RUSH: We have great economic news out here today, this is tremendous. ‘Employers added about twice as many new employees last month than expected.’ It’s always a surprise when the economy does well. This is Reuters that happens to be reporting this. ‘Factory orders edged up. The government reports on Friday implied the economy was strong enough to avoid a recession.’ Who’s talking about a recession? The Drive-Bys are talking, the Democrats are talking, what recession? I was watching CNBC this morning, quite by accident, a little bit after 11 o’clock, Larry Kudlow is on with Robert B. Reich-h-h-h-h-h-h-h. They’re discussing the economic growth numbers that came out earlier this week, 3.9%, and the jobs numbers. Robert B. Reich-h-h-h-h-h said, ‘At least we can say that with these job numbers the recession is not starting now.’ What is all this talk about a recession?
We know what it is, because here is a companion story. USA Today, let’s see, this ran maybe last night, might be in today’s paper, by Susan Page. A year before voting, a nation of discontent, divided by the war, anxious about the future, Americans want some fixes. ‘Call us the Unhappy States of America. One year before Election Day 2008, most Americans are dismayed by the country’s direction, pessimistic about the Iraq war and anxious about the economy. Two of three disapprove of the job President Bush is doing. Nearly a year after Democrats took control of Congress, three of four Americans say it isn’t achieving much, either. In all, 72% of those surveyed in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Oct. 12-14 say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in the USA while just 26% are satisfied. Not since April have even one-third of Americans been happy with the country’s course, the longest national funk in 15 years.’ Fifteen years, 1992. Why, that just happens to coincide with the Clinton campaign, the worst economy in the last 15 years, isn’t this a coincidence?
”Don’t get me wrong, America’s a great country,’ says Lori Jones, 46, a medical assistant in Phoenix. But she worries about her family’s finances and prospects for the next generation. ‘I think we’ve somehow lost our way.” They plucked her out of nowhere, she’s an American. ‘There’s plenty of time for attitudes to change before the election, of course, but the current landscape is the sort that in the past has prompted political upheaval and third-party candidacies. The last time the national mood was so gloomy was in 1992, when the first President Bush was ousted from the White House and H. Ross Perot received the highest percentage of the vote of any third-party candidate in 80 years. Bill Clinton was elected amid economic angst.’ This is a four-page story. I’ve only gotten through half of the first page.
Now, this is classic. This story and others like it for the past four years is exactly why some people have a pessimistic attitude about the economy, when the facts are the economy is roiling; it’s doing fabulous. Forty-two percent of California’s voters say that the state is headed downward. ‘California voters are becoming increasingly pessimistic, with immigration issues topping their worries. … But now, burdened by a sputtering economy and doubts about the ability of elected officials to deal with mounting problems, voters’ outlook is split — 42 percent of them said the state is headed in the right direction, while 42 percent gave a negative view.’ Most of it is due to immigration, and whose issue is that? It’s a bunch of Democrats. Democrats have got the state of California in trouble. If only the Republicans had somebody who could connect the dots for voters in California.
But amidst all of this, all of this doom and gloom, Larry Kudlow had a great piece that ran in NRO: ‘If things are so bad, why are they so good? With all the gloom coming out of Wall Street, the Democrats on the campaign trail, and the mainstream media, a remarkable thing just happened: Real gross domestic product, the best summary report of the American economy, came in at a breathtaking 3.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter. In fact, following the 3.8 percent growth rate for the second quarter, the U.S. economy has posted its strongest quarterly growth in four years. The economy actually appears to be speeding up, following the relatively sluggish performance of the prior 18 months. On top of this, the inflation rate is actually slowing down. The consumer spending deflator is reading 2.1 percent for the past year, compared to over 3 percent six quarters ago. The core inflation rate is down to 1.9 percent, below the Fed’s 2 percent target. …
‘While many continue to predict a consumer collapse because of falling home prices and tighter credit, after-tax inflation-adjusted income is 4.1 percent ahead of last year. … The little noticed factoid is that consumer energy use per unit of GDP has actually fallen by more than 50 percent in recent decades. Again: If things are so bad, why are they so good? The stock market roared after the Federal Reserve cut its target rate on Wednesday by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent. The rate cut was a small insurance policy. … But listening to the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, you’d think it was 1929 all over again.’ Democrat Party, soup line America. I’ve been chronicling this for many, many moons. ‘The litany of scare-talk complaints includes China trade unfairness, globalization, immigration, income inequality, stagnant wages, a shrinking middle class, the sinking dollar, and high oil prices. Yes, there is home deflation on Main Street and loan deflation on Wall Street. It will continue. But what about the rest of the story?’
It’s a great piece that suggests the worst thing that could happen right now is raising tax rates that would destroy what is obviously now — I even heard Robert B. Reich-h-h-h-h-h on CNBC today refer to what’s going on as a recovery, right after he said, ‘Well, I guess the recession is not going to start now.’ So this is a dilemma for me. When I read quotes from this 46-year-old out in Phoenix, ‘Yeah, I’m worried about the future,’ work harder! ‘Oh, Rush, easy for you to say.’ I know, it’s insensitive. Forgive me. I’m sorry. Don’t work harder. Keep whining and moaning. Great American.
RUSH: I want you to hear Robert B. Reichh-h-h-h-h on CNBC this morning. He was on with Larry Kudlow. Here’s the first one. These are little, short bites, like eight and 11 seconds. This is where he says, no recession ‘yet.’
REICH: The big news from the, uh, jobs numbers this morning is that the recession is not yet started. I wish I could be as pie-in-the-sky, optimistic Goldilocks as my friend Larry Kudlow.
RUSH: (laughter) ‘The recession has not yet started,’ and then this next one is interesting only because of the choice of words that Professor Reich-h-h-h uses here.
REICH: The middle class is — is spending too much in terms of taxes. The middle class has not seen much of a break in terms of this recovery, at all.
RUSH: I’ve never heard this, I don’t think. ‘The middle class is spending too much in terms of taxes.’ Folks, we don’t ‘spend’ taxes. They are ‘collected’ from us! The middle class is spending…? I know this is these elite economists’ type of lingo, but not even elite economists would say this. ‘The middle class is spending too much in terms of taxes’? This guy is a lecturer, or has been, at major American universities. By the way, do you remember back in 2000 — and I do remember this — during the campaign, the presidential campaign of 2000, George W. Bush was warning of a coming recession, while the Clintons were still in the White House, and they flipped out? The Clintons flipped out! The whole Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party flipped out. ‘Why, you’re talking down the economy! You’re talking down the economy! This is irresponsible in a presidential year!’ Talking down the economy is what the Democrats and the Drive-By Media have been doing for five consecutive years, maybe more, and that’s one of the reasons why so many people have all of this angst out there when it’s not. It really isn’t necessary, at all. It’s a giant disconnect. It makes no sense — especially if it’s based on this business of the gap between the rich and the poor. As I so eloquently, brilliant pointed out, the gap between the rich and poor is good!
The gap means that the poor, the middle class, have something to shoot for and get! If you have everybody making the same amount of money for the same kind of work, nobody is going to have any incentive to do anything. So this class-envy card: ‘We gotta raise taxes on the rich! The rich have what they have because they’re taking it from the middle class, the poor,’ the Democrats put this stuff out there, and class envy in a human nature sense always has some impact, but I don’t think it’s as successful, electorally. It might be successful in creating a national mood that’s sour, but I don’t know that electorally it’s going to work for them, because we are here this time to dispel it.