MaxedOutMama echoes many of my thoughts on recent economic activity and the shameless way our President has been manipulating these issues:
The numbers that came in for January and February did show what P-Nat projected, which was a gradual bottoming pattern overall and the beginning of some upticks. Bloomberg today:
Orders for U.S. durable goods unexpectedly rose in February on a rebound in demand for machinery, computers and defense equipment.
Combined with reports showing improvements in retail sales, residential construction and home resales, the figures indicate the economy is stabilizing after shrinking last quarter at the fastest pace in a quarter century. Stepped-up efforts by the Obama administration and Federal Reserve to ease the credit crunch may help revive growth later this year.
Last night Obama took credit for these events, but the stimulus package had nothing to do with it - the effects of that haven't even hit the economy yet. Very little of that package will be felt in the first half of 2009, in fact, and less than 25% of the effect will be felt in 2009. I would also like to point out that at the time the stimulus bill was being debated, the administration was claiming that the economic emergency was so dire that the representatives and senators shouldn't even be allowed to read the thing before they voted on it. Instead, this was what was really going on in the economy.
She also shares my concerns that the recovery may in fact be undone by recent government actions, not the least of which is the Weimar Republic-like printing of money to buy back government bonds and help fund a mushrooming deficit. In fact, she and I must be fairly attuned, as she wrote:
Last week I was so sick at heart that I didn't think I could continue writing this blog.
I too felt almost exactly the same last week. Never have I been so depressed about the direction of domestic policy (I might have felt about the same around 1978, but I was only 16 and had other things on my mind). Every day last week there seemed to be a new policy directive crazier than the last. I had a real feeling like I was living through the last half of Atlas Shrugged, where an increasingly desperate government initiates a series of policies with disastrous long-term effects crafted just to survive a little longer in office. The only difference was several years in the book seemed to have been compressed into about a week of real time.
Fortunately, I am basically a happy soul and I seldom stay depressed long. I just did what I always do when I despair for the world - spent some time with my family and concentrated on what I could fix, namely the health of my own business.