Gloom is Pervasive…Save in DC
Liz | 08/17 at 07:09 AM
Isn’t it ironic? The most optimistic place in the nation is Washington, D.C. Actually, it is the only place that registered confidence in the economy in the first half of this year. Why? Well, let us guess. In the rest of the country the jobs outlook, battered by the recession in league with a White House that has systematically clobbered out leading industries and companies with job-killing legislation, is terrible. In Washington, jobs are plentiful as the Obama administration continues to ramp up hiring. As Gallup points out, even with the recent efforts to rein in spending, the federal workforce will almost certainly continue to expand. President Obama’s new secret war on unemployment is to hire everyone – and put them on the federal payroll.
Apparently, the folks in DC are so close to the mayhem being caused by the debt ceiling debate that they can’t actually see it. It’s like a very large Seurat: the dots are just fuzz until you get some distance away.
The most depressed place in the country, according to Gallup, is West Virginia. Let us draw a line of dots between a state heavily invested in coal mining, and the efforts of the Obama administration to bring such mining to a complete halt. Louisiana is also high on the gloom list- doubtless in part because offshore drilling, crucial to that economy, has also been stymied by our dithering chief.
Negativity about the economy is widespread, according to Gallup, and slightly worse than a year ago. This pessimism, of course, is worrisome for the country, as it will inhibit spending among those with money in their pockets and stifle hiring by those whose businesses are growing. What Paul Krugman derides as the “confidence fairy” – that mysterious force that unleashes animal spirits and that might be bolstered by some indication that the federal government was moving to right our sinking fiscal ship – in on vacation.
The question I ask all Americans is this: can we afford another four years?
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