US Economics Headlines, Circa 2005-2006

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.

But of course, You-Know-Who (R-Texas) was president at the time, so anything remotely positive in his Rodney Dangerfield economy had to be delivered with a poisoned rag

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.

2005: There go 800,000 jobs? Not Really

2009: There go 800,000 jobs for real, this time?

Bush Tax Cuts Created Deficit. Not

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    You’re right. Bus was the Rodney Dangerfield. And once we got over the Dot-Com buble burst as he went into his presidency and 9/11 economic shock, Bush’s economy was solid, based on tax cuts I might add. In fact I believe he holds the record of any president with the most consecutive months of job creation. Does anyone give him any credit? Of course not. He’s got an “R” to his party affiliation. And before anyone harps on it, let me state that the housing collapse had nothing to do with his administration. He actually warned us of the over extension of mortgage credit, though perhaps not vociferous enough. Well, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd weren’t going to let anyone tinker with Freddie Mac and Fannie May. The roots of that problem go back a long way and to be fair spread across both parties. But I liked the Bush economic approach. I still consider myself a compassionate conservative.

  • Greta

    Anchoress, the media is the PR arm of the Democratic Party. I love how the left bash Fox News (which most of them do not watch) and yet it has more guests on that are given time to spout off about the left position. In fact, more appear from the left on Fox in a week than in the entire history of MSNBC. However, I have grown tired of the entire 24 hour news networks and like many, I get most of my news today from surfing the internet just to see what CNN, Fox, and others are saying on their sites about the same stories. I can read them without the interpretation of the talking heads just fine. The same with the debates, I can watch them and turn it off before the talking heads come on to tell me what to think and who “won”. They want the news to be turned into anything that will attract ratings rather than have a responsibility to report the news as it happened. My example of what they should be doing is Walter Cronkite who for most of his career gave the news so unbiased that everyone was shocked after his retirement to see his liberal positions on issues.

    Of course you can expect to get bashed from the lefties for even hinting there is a bias. The worst example of course was the shabby CBS with Dan Rather and most of that network crew who got caught trying to push a lie days before a presidential election to try to influence the outcome. They must all hate the bloggers who point out their shabby behavior with posts like this one.

  • Thomas R

    In fairness I think there is a different context involved. There may have been the “dotcom bust” but the economy under Clinton grew in most years.

    Still going by most things I’ve read Obama is either under-performing compared to the global economy or doing about average. (Although better than the average for the EU) Or the Congress, Democratic and Republican ones, are equal or under-performing average.

    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?v=66&c=xx&l=en
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/unemployment-rates-list-by-country

  • doc

    Greta, you are correct. This is why I think the corporte media can’t go out of business fast enough. They are worse than Brezhnev-Era Pravda “reporters”. By that time Pravda reporters were cynical. Our corporate media clowns are tue-believers in the Progressive agenda and utter tools of the Democrats. Remember, the agenda: If a story hurts Republicans or helps Democrats, play it up, enhance it, or invent it. If a story helps Republicans or hurts Democrats, ignore it, dismiss it, or deny it.

  • Will

    It is best to ignore news from CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and the like. The best news comes from Fox or from internet sites which provide the correct intrepretation of the news.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    I think the farther one heads out to the political and ideological extremes, the more usual it is to see people who find points of view to reinforce their private sense of things.

    Unfortunately, Mr Bush wasn’t a president who could run an executive branch to deal with the wide range of problems. While he was directing adventures and enabling war profiteers in southwest Asia, corporate looters lived for the moment, or rather the decade. Of course, the Dems are in the pocket of corporations, too. It’s why we need at least two new political parties to restore a system of checks and balances, if not just a plain lawful spirit.

    Mr Obama’s economic reform lost me at Mr Geithner, and hasn’t recovered with his tacit approval of lawlessness in the banking industry. On the other hand, Fall 2008 showed that corporate wealth has the presidency by the short hairs, but at least we didn’t get a pincer movement on Iran.

  • dry valleys

    Can anyone account for why in Britain, where the government is following a totally orthodox neoliberal policy, economic growth is even more sluggish than in America?

    We are living in a massive laboratory in which 60 million people are having the policies “libertarians” advocate tried ou on them. And I’m not seeing any gain in my pockets, that’s for sure.

  • Peggy R

    Yes. And, in spite of the dot-com bust and 9-11, the unemployment rate remained stable. The natural rate is considered to be 5%. The media would sound the alarm at 5.6% or 5.9%. Irking me greatly. The unemployment rate went up only in the last half of 2008. My theory is that, yes, the mortgage bubble was the instigator of the problem, but also that, as it became clear that O would be elected (b/c McVain fumbled the crash so badly) the economy began to tank. The markets believed what O said, regardless of the Wall St funding O. A real schizophrenia going on at Wall St. The economy and markets will not recover until O is out of office. One year to go. May God have mercy on us and help us through.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    “Can anyone account for why in Britain, where the government is following a totally orthodox neoliberal policy, economic growth is even more sluggish than in America?”

    Sure. The so-called ideas of the conservatives just aren’t working. They’re attempting a shell game in the US with social security, Medicare, and all. I hope few remain convinced.

    “The economy and markets will not recover until O is out of office. One year to go.”

    Try five. People on the far left may be disappointed in the president, but he never had the Right in the first place. Federal elections are like MLB. Even the worst of the two major-league teams get thirty, thirty-five percent. Just for showing up.

    I sure hope the schizo isn’t intentional. That would be criminal, treasonous, and fodder for OWS to get really serious.

    As for the last sentence in the post, sure: by themselves tax relief on the rich didn’t create a deficit. Spending creates deficits, and Mr Bush and Congress spent wildly on Asian adventurism. It would be good to see some spending for America, in America, for a change.

