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Posts Tagged ‘economy’
May 4th, 2018 at 1:25 pm
Holman Jenkins on the Return to FCC Sanity Under Chairman Ajit Pai
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

From the always-insightful Holman Jenkins of The Wall Street Journal in his latest “Business World” commentary:

Mr. Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, cares about good policy.  That hasn’t been the rule for years.  During the Obama era, tech and telecom policy were driven by White House interest in whipping up millennials and exploiting public hostility to cable providers.”

April 30th, 2018 at 10:12 am
Image of the Day: A Jobs Boom
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

It’s almost as if the wave of deregulation and tax cuts had some sort of impact.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), no refuge of supply-side enthusiasts, just boosted its job growth estimate by 2.6 from last year’s estimate:

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Deregulation and Tax Cuts:  Jet Fuel For Jobs

Deregulation and Tax Cuts: Jet Fuel For Jobs

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April 9th, 2018 at 9:21 am
Image of the Day: More Trump Bump, Which They Said Couldn’t Be Done
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

During the Obama years, when we endured the worst cyclical economic “recovery” in recorded U.S. history, we were told that the 3% economic growth to which we’d become accustomed since measurement began was a thing of the past, and that “secular stagnation” was the order of the future.  Well, in just the first year of the Trump presidency, a funny thing happened:

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Three Percent Miraculously Returns

Three Percent Miraculously Returns

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February 1st, 2018 at 12:38 pm
Image of the Day: Good News on Middle-Class Shrinkage
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

We often hear lamentations regarding the shrinking U.S. middle class, and toxic prescriptions from people like Senator Bernie Sanders on how to “save” it.  Courtesy of American Enterprise Institute, using U.S. Census data, that shrinkage has actually been a largely positive thing:

Middle Class Moves Up

Middle Class Moves Up

It’s another testament to how America remains the Land of Opportunity, and that Ronald Reagan’s famed optimism remains applicable today.

January 12th, 2018 at 8:16 am
Image of the Day: Obama Apologists Seek Credit for Roaring Trump Economy
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Since World War II, the U.S. economy has averaged 3.3% growth per year.  Under Barack Obama, we never even hit 3%, instead averaging below 2%.  His apologists rationalized that “secular stagnation” had made 3% an unattainable goal, but both quarters under President Trump have already averaged over 3%.  So like clockwork, leftists attempt to credit Obama for something they claimed was no longer possible:

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January 9th, 2018 at 11:05 am
NY Times Continues Its Surrender March to Trump Economic Bump
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In last week’s Liberty Update, we highlighted how when even The New York Times acknowledges how Trump Administration policies have turbocharged the sluggish economy he inherited, the debate  over whether the economy benefits from more federal regulation or less federal regulation is won.  This is the same Times that features far-left economist Paul Krugman, who predicted upon Trump’s election that markets would crash and “never” recover.

Well, we’re happy to highlight how the slow surrender march at the Times continues under the headline “Companies Are Handing Out Bonuses Thanks to the Tax Law.  Is It a Publicity Stunt?” Their snarky addendum is understandable coming from them, but their introduction acknowledges reality:

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The big corporate tax break that became law last month is great news for companies and their investors.  But what about employees?  How much of the corporate windfall will go to workers via higher wages?

Since President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax cut into law on Dec. 22, nearly 20 large companies have announced some form of bonus or wage hike for their employees.”

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It proceeds to list some of those companies, including AT&T, Comcast, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and others.

In last week’s Liberty Update feature we noted how their January 1 story admitted that  the good economic news it detailed occurred before the tax reform legislation had even passed.  Now that it has, we’re glad to see that the Times at least continues its sudden trend of acknowledging reality.

January 4th, 2018 at 9:42 am
Image of the Day: Gallup Illustrates Trump Economic Bump
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our weekly Liberty Update, we highlight how in just one year, the deregulatory Trump economic bump is now so inescapable that even The New York Times acknowledged it in its January 1, 2018 edition.  Given that consumer spending accounts for approximately two-thirds of the U.S. economy, Gallup’s annual average U.S. economic confidence index is similarly illustrative.  For 2016, despite years of supposed prosperity under Barack Obama, the index stagnated at -10.  In just one year since Trump’s deregulatory and lower-tax administration began?  Already +6 for the year, the first time in over a decade:

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Instant Trump Bump

Instant Trump Bump

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July 14th, 2017 at 11:48 am
Image of the Day: Obama “Recovery” Worst On Record
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

On multiple measures, the economic “recovery” under Barack Obama was the worst in recorded U.S. history, due to his policies of more regulation, higher taxes and administrative fiat.  The most consecutive months of unemployment above 8% (despite promising that his trillion-dollar spending “stimulus” would prevent it from exceeding 8% at all).  The worst deficits in history, and the most debt in history.  The first time that we never reached even 3% economic growth in a year (the post-World War II average was 3.3%).  And so on.

Now here’s another.  The worst record of new business creation following a recession.

