Archive for the ‘US economy’ Category
Budget, Deficit and all related
Huffington Post is reporting economic performance for January that provides additional indicators our economy is slowly coming back to life.
The Treasury Department said Tuesday that the government took in a surplus of $2.9 billion in January, helped by nearly $9 billion more in Social Security taxes. Last month Congress and the White House allowed a temporary cut in Social Security taxes to expire.
|Business Insider: US Budget Surplus|
February 5, 2013
Employment, GDP, CPI, Retail Sales, Industrial Production (The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank)
See more after the break
Industrial Production (2007 Unit 100)
Housing Starts (2000 – 1.31.2013)
Before we move to Steve Benen’s charts (and comment), let’s refresh our memory with a quick “Evidenced Based” digression.
We finish the comparison with the Obama Stimulus, and the jobs picture after the Stimulus.
Steve Benen’s work for the Maddow Blogs helps understand the monthly jobs figures for January and the unemployment rate which ticked up to 7.9 per cent.
…….The unemployment rate was effectively unchanged at 7.9%, and as is often the case, austerity measures undermined the employment landscape — while America’s private sector added 166,000 jobs in December, the public sector lost 9,000 jobs. Indeed, over the last three months, the nation’s private sector added 624,000 jobs, while 24,000 government jobs were lost.
It’d be easy for Washington to improve the latter number and lower the unemployment rate, but congressional Republicans won’t allow it.
Regardless, today is the day the BLS publishes its revisions for all of 2012, and that’s where we see the genuinely good news. Not only were the job totals for November and December revised up considerably — 127,000 jobs combined — but for the entire 2012 calendar year, we learned this morning of an additional 335,000 jobs that had not been previously reported.
That means 2.17 million jobs were created just last year, which is the best annual total since 2005, and tops seven of the eight years Bush/Cheney was in office. [Update: You'll want to check this out.]
So, let’s take a minute to take a closer look. I put together this chart this morning, showing annual job totals from the start of Bush/Quayle through the end of 2012. Blue represents Democratic administrations, while red represents Republican administrations, and darker colors represent job creation overall, while lighter colors represent job creation in just the private sector.
What does this tell us? A few things. First, Clinton and Obama outpace Bush and Bush in creating new jobs, even though both Democratic administrations inherited weaker economies.
Second, the 2.17 million jobs overall in 2012 really was the best year since 2005, and surpass seven of the eight years of Bush/Cheney. While 2012 obviously wasn’t robust for job creation, it managed to surpass three of the eight years Clinton/Gore was in office, too.
And third, while the private sector has done better than the overall economy under Obama, under his three most recent predecessors, the opposite was true.
The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50
|The unbelievable undecided and the reality of a return to this (with different faces)|
Is that what Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was suggesting while speaking at an Iowa Campaign event recently – - – that to grow the Economy we actually need less teachers, policemen and firefighters on the payroll?
Is that in fact what he said or has there been some kind of misinterpretation?
Surely to goodness a Presidential Candidate who is billed as a Job Creator would not be suggesting an agenda of cutting jobs!
Republicans seem to be always talking about how President Obama has no jobs program on the table but they never seem to mention that he sent a comprehensive “American Jobs Act” to Congress a long time ago and they are still sitting on it, as it were – - -The President’s Jobs Act that would reportedly create almost Two Million new jobs (A lot of them in Construction and Rebuilding Infrastructure).
I don’t know what some Right Wingers expect to gain by denying President Obama has any kind of Jobs Plan when they seem to absolutely refuse to move on the one he sent them.
Now some observers are asking, “Does Mitt Romney actually think that America needs fewer jobs for The Middle Class and not a lot more?”
I always thought that “Job Creators” were supposed to be creating new jobs and more of them. I do not understand at all how “Job Creators” expect to “Grow The Economy” by either making plans to hire fewer workers or to cut jobs and eliminate jobs wherever and whenever possible.
Here is the statement that seems to have a lot of people all excited about what The Candidate is supposed to have said or meant or whatever as he reportedly spoke about President Obama:
“He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American People did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help The American People.”