  • Mark

    Todd says “It would be good to see some spending for America, in America, for a change.”

    The well is dry for government spending so I can only assume that you are talking about freeing up capital now sitting idle to have them again invest in America. If you are in any way talking about government spending more to “invest” in this country, I totally disagree. As we have seen, the government does not do anything efficiently and often makes things worse. We need to rethink most of what government has been doing over the last 80 years and determine if that is indeed the role of that level of government be it federal, state, or local. We need to determine if agencies as a whole that have been created have improved whatever they were created to do such as the Department of Energy giving us a solid energy platform for the future or the Department of Education giving us quality cost effective education for the future. In every case, I think any honest evaluation by a competent and unbiased group would shut them down in total along with about half the federal government. This is sadly true at the state level as well and often found at the local level in many cities. Less government in the vast majority of cases is far better for everyone except those who work in these jobs. With the elimination of these department should come a complete review of everything they have done to determine if it has helped or made things worse in reguations. I doubt congress can take up this task with any degree of success and would love to see by constitutional amendment, a seperate group formed to have this role in our government to begin the massive job of bringing us back to what the founders intended the roles to be in government. They should also have power to evaluate judicial decisions which are not included in the constitution to bring this group back to reality as well.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    Mark, it seems rather convenient that after a spendthrift big government under mostly Republicans 2001-09 you think the well is dry. I suspect that extending the founders’ vision to the American military might not go down smoothly in some conservative quarters. It seems that everybody has ideas about belt-tightening, but I find it hilarious that quite often the notching viewpoint is for thee, not me.

    Government, in some areas, may have a problem with efficiency, but the problem with letting Big Business run the show is both the lawlessness we’ve seen since 2008 (and before) as well as the total lack of accountability. If the feds were doing their jobs, laws and regulations would be enforced and a number of bankers would be in jail for criminal theft, fraud, racketeering, conspiracy, and other crimes against citizens. Rather convenient that just when we need accountability, you and other folks are calling for the weakening of the only sizable check on corporate power. How does that work? Why have so many conservatives abandoned the principle of law and order?

  • SKay

    Obama is going to ask Congress to raise the debt ceiling to 16 trillion. Wonder how much moreof our grandchildrens future will go to the get out the vote for Obama crowd.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Obama has spent s into oblivion and it hasn’t wortked. My God, how much more spend do you want? Spending is useless. It’s only a momentary lift. It doesn’t sustain. And it has to get paid back. Money doesn’t grow on trees. And spending on what, more shovel ready jobs? Pfft. In the words of Obama himself, “I guess shovel ready jobs were not as shovel ready as we expected.”

  • Mark

    Todd, you make arguments that prove my post is correct.

    “you think the well is dry”. We will soon be asking for a new debt ceiling over 16 trillion and have not even touched the “entitlement” reform. It is beyond dry.

    “Government, in some areas, may have a problem with efficiency”. Please give me a list of any agency of goverment that has produced a product that is convenient, effective, efficient, and has been anywhere near cost projections presented when created or met the high expectations laid out by the political hacks? Solution is to eliminate a huge number of agencies and all the regulations that go with them. I do not believe I have ever fought for the defense department not facing the same belt tightening measures. However, keep in mind one of the things that the federal government is supposed to do is to protect the people of the USA and our borders. Nothing in the founding about many of the other roles it has taken on since that time.

    “problem with letting Big Business run the show is both the lawlessness we’ve seen since 2008″. Was not aware that big business is running the show. Most business CEO’s are as frustrated with government not doing their job as everyone else. I also note you follow this with “If the feds were doing their jobs, laws and regulations would be enforced and a number of bankers would be in jail for criminal theft, fraud, racketeering, conspiracy, and other crimes against citizens.” Here is where we are in agreement. I would add that those responsible in the government for doing their jobs should also go to jail, not be rewarded with the task of writing new regulations like Frank and Dodd. There were plenty of laws already in place if the government had been doing its job to enforce those already on the books. Again, government failure. You make my case again. I would like to also see politicians in those same jails who covered up the growing problems of Freddie and Fannie and fought the Bush administration efforts to make changes at least 6 times during their eight years. Fredie and Fannie are run and controled by the government. Rest my case.

    “Rather convenient that just when we need accountability, you and other folks are calling for the weakening of the only sizable check on corporate power. How does that work? Why have so many conservatives abandoned the principle of law and order?” Not sure where you get this idea. Show me where I have advocated this in any way. I want complete accountablity and believe that going back to about 1990 and the agencies in place then would give us plenty of federal government in place to check corporate power. We had agencies in place to take on corporate power when we had the massive trust busting administrations of Teddy Roosevelt. And when we get to the right size government, we will have much more cash in the hands of the people and those who create jobs and less idiotic regulations to overcome to make America work again. I would certainly believe a business could do a better jobs educating our schools than the government is doing and do it for less per student. The parochial schools do that every day.

    I will be waiting for that long list of efficent, effective, convenient to use, government agencies and programs that met the goals and budgets presented when created. Who wants to bet Todd does not provide this list???

  • Will

    “And when we get to the right size government, we will have much more cash in the hands of the people and those who create jobs and less idiotic regulations to overcome to make America work again.”

    Do not hold your breath waiting for that to happen. The “job creators ” (one of those overused terms) are far more likely to create jobs overseas. There is plenty of capitol in the hands of many businesses. People without jobs or with temporary or contract jobs do not have the job security to buy things. As for regulation, some want to go back to the smoke stack spewing economy of the past or outlaw unions and make every job temporary.


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