The issue of Fear. Uncertainty & Doubt that has arisen in the wake of recent Good News On Jobs was discussed on Meet The Press today.
Shown was a clip of Jack Welch, who lit this particular brush fire on twitter on Friday, arguing that in his anecdotal experience and he didn't see how about 800,000 jobs had been created over the last few month in order to bring the overall unemployment rate down to 7.8%
At one point Chuck Todd became particularly heated in his response.
Todd: This is really making me crazy. The Federal Reserve gets questioned about politics these days. We have corroded.. what we are doing is corroding trust in our government. One time responsible people. The idea that a guy like Jack Welch or Donald Trump, rich people with crazy conspiracy theories can get traction is a bad thingYes, it's true that we seem to have lost our trust in government institution, but then again we had eight years of George W. Bush whose raison d'tra was to dismantle the functionality of government and sell it off bit by bit to the least efficient most expensive contractors they could find.
Suddenly our soldiers couldn't feed themselves anymore, they had to have it done for them by KBR. Our diplomats had to be protected by Blackwater/Xe and Wackenhut.
And now that we have a Democratic President, the entire government is fair game for ridicule and attack.
But here's the thing, you don't have to trust the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show that more people are working, all you have to do is look at the latest data from the CBO which, as I wrote yesterdays shows the Deficit Has Come Down by $200 Billion this year because more people are working!
The federal government’s fiscal year 2012 has come to a close, and CBO estimates that the federal budget deficit for the year was about $1.1 trillion, approximately $200 billion lower than the shortfall recorded in 2011.Did it go down because of spending being cut? No, because there actually hasn't been a budget passed because the Senate won't vote on Ryan/House budgets since they're so draconian. We've been on budget automatic pilot.
Did it go down because taxes were raised? No. Well, a little. There were some previously passed tax changes that improved receipts.
. Net receipts from corporate income taxes grew by $61 billion (or 34 percent), largely because of changes in tax rules in recent years.Ok, so that's $61 Billion accounted for what about the rest? Most of it came from increases in wages and jobs
. Individual income tax receipts grew by $37 billion (or 3 percent), as wages and salaries grew modestly, pushing up withheld tax payments; nonwitheld tax payments rose as well.There was some spending reductions as a result of the end of the Iraq War and Afghanistan Surge, and oh yeah, fewer people receiving unemployement benefits.
. Receipts from social insurance taxes rose by $32 billion (or 4 percent), reflecting greater withholding for payroll taxes and an increase in unemployment insurance taxes as states continued to replenish trust funds that were depleted by the recession.
. Receipts from other sources increased, on net, by about $18 billion (or 9 percent).
. Unemployment benefits—Spending dropped by $30 billion (or 24 percent), mostly because fewer people have been receiving benefits in recent months.So overall revenues were up 6% while outlays were down by 1.6%, all of these facts seem to confirm as valid the "modest" 0.3% drop in Unemployment.
. Defense—Outlays fell by $19 billion (or 3 percent), after adjusting for timing shifts, in part because of lower spending for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now I admit these are just back of the napkin types of calculations, and I wouldn't want to try and build Stonehenge with them, so maybe I should find an actual economist to talk about this.
How about Paul Krugman who today pointed out to Mary Matlin that America is doing far better in this Recovery than several other countries, including Japan.
Krugman: We're actually doing a little bit better on the average track on these things - better than other countries that have gone through a financial crisis like this. Look at Sweden in the 90's, look at Japan...Remember, this is what Krugman said 4 Years Ago and Scared the *#%^ Outta Me and most other people.
Krugman: Look, this is really scary. This is really bad, This Could be 1931 - The collapse of EVERYTHING, so you have to do something big. There are no athiests in foxholes and no liberterians in a financial crisis. When things are really bad, and people are at all rational - well,thank God we've got Hank Paulson as President - we get a response.That was then. So you really need to admit, we've come a long long hard fought way to get even this point.
Maher: Well, I've been listening to financial experts, and no offense, but it seems like they don't know what's going on.
Krugman: Yeah, right look. Anybody who knew what was going on would have been in a Bomb Shelter by now. This is panicky. Quite Seriously, Like, I was looking at the numbers on Wednesday and I thought "The World is coming to an End", and apparently the people at the Treasury Dept. thought the same thing. This was - boy - this was the worst thing I've ever seen.
Oh, and these facts make Mitt Romney's claim that "Obama Doubled the Deficit" into a Big. Fat. Wet. Disgusting LIE.