Successful Economic Policies

The present administration’s policies are not examples of these.  The Wall Street Journal reported last week the following, which are the results of Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s policies [emphasis mine; perhaps, those falling incomes, reported elsewhere, are showing up].

  • US economic output in the second quarter was weaker than previously thought.  GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.3% between April and June, down from the previously reported 1.7% gain.
  • That revised GDP figure showed weaker growth because of downward revisions in inventory investment, consumer spending, and exports.
  • Orders for durable goods, products designed to last at least three years, fell 13.2% last month, the biggest decrease since January 2009 [at the depth of the Panic of 2008].  Absent highly variable transportation, August orders still slid 1.6%.
  • Shipments of durable goods slid 3.0%.
  • Unfilled orders, a sign of future demand, decreased 1.7%.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported this week that US industrial production dropped sharply in August.  This follows last week’s Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia report that said factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region continued to contract “this month….” [two major national sectors suffering decline]

In another report from the WSJ, we get this datum from the Chicago PMI: the Chicago Business Barometer fell last month to a seasonally adjusted 49.7 from 53.0 in August.  This is the first contraction in three years: a reading below 50 constitutes contraction in the sector.

All of these add up to a fading economy.  The policies in place are inhibiting what should be a very robust recovery from the sharp contraction of the Panic of 2008.  Now consider: the Progressives will argue that we’ve had 20+ straight months of growth, and the data from this report extend that streak.  They’re right, of course, as far as they go.  However, think about how far we would have come instead, had we had 20+ straight months of growth unimpeded by these policies.

Can we afford four more years?

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