billions of dollars of wasteful spending in the U.S. healthcare system. He cited recent studies by Thomson Reuters showing wasteful spending and how patients are postponing medical care due to cost.

They can be found here, here and here.

Coburn often cited these reports during Senate debate on healthcare reform. He wants to bring down costs by tackling waste, fraud and abuse, and limiting medical malpractice lawsuits. And like most doctors, he wants us to live healthy lifestyles and avoid junk food. He also wants to change some popular government programs that he said are contributing to unhealthy eating habits.