Donna Brazile apparently liked yours truly's NewsBusters post yesterday. That post ripped the Associated Press's Pollyanna-like coverage of the U.S. economy, and carried the following headline which may have caused several spilled drinks and soaked monitors among the genuinely informed — "AP: ‘Humming’ and ‘Rising’ U.S. Economy Is a ‘World-Beater.'"
About five hours after the post's appearance, Brazile tweeted her clear approval (HT Twitchy). While we appreciate any traffic which might have come this way as a result of Brazile's tweet, it's hard to imagine that Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign manager has switched sides. It's far more likely that she didn't bother reading the underlying post. The tweet follows the jump:
As I noted in yesterday's post, if the U.S. economy really is a world beater right now, it's only because its performance is less mediocre to awful than that seen in other nations.
For Ms. Brazile's and others' benefit, here is much of the evidence presented in yesterday's post which contradicts Paul Wiseman's and his wire service's "humming" and "rising" meme:
- Two straight months (April and May) of real declines in consumer spending.
- A seasonally adjusted decline of 523,000 in full-time employment paired with an increase of 799,000 part-time jobs in June.
- April’s and May's trade imbalance coming in worse than March’s, which was already very high.
- Shipments of durable goods barely budging in April and May.
- Factory orders falling in May.
- May's flat construction spending.
- Growth in the second quarter, assuming it occurs, is very likely on fail to offset the first quarter's annualized contraction of 2.9 percent.
- The idea that the first quarter's contraction was "largely" due to "brutal weather" (Wiseman's words in both instances) and not economic fundamentals is ludicrous. Here's a hint (not noted in yesterday's post): Since health care spending declined instead of increasing as originally thought, there's a good chance it has a lot to do with O-, O-, O- ... Obamacare.
As to the "humming" job market, the job growth of the last six months is nice, but it's tiny in comparison to that seen from 1982-1989 — and, as I noted yesterday, "the American people didn't have to wait until almost five years after the recession ended in the early 1980s to see spectacular job growth take place."
Wiseman then gave five reasons why the economy is a world beater. Predictably, two of them essentially boiled down to the idea that the U.S. has gone all-in with Keynesianism on steroids. The fact is that trillions in QE and budget deficits have given us a post-downturn economic performance which is worse than any seen since World War II and is barely better than the post-Depression 1930s.
Someone has told me that I should add "Fooled Donna Brazile" to my list of accomplishments as a blogger.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'll pass. It's obviously not that difficult.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.