“Despite the grim picture the mainstream media continue to paint about just about everything – the insurgent-ridden reconstruction effort in Iraq, the looming Iran threat, the failed Dubai ports deal, the twin deficits, the president’s sagging poll numbers, the Jack Abrahamoff scandal, and on and on – there’s one thing they just can’t taint: This U.S. economy is very healthy.
It’s always amazing to listen to conventional demand-side economic pundits and mainstream reporters who try as hard as they can to minimize the excellent performance of the American economy ever since lower marginal tax-rate incentives were put into place almost two-and-a-half years ago. The latest chant is that a warm winter has artificially stimulated consumer spending, and that a day of reckoning marked by a housing-price crash and an overwhelming debt burden is headed our way. This is utter nonsense.
Apart from the inherent resiliency of our free-market capitalist economy, the fact remains that tax-induced capital cost reduction and resulting higher investment returns have boosted investment, healed business woes, and created employment growth near 2 million new jobs a year (and nearly 5 million since the middle of 2003 when the Bush tax cuts were implemented).
Unemployment sits at a low 4.8 percent today. Wages are perking up, with average hourly earnings rising 3.5 percent over the past year and 4.8 percent at an annual rate over the past three months – their best performances since 2001. Importantly, falling gas prices at the pump are boosting real incomes enough that consumer spending is rolling ahead despite a slowdown in the housing sector and somewhat higher mortgage rates.
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Fed said today that the Economy Carries Momentum Into Spring