Fox News is at the apex of its corporate power. It bestrides the fetid media swamp like a mighty, dollar-and-talent-sucking Colossus of Rhodes. It’s beyond being a network. It is a unique plane of existence, separate from the mere domain of mortal man. That spending problem in DC – it only exists on Fox News.
Now never you mind the actual economic statistics. The fact that Q4 GDP went down by 0.1% versus a non-Fox News consensus estimate of 1.1% - that only happened on Fox News as well. Likewise the Consumer Confidence number that is worse than any value recorded since November 2011.
Well, actually the Consumer Confidence story just winked into existence over at Bloomberg as well. Here’s how a Philadelphia-based bond analyst feels the Consumer Confidence Cliff will effect things out in Flyover Land.
“The thing that’s particularly troubling is the sizable decline in expectations,” said Guy Lebas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, who projected a reading of 61.6. “As those expectations deteriorate, it doesn’t bode particularly well for day-to-day consumer spending.”
The P-Poor Pessimism of the American consumer was particularly manifest in evaluations of the labor market.
The number of respondents who said jobs are currently plentiful declined to 8.6 percent in January from 10.8 percent. Those who said jobs are hard to get rose to 37.7 percent from 36.1 percent. Increased pessimism about the labor market may be seeping into purchase plans. The share of Americans planning to buy a car in the next six months fell to 10.1 percent, the lowest since April 2012.
But hey, pursuing gainful employment and earning an actual wage aren't anything the Obama Administration would consider a necessary precondition to the typical consumer buying whatever they want. Ignore the fact that free lunches only add to GDP in the perverse, Krugmanesque* world of macroeconomics. Joe Weisenthal of the Business Insider Ministry of Truth tells us that the negative Q4 GDP was actually good news. And oh, I forget! Dr. Krugman informs us that we can just drop a $1TR coin in the UST like our economy was an 80’s era videogame or something.
Yet we learn that such feckless enstupidation cannot continue without becoming freighted with real (non-Fox News) world consequences. $312B in deficit spending currently attrits GDP by $5Bn as a second-order effect. This puts about $20B-$25B of GDP friction on a typical Obama spending blast. Our national borrowing is on the way to being the fiscal equivalent of the payday loan.
But in the magical world of Senator Landrieu, where unicorns and imps frolic in gay synonymy with corrupt, cigar-chomping interest group lobbyists, these problems exist only on Fox News. Wouldn’t it be a magical world if we could just all agree to shoot the messenger? Yet here’s the problem, Madame Senator. The economy has simply failed to get the memo. No matter how arrogant lifetime incumbency has made you, Senator, you cannot impose your flights of fancy on the actual real world through the sheer dint of your corrupt egocentrism. Until we get rid of the studied, insular and self-serving ignorance of people like Paul Krugman and Mary Landrieu, we can expect that our economy will continue to suck like the aforementioned turbomolecular pump.
*-Krugman’s recent work in economics has been compared unfavorably to climate-change denial by Steve Rattner.