So is the Candidate talking about helping the fabled 1% of the Richest Americans here or is he talking about helping the 99% of the rest of us or is he talking about helping “Everybody” with the “Cut Back On Government” idea?
Does the Candidate’s statement need more clarification or is it just me who isn’t getting it?
I am of the opinion that creating fewer jobs is not the job of a Jobs Creator and I am also of the opinion that if we were to get rid of more firemen, policemen and teachers than we already have it would be more destructive to the Economy than it would be a help to the Economy – - – which, by the way, needs all the help it can get right now as I see things.
Can someone smarter than me (and that would include almost everybody, I guess) figure out the logic in what the Candidate said about all this during his Iowa appearance the other day?
Posted by John Liming as part of his continuing Diary of Political Opinions.
Picture Credit - Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons.
|Ali Velshi, CNN Host and Finance Contributor|
The following screed requires a wee-bit of time to complete. The central theme is our perception of the economy and how one news host carefully and credibly present a perspective that many do not cover. The extent to which right-wing campaign strategies, pundits and ’so-called’ experts wish to continue to poo-poo economic and financial progress is stupefying.
Before I delve into this screed, allow me to glom a bit of credibility by openly admitting to a bias for the Obama Administration financial analyses from CNN’s Ali Velshi. Velshi will state his perceptions of mistakes or less than stellar effort from the Administration when criticism is due, but he balances those ‘out-takes’ with exuberance when proper credit is worthy.
A few words from Velshi about the economy.
Housing Market. Watch the punditry in this segment. And, watch Velshi’s focused efforts to be fair with both guest.
Consumer Confidence, Now watch this Romney strategist. Did she actually answer any questions? She seems well equipped with talking points, but after a few utterances the talking-points tire-out badly.
|The 43rd President of the United States of America speaks!|
On the very day Rick Santorum announced his was headed to the ‘graveyard’ of the 2012 GOP quest for president, George W. Bush again stepped on the GOP’s shtick. He rained on Mitt Romney’s parade in an unforgettable way. While a pure coincidence, it is ironic the worst president in modern US History would come-forth spewing oratory that induces reflection on 2007/2008 and early 2009: The US Great Recession. Earlier in the week, Bush visited the US Historical Society (of all venues) to speak about tax policy and economic growth.
I understand conservatives are not people who reflect on the past as a guide to the future’. It is not in their paradigm or their ilk to remember and contemplate and ask basic questions like, “Shouldn’t we ask George W. Bush” to hang-back until after the election to speak about tax policy and economic growth.”
If there is a thought of harshness in my words, think for a minute back to 2008. During the entire 2008 campaign, did you hear, see, or sense any presence of the following people: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, or Condooleezza (S/P) Rice? Do you believe that was by coincidence? Factually speaking, Cheney was dispatched to the country of Georgia and Rice was dispatched also, but I do not recall to what corner of the globe. Bush was simply hidden like an ashamed and remorseful monster.
As you listen to the embedded video, consider the following.
I . Bush mentions job creators. Why did the creators disappear on him after 7 years of ‘false trickling economics’? December 2007 (when the recession started despite Bush protestation and lies that the nation was not in recession) through December 2011. See Chart below. The jobs picture is actually better in 2012 despite the dip for March 2012.
Bush’s speech was the first public speech I can remember sense he shamefully left office in 2009. The oratory could not have come at a better time. People who have opportunity to reflect back (to his administration) while recognizing the current GOP is a much worse evil than in year 2000.
Do you want to know the really sad part of his speech in New York City? He actually speaks as if he has one iota of credibility from which to speak. The record speaks for itself, how could he exercise such a cavalier brazenness in the face of reality. Of course, he mentions a book and rest assured he was paid handsomely to expose himself.
I have to wonder if the people in his audience, paid to sit through his speech? If they could afford the ticket price, surely their minds had to occupied with questions about his choice of topic considering his record and our continued ailing economy.