Obama Economic Record

Obama Economic Record

Keeping in mind that most new jobs are created by new businesses, that explains a lot.

June 20th, 2017 at 10:52 am
Image of the Day: What Explains That Economic Confidence Jump Since November?
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In November, Gallup’s monthly measure of Americans’ economic confidence stood at (-11).  It miraculously jumped to (+4) by December, and according to Gallup “remains considerably higher than it was before last year’s presidential election.”  How to explain that immediate jolt, not to mention the mainstream media’s conspicuous silence in favor of how many scoops of ice cream President Trump allows at the White House?  We’ll probably resolve that deep mystery.

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American Economic Confidence

American Economic Confidence

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February 2nd, 2017 at 12:33 pm
Image of the Day: Obama’s Legacy = Worst Economic Growth Record
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

The  Obama Legacy:  the worst economic growth rate of any president since official recordkeeping began.

Obamas Economic Legacy

Obama's Economic Legacy

October 14th, 2016 at 12:15 pm
Image of the Day: Liberals Need to Stop Trumpeting Their Economic Performance Record
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Remember back in 2008, when the unemployment rate stood essentially where it stands this year, the deficit over the preceding seven years was a tiny fraction what it has been over the past seven years, and liberals were acknowledging how great the economy was?

This is hardly exhaustive, but it provides a rough illustration of why Obama, his apologists and the political left skate on thin ice when they attempt to trumpet their economic performance.

Economic Performance Record

Economic Performance Record

August 16th, 2016 at 4:23 pm
Ugly Stat of the Day: Economic Productivity Decline Worst Since the 1970s
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our recent Liberty Update commentary “Obama Didn’t Save the Economy, He Subdued It,” we noted the depressing fact that the current cyclical economic “recovery” under Obama is the worst since accurate recordkeeping began after World War II.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.  The U.S. Labor Department reports that economic productivity remains in the midst of its longest decline since the 1970s:

It was the third consecutive quarter of falling productivity, the longest streak since 1979.  Productivity in the second quarter was down 0.4% from a year earlier, the first annual decline in three years.  That was further down from an already tepid average productivity growth of 1.3% in 2007 through 2015, itself just half the pace seen in 2000 through 2007, and the trend shows little sign of reversing…  Productivity is a key ingredient in determining growth in wages, prices and overall economic output.”

And the culprit?  As The Wall Street Journal notes, “The slowdown in recent quarters has likely been reinforced by weak business investment in new equipment, software and facilities that could help boost worker efficiency.”  Of course, that’s what tends to happen when an administration saddles the economy with record levels of regulation and makes no real advance toward finally reducing the developed world’s highest corporate tax rate.

Thanks, Barack!

November 13th, 2015 at 8:40 am
Podcast: Is America Closed for Business?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Patrick Hedger, Policy Director of American Encore, discusses why Obama made the wrong decision on Keystone XL pipeline project and what it means for jobs, the economy and gas prices. 

Listen to the interview here.

September 8th, 2015 at 4:56 pm
The Obama Legacy, Cont’d: Poverty Rate, Child Poverty, Business Closures Exceed Startups for First Time Ever
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Amid an excellent piece detailing the perils of minimum wage increases in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled “A Post-Labor Day, Minimum-Wage Hangover,” CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder provides yet another depressing snapshot of the emerging legacy of Barack Obama:

The real problem is that more than six years of progressive economic policies – higher taxes, more regulation, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and more – have eliminated opportunities.  The poverty rate remains at levels generally observed during recessions.  Child poverty is at its highest point in 20 years.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that for the first time since it began compiling the data, business closures each year have been exceeding new business startups.  This is the result of an economy limping along at a 2.2% growth rate.”

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August 2nd, 2015 at 11:33 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Recovery
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

April 3rd, 2015 at 10:10 am
Jobs Report: Worst “Recovery” in U.S. History Continues Under Obama
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As we’ve noted on multiple occasions, the cyclical economic recovery under Barack Obama is objectively the worst in recorded U.S. history.  Recessions and recoveries come and go, but never have we suffered one with declining median incomes, such low economic growth or this level of employment sluggishness.

Unfortunately, today’s unemployment report brought additional bad news and only serves to further cement Obama’s disastrous legacy.  Economists expected 250,000 new jobs for the month of March, but we only saw 126,000, the lowest since 2013:

The 126,000 increase was weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey, and followed a 264,000 gain a month earlier that was smaller than initially reported, the Labor Department in Washington said.  The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 245,000 advance.

‘There’s really no way to sugarcoat this.  This is a soft print all the way around, no matter how you slice it,’ said Omair Sharif, rate sales strategist at Newedge USA LLC in New York.  ’It seems that it’s corroborating that the U.S. definitely hit a soft patch in the first quarter.’”

Making matters even worse, the labor participation rate continued it’s decline to 62.7%, the lowest since 1978, before women fully entered the U.S. workforce.

