I happened to be looking for an old post which seems to have been lost in my moves, but while searching I a link to this headline from 2006:
U.S. Economy: Growth May Slow From 5.3% Annual Rate (Update4)
U.S. economic growth rose at an annual rate of 5.3 percent in the first quarter, slower than forecast and reflecting less momentum in consumer and corporate spending.
I read that and thought, imagine what the headlines would read, now, with a Democrat in the White House. I’m pretty sure a 5.3% annual growth rate would have the press hyperventilating that we should make Obama President-for-Life.
Back in 2009, I tried to make a game out of it — “compare happy fun economic Obama headlines to previous administrations!”:
Our pals over in the MSM certainly do know how to confuse an issue.
Check out these two headlines from the SAME news service, and the SAME writer, one day apart:
Greenspan Gets High Marks Despite Economy
U.S. economy grows at strong 3.8% rate in third quarter, despite hurricanes
That second headline, of course, is from the Canadian press who I suppose have less invested in trying to continually portray the economy as “troubling.”
Of course once in a while, just once in a while, the press was forced to report good news, even if they were sort of forced to:
What a difference three days make. 72 little hours.
In that time, a New York Times reporter went from tolling the death knell of real wage growth to reporting a 7-percent wage jump over last year after inflation.
And to this day I don’t know how this piece from 2006 slipped by the NY Times’ radar: Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Is Curbing Deficit:
An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief. On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year’s levels and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago. The rising tide in tax payments has been building for months, but the increased scale is surprising even seasoned budget analysts and making it easier for both the administration and Congress to finesse the big run-up in spending over the past year.
Tax revenues are climbing twice as fast as the administration predicted in February, so fast that the budget deficit could actually decline this year.
Anyway, I just thought it was amusing. Depending on what party is in the White House, the economy is either accidentally slipping into a sweet spot despite a stupid president and stupid congress or everything is beautiful because of a “smart” president and his “smart” congress.
And the press gets away with it because most Americans don’t even realize that it’s congress, not the president, who writes the budget (although Mrs. Pelosi’s Democrat-controlled congress made that a sometimes-thing) and because attention spans have gone minimalist.