III. Since the words ‘gas prices’ is on every smiling GOP face, though I would add a quick ‘take’ on gas prices.
Brook Wilson’s Economic Blog dot Com
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Voters’ blood pressure has soared as rising gasoline prices have hammered their budgets. Many heap blame on President Obama as they have on past presidents for events that occur under their administrations, perhaps because politicians running for office claim they can fix all problems. Seizing an opportunity to win votes, Republican politicians blame President Obama’s policy for rising gasoline prices and promise to dramatically lower prices just as Democratic claimed power to solve pertinent economic problems four years ago. Politicians are not omnipotent and even when policies affect outcomes; their policies can be overwhelmed by market forces.The graph “EIA U.S. All Grades Formulations Retail Gasoline Prices” plots the price of gasoline over the past eleven years beginning with President Bush’s first term. As President Obama’s Republican critics state, the price of gas has nearly doubled since he took office. Picking a starting point is a good way to trick unwary readers. By using a longer time frame, it is clear that rising prices preceded the Obama administration and that the trend was only interrupted by the Great Recession. In March 2001, the price of gasoline was $1.45 per gallon compared to $3.64 per gallon last week.
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Now that is comical!
|Some Presidents work for a better America|
I received a comment a couple of weeks back from a reader who asked me the following.
“Why do you support Obama. I am curious.”
While I answered the commenter, President Obama’s leadership this week was clearly obvious. Results from Administration programs and direct action from the president are noteworthy.
A midst all of the hoopla and political maneuvering, evidence of President Obama’s leadership continues to roll steadily forward.
Recent indications of our being in ‘good hands’ are :
A. Movement to counter rising gasoline prices (at the pump)
B. CBO estimates that healthcare reform (Affordable Care Act) will cost less than previous CBO estimates.
C. Unemployment continues to improve.
D. Market indicators are at a five year high.
Movement on Gas Prices
Reuters – Richard Mably reports
LONDON–Britain has decided to cooperate with the United States in a bilateral agreement to release strategic oil stocks, two British sources said, in an effort to prevent high fuel prices derailing economic growth in a U.S. election year.
A formal request from the United States to the UK to join forces in a release of oil from government-controlled reserves is expected “shortly” following a meeting on Wednesday in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, who discussed the issue, one source said.
My comments in support of the ‘strategic reserves release’ date back about a week. It became clearly obvious that prices would continue to climb and to climb at a time (of year) unparalleled in history. Prices generally start seasonal increases well later than this year’s climb.
The Reuter’s article covers many facets of taping oil reserves. Mably’s work includes comment about how other nations plan to deal with higher prices, and he frankly layouts out Administration concern for higher prices impact on President Obama’s prospects for reelection.
Rising world oil prices have pushed U.S. gasoline prices up sharply this year and threaten to choke economic recovery ahead of Obama’s bid for re-election in November
“At the moment there is no need to use it (strategic reserves),” IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said at an industry conference in Kuwait on Wednesday.
“There is more supply coming to the market from OPEC countries. There is no price trigger for the stocks release, the trigger is a disruption in physical supplies.”
“There is no real supply disruption, this is just price management”, said Olivier Jakob from Vienna-based consultancy Petromatrix.
CBO estimates that healthcare reform (Affordable Healthcare Act-ACA) will cost less than previous CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates.
The GOP continues to use repealing ACA as political mantra. President Obama has asked the Supreme Court to rule on the ACA “mandate”. We continue to receive reports of how ACA is benefiting millions across the nation, (e.g., pre-existing conditions and coverage to the young). Right-wing mantra, coupled with the spreading perception of benefit from ACA, are now accompanied by an even more important deficit report from the CBO.
The independent budget review agency released a report that will garner little to no comment from America’s conservatives and Fox News. March 2012 CBO and JCT (Joint Committee on Taxation have revised budget baseline projections to show a $50 billion savings over previous projections.
The Estimated Net Cost of the Insurance Coverage Provisions Is Smaller Than Estimated in March 2011
CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012-2021 period-about $50 billion less than the agencies’ March 2011 estimate for that 10-year period. (For comparison with previous estimates, these numbers cover the 2012-2021 period; estimates including 2022 can be found below.)