The unprecedented weakness of the economy under Obama establishes the backwardness of his policies.  Although he and his supporters remain unwilling to internalize the obvious lesson that lower taxes and less federal regulation lead to a stronger economy, the American electorate fortunately maintains the opportunity to do so as 2016 brings the opportunity to select new leadership.

March 23rd, 2015 at 7:34 pm
Ted Cruz Jumps into the 2016 Presidential Race

Not one to wait his turn, today U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) became the first person to announce he is running for the presidency.

The first-term senator declared his ambition during a speech at Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university and the symbolic epicenter for the conservative grassroots Cruz is trying to represent.

In the Age of Obama, Cruz’s red meat speech seems almost like a throwback to the days when conservatives were unabashed in their support for the three-legged stool of the movement’s issues: social, economic, and national security.

If you’re looking for a candidate to double-down on first principles, Cruz might be the one.

Though his pre-announcement polling numbers haven’t been stellar, Cruz will be working hard to move the needle higher now that he is officially in the race to replace Barack Obama.

Welcome to the job interview, Senator. We look forward to hearing more from you.

February 11th, 2015 at 12:48 pm
Gallup: Obama on Track to be Most Polarizing President Ever

President Barack Obama is on pace to have the most polarized approval ratings in history, according to a new Gallup poll.

Polarized approval ratings mean the gap between those in a president’s party that approve of him compared to those in the opposition party that don’t. “So far in his presidency, there has been an average party gap of 70 points in Obama’s approval ratings, which, if it continues, would be easily the highest for a president to date,” says the Gallup summary.

For context, former President George W. Bush “is second with a 61-point gap throughout his presidency, followed by Clinton (56) and Reagan (52). The other presidents [going back to Eisenhower] had party gaps of no more than 41 points.”

As Tim explained in his column last week, it’s no surprise that people concerned about the country’s fiscal future disapprove of Obama’s job performance. Economic growth is in a nine-year rut, the percentage of the U.S. population with jobs is as low as when Jimmy Carter was in office, and the median income has actually declined since Obama’s economic “recovery” was announced.

The real question after reading through the Gallup results isn’t, What’s the matter with Republicans? It’s, How in the world can Democrats see the current president as worthy of such lofty praise?

July 2nd, 2014 at 6:22 pm
An Energy Policy that Creates Jobs and Prestige

“By boosting our energy production, the U.S. could restore its diminishing influence in the world without expending blood and treasure – in fact, we would reap major economic benefits,” writes Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Nunes is an up-and-coming member of the House Ways and Means Committee and is known for thinking big on how to use tax reform as a means to reestablish American leadership in the global economy.

Rationalizing our energy policy would go a long way too.

Thanks to improvements in technology large, untapped domestic oil and natural gas reservoirs are now reachable. States like North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma are moving to capitalize, while huge potential awaits enterprising politicians and businesses in California and Colorado.

The benefits are many. More energy production means more jobs in extracting, refining and shipping. For example, an entry-level rig worker in North Dakota averages about $66,000 a year, while the average oil industry job in the state was $112,462 as of 2012. That also means more jobs for people serving workers flush with disposal income.

There’s also a national security angle. With Iraq’s oil fields under siege by Islamic militants, Venezuela constantly swayed by demagogic collectivists and Russia threatening to cut off natural gas shipments, it’s time for the United States to take the steps necessary to ensure greater energy independence.

Unsurprisingly, Nunes wants President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as implement other measures to put the nation in a game-changing position. Of course, that isn’t happening unless Obama adopts Bill Clinton’s triangulation strategy.

Don’t hold your breath.

Still, Nunes makes a compelling case for using national energy policy as a way to improve both our domestic economy and global prestige.

It’s an angle that economically recessed, war-weary Americans might soon embrace.

June 5th, 2014 at 11:37 am
The Brave New Job Market

“The number of jobs requiring medium levels of skill has shrunk, while the number at both ends of the distribution – those requiring high and low skill levels – has expanded,” says a new research report from the Dallas Federal Reserve.

This employment polarization is changing the standard of living for those in the middle class since, “The number of people performing low-skill, low-pay, manual labor has grown along with the number undertaking high-skill, high-pay, non-routine, principally problem-solving jobs.”

Moving to the wealthier pole requires adapting to non-routine cognitive work since computer automation and off-shoring makes jobs such as “brokers, clerks, tellers, cashiers, telemarketers, title examiners, bookkeepers, insurance underwriters, travel agents and technicians” increasingly irrelevant.

This is sobering news for those aspiring to middle class status. There was a time when a college degree qualified a person’s cognitive abilities, and working according to a companywide routine virtually guaranteed a middle class lifestyle. That time is past. Going forward the likelihood that a person will escape the perils of low-income will depend greatly on her ability to be increasingly entrepreneurial in every facet of her work; whether as a full-time employee or independent contractor.

It’s a reality many formerly comfortable middle class workers would like to avoid. But with computing power and automation spreading quickly everywhere, it looks like the only option available.

Welcome to the brave new job market.