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January 19, 2007

With Media No Longer Poor-Mouthing Economy, Consumer Confidence Rises To Three-Year High; MSM Stumped

The Republican Tax: the tax we all collectively pay due to a diminished economy when Republicans are in office, caused by the media's relentlessly negative coverage.

Now that the Congress has been won by Democrats, the media-imposed Republican Tax Rate suddenly goes down.

Americans entered 2007 more confident than at any time in three years as energy prices retreated and a strengthening labor market pushed wages higher.

The Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary index of sentiment rose to 98 this month, higher than forecast, from 91.7 in December. The gauge averaged 87.3 in 2006.

Gasoline prices are down 28 percent since August, leaving more cash in the pockets of consumers, whose spending accounts for more than two thirds of the economy. The report caps a week of figures showing a rebound in housing, gains in industrial production and a drop in jobless claims to an 11-month low.

``The year is starting off on a solid footing, helped significantly by the dividend of lower oil prices,'' said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Investment Strategies Group at Bank of America Corp. in Boston. ``The housing slump remains a dampening force, but it has been overwhelmed by these other positive factors.''

Treasury securities weakened after the report, driving the yield on the benchmark 10-year note up 3 basis points to 4.77 percent at 11:35 a.m. in New York. The dollar rallied in the minutes after the survey was released.

Companies have also been confident enough in the economy to keep spending. Stronger orders of large equipment including power-plant turbines helped drive a 12 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings at General Electric Co. Total orders rose 19 percent during the quarter and sales grew 8 percent.

Keep spending, not increase spending. The economy isn't terribly different than it was before November 7, but there's a strange new optimism in the air for the fair-and-balanced MSM.

Of course, oil prices have fallen to under $50 per barrel, and the Saudis are talking about ramping up production even as the price of oil falls.

But why were Americans so responsive to the rise in oil prices during the past year and a half? True, oil prices were up, but overall inflation was tame; the rise in oil prices were thus offset by very tame rises in the cost of everything else.

Isn't the media supposed to "put facts in context" for all of us drooling morons and tell us stuff like that? I have a feeling they will contextualize the living hell out of rises in oil prices under, say, President Barack Obama.

But under a Republican President-- it just reports that oil prices are skyrocketing, and this will cause a global recession, and Americans are now forced to choose between buying cat-food and lower-quallity cat-food, and on and on.

Thanks, Nancy!

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posted by Ace at 04:38 PM

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