The CBO/JCT revised projections is nothing shy of great news. I previously mentioned the GOP calls for repeal of the ACA. Competent members of the White House Staff has addressed that ridiculously political act via the following video. Does the nation really need to take on additional deficit spending on appeal of the ACA?
Unemployment continues to improve.
As we look at yet and other chart related to jobs growth, we should also keep-in-mind that small print at the bottom of the chart. It is also critical that we remember, the Bush Administration lied about the nation’s move into economic recession. The ‘Great Recession’ started in December 2007. During early 2008, we witnessed face-after-face of nervous White House officials lying about the nation ”not being in” recession. Interestingly, the White House eventually admitted the beginning of the recession as December 2007; the admission came in December of 2008. One very notable national event took place between December 2007 and December 2008. The nation held a General Election, and the GOP ticket lost that election. UUUUUM, Admission after an election! I should not overlook another extremely important 2008 nation event: the nation’s economy collapsed.
While President Obama works to move the nation forward, it is important for the informed to remain diligent in reminding all of GOP governance as the nation slipped into the Great Recession. They hid facts, lied about economic conditions, and all the while ignored telling signs of doom.
And, now they want us to turn the nation back over to people who show character at levels far below that of George W. Bush.
Market indicators are at a five year high
As Barack Obama was inaugurated as President
Snapshot of Jan. 20, 2009
|Jan 20, 2009||8,279.63||8,291.98||7,939.93||7,949.09|
January 20, 2009: 7,949.09
March 15, 2012″ 13,253.00
|Nutty, nutty, nutty|
Every news media and related Internet web page are reporting today’s stock market performance.
ThinkProgress reports as part of a broader story the following.
The Nasdaq topped 3,000 today for the first time since 2000 and the Dow finished strong, up 217 points at 13,177 — its highest level since the end of 2007.
Despite our very disturbing gas prices and less than stellar (but improving) housing, other economic indicators are churning along very well. While unemployment remains at 8.3%, we must remind the 8.3% is juts shy of the unemployment rate when President Obama took office (7.8 % January 20, 2009) and the rate is influenced by people returning to job searches. The returning job seekers are a phenomenon indicative of an improving economy. Expertise have reported the return of the job seeker is the single reason the 8.3% rate did not ease down slightly toward 8.0 per cent.
The US economy’s slow, but steady improvement is posing serious problems for the nation’s conservatives and conservative (public relations) media. If you follow US news networks and the almost comical GOP presidential nomination process, you have firsthand knowledge of their level of desperation. We are not hearing about the national debt, deficit spending, JOBS, infrastructure, protecting the nation’s power grids, national defense, education, healthcare programs, nor any common issues common to past presidential elections. The party GOP has certainly given us a plethora of inane and asinine comments and issues: Obama’s trips to India, Haagen Daz Black-Walnut Ice Cream, birth certificate, religion (well over the top), Voter ID laws, ”BLAH people”, Food-stamp president, kids as janitors, moon-colonies (guaranteed),fowl-mouthed idiotic P/R demagogues, Paul Revere, and not one concrete issue towards maintaining or improving our society. Also note there is no talk from the Right about entitlement programs; the season is just not right (excuse the pun) for their central agenda. Conservative media is occupying itself sniping at peripheral issues while using veritable ’whack jobs’ for comment after their show host facilitate by delivering ‘softball’ leading remarks. Perfect examples include, a.) Sean Hannity leading Palin into audacious comment about a lack of Barack Obama vetting , [Palin mentions the word "vetting"!] b.) The following comments from Florida’s Alan West, c.) Any host comments from Bill O’Reilly.
The latest and quite possibly the most ‘insane’ drivel, is embedded below. The Neil Cavuto interview is classic Fox News and classic mental ineptitude from a tea party member of the US Congress. Alan West (R) FL. peppers the interview with completely ’concussion-ed‘ remarks. Concussion-ed? I am tying to avoid a more comfortable and descriptive characterization of West’s remarks. Yes, you have heard it from me before, Host Neil Cavuto leads West into a perfect example of constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth.
