Free Markets, Free People
The following US economic statistics were announced today:
Chain stores are reporting mostly lower sales growth for November, as weak sales early in the month wasn’t offset by stronger sales later.
Initial claims for unemployment fell 23,000 last week, to 393,000. The 4-week moving average remains high at 405,250. Continuing claims fell 70,000 to 3.287 million.
The first revision for 3rd Quarter GDP was revised upwards substantially to 2.7% annualized, but due to inventories, not demand growth. Consumer spending and business equipment were both revised downwards. The GDP Price Deflator, an inflation measure, remained high at 2.7%, though the core rate, ex-food and energy, was revised down to 1.3%.
Corporate profits in the 3rd quarter grew to $1.752 trillion annualized, versus $1.665 trillion in the 2nd quarter.
The Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.2% to 104.8 in October.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.9 points to -33.0.
The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index fell to -6 in November, down from -4 in October.
When is the GOP (and the public) going to learn?
How many times have we heard that the only thing standing in the way of a grand bargain to reduce our growing national debt is Republican intransigence on taxes? If Republicans would only agree to dump Grover Norquist, Democrats will agree to cut spending and reform entitlements. Then, we can all join hands and sing Kumbaya as we usher in a new era of compromise and fiscal responsibility.
Except that now that Republicans have agreed to raise taxes, er, revenue, as part of an agreement to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, liberals appear to have decided that there really isn’t a need to cut spending after all.
Yup, in fact they’ve taken entitlement reform “off the table”.
Senate Democratic leaders signaled Tuesday they would not agree to any entitlement reforms before the end of the year that cut spending on Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
They also said that any year-end deal to avoid the expiration of tax cuts and implementation of spending cuts — known as the fiscal cliff — must include a provision to raise the debt ceiling, which would otherwise have to be addressed early next year.
The White House and Reid have indicated they will not consider cuts to Social Security, a notable change from 2011, when President Obama said “everything is on the table,” including entitlement programs dear to his party’s base.
In other words, we’re back to “tax the rich”, raise the debt ceiling and spend, spend spend. Meanwhile, it is left up to the GOP to “compromise” by breaking the tax pledge (led by the Judas goats, Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham) or be forever branded as the intransigent “bad guys” in this.
Meanwhile, low information Americans who, by over 60% approve of taxing the rich, will buy the spin by the press painting the GOP as the cause/reason for the calamity while Democrats “lament” the problem (“but, hey, that’s now the law thanks to Republicans”) and gleefully rub their hands in delight at all the new revenue they’ll have to “redistribute”.
Some things never change, do they?