Free Markets, Free People
Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:
Existing home sales fell 1.0% in December to a worse-than-expected annual rate of 4.94 million.
Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell to 0.02 in December, as growth fell to just marginally above trend.
The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index plunged to –12 in January, in a decidedly negative report.
I think Philip Klein has the best read on Obama’s second inaugural speech. Oh, it had lots of things to make the left wet itself in joy, but, well, here’s what Klein thinks (he bases his conclusion on 2 lines in the speech):
This brings us to the two lines in Monday’s speech. He declared that, “We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.” This is Barack Obama, bold leader speaking (with an extra twist of irony given that the signature legislative accomplishment of his first term was supposedly aimed at containing the growth of health care costs). Then, he said, “But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.” Translation: he isn’t going to do anything to seriously reform Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and wants more economic stimulus spending, too. So, within a breath of calling for hard choices, he rejected the need for them. I can think of no more fitting summation of Obama’s presidency.
I pretty much agree. He’ll talk tough and then go to Hawaii. He’ll claim the desire to do all sorts of things and then hit the links.
Leadership takes another 4 year holiday.
In his case, it might be a good thing, although it means nothing with entitlement reform will happen – again. We’re instead going to play around the edges of immigration, gun control and global warming.