West said the markets were only up because traders think Republicans will win big in November. Host Neil Cavuto seemed taken aback by the suggestion and pressed West for clarification, but the Congressman stood by his claim:
CAVUTO: What do you think about that? That the markets say you’re wrong, that the pick up is alive and well.
WEST: Well, I would think maybe the markets are maybe looking five to six months down the road, when we have a change in leadership in this country –
CAVUTO: Wait a minute, you think that this is built on a Republican either capturing the White House or Republicans capturing the Senate? … That might or might not be a stretch, but it is out there as a factor. You think that’s a genuine factor? You think that the markets are getting bubbly in anticipation of a Republican taking the White House?
WEST: Oh, absolutely. Well, I think that there is a hope that may be out there, is that we can get a person that has practical viable solutions for job creation here in the Unite States of America [in the presidency].
OK, despite my laughter, which I am certain Cavuto felt but could not release, I took a look back at our presidents back to Richard M. Nixon and forward through Barack Obama.
If markets are reacting in a ‘giddy’ manner, in anticipation of the next president, whom West fantasizes as republican, how can he account for the following (See chart below). The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a serious dip in 2011/2002 after the 9/11 attacks. After the devastating Post 9/11 loses, investors experienced a herky-jerky, but steadily improving marker until the Bush ‘bubble’ burst in 2007. The Bush ‘bubble’ burst culminated with a DIJA low of 6547 in 2009 the day President Obama took office. The DIJA immediately started a drastic and rapid comeback, very much aided by President Obama’s Stimulus package (intervention). It should be noted that the DIJA climb back to over 80 per cent higher than its 2009 low was not fueled by a ‘false economy’ fueled by toxic assets and sub-prime lending.
(Click Chart for Larger view)
US Presidents from 1969 through current President
|Down Jones Industrial Average Performance 1972 – 2/2012||37. Richard Milhous Nixon||Republican||1969-1974|
|38. Gerald R. Ford||Republican||1974-1977|
|39. James (Jimmy) Earl Carter, Jr.||Democrat||1977-1981|
|40. Ronald Wilson Reagan||Republican||1981-1989|
|41. George H. W. Bush||Republican||1989-1993|
|42. William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton||Democrat||1993-2001|
|43. George W. Bush||Republican||2001-2009|
|44. Barack Obama||Democrat||2009-|
Alan West is obliviously much more accustomed about clicking the heels of his army boots and snapping to a salute, than competent in understanding US markets. Cavuto certainly knows that the DIJA, NASDAQ and S&P, are not driven by speculation, “…five to six months down the road.” The markets simply do not work as such. Of course, West could simply have delivered typical Fox News ‘insanity’ to its viewers. Since this screed is based on one of the most idiotic and ridiculously stupid remarks of this political season, I’ll just sum-up as follows.
As was stated in one of my favorite Paul Newman movies, Cool Hand Luke, ”What we have here is a failure to communicate…” Why does Fox News insult their viewers with such idiotic drivel? How can Cavuto allow a producer to book someone as ‘nutty’ and undereducated (in matters related to the US economy) as West on a show with a financial focus. West is best booked on the Glenn Beck show. Oh, Lost track, Beck was fired from Fox News. Someone in the Fox News booking staff and guest preparation staff, could have at least alerted West of the nature of Cavuto’s guiding comments. Hannity’s staff does such when they book the mouthpiece from the North!
The final sadness in the West comments? Most members of the GOP certainly recognize the nuttiness of his remarks. Yet, there are millions of Fox News viewers who probably accepted the craziness as fact or a prospects. What happens if the market continues to track higher once President Obama wins in November? And there-in lies the shallowness of the GOP, Fox News and many conservatives, there is little to no thought beyond the end of their noses. What happens if US markets tanks before the November Elections? No need to answer. My questions mean little to Cavuto’s audience. Fox News viewers do not care and West has no personal credibility to protect anyway.