Saturday, April 23, 2011

What will the new GDP numbers show this week?

The gross domestic product estimate for the first quarter of 2011 is due Thursday. For the first six quarters after the recovery under Obama, GDP growth has averaged about 2.95 percent. Under Reagan, given what was probably at least as bad of a recession, GDP growth averaged 6.63 percent, more than twice as much. Already the poor growth numbers expected to be released on Thursday are being explained away by high oil prices. With prices reaching $3.896 per gallon on April 20th, they are indeed quite high. But this is akin to leaving out oil and food price increases in measuring inflation. Obama blames speculators for the high prices, while Obama should look at government for responsibility.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fox News: Credit Rating Wake Up Call on Debt?

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Obama still doesn't get it on economics

Reuters writes: "Obama blames speculators for rising fuel prices"

Obama doesn't understand that "speculators" smooth the swings in prices. Speculators make money by eliminating price differences over time. If they think that prices will rise, they buy oil now and store it to sell when those higher prices arise. If prices don't rise, those speculators LOSE money, losing their OWN money. Obviously there is a lot of turmoil in the Middle East. If Saudi Arabia has political trouble or other oil countries have problems, what happens to the price of oil then? BY storing some oil in case those events occur, speculators will make oil available when that short fall occurs.

President Barack Obama on Tuesday blamed speculators for driving gasoline prices higher and straining American consumers, saying there was enough oil in world markets to meet demand.

Speaking at a community college in suburban Virginia, Obama said increasing production of U.S. oil and creating a market for fuel-efficient cars would help meet the country's energy challenges. . . .

Rising fuel prices are a persistent concern for the White House, which is concerned about their impact on the economy and on voters' wallets as Obama runs for re-election.

Average U.S. gasoline prices hit $3.84 a gallon last week, the most expensive since August 2008, as oil prices have soared above $100 a barrel. . . .

Obama said that global oil supply is adequate and that speculators are driving up prices significantly.

"It is true that a lot of what's driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There's enough supply. There's enough oil out there for world demand," Obama said.

"The problem is ... speculators and people make various bets, and they say, you know what, we think that maybe there's a 20 percent chance that something might happen in the Middle East that might disrupt oil supply, so we're going to bet that oil is going to go up real high. And that spikes up prices significantly." . . .


Newest Fox News piece: Don't Single Out Standard & Poor's for Being 'Political'

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

If you think it's hard now to balance the budget, just wait until our credit rating gets trashed. Monday’s warning from the Standard & Poor’s rating agency -- that the U.S. government’s credit rating could be revised downward -- produced a firestorm in Washington. Republicans called it a "wake-up call," while the Obama administration's chief economist, Austan Goolsbee, lambasted Standard & Poor’s actions as purely "political."
Credit ratings aren’t just a matter of national pride. Less dependable, risky borrowers have to pay a higher interest rate to get people to buy their bonds. Right now the our government only has to pay 3.4% annual interest to borrow money for 10 years. But for countries who have had trouble paying their debts, interest rates are much higher. Portugal is forced to pay 9.1%, Ireland 9.8%, and Greece 14.6%.
But America's financial problems are catching up to what these other countries face all too quickly. . . .

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Newest Fox News piece: "Paul Ryan Is Right About the Budget -- Americans Cannot Afford Another Decade of Massive Government Spending"

Please leave comments and click the "recommended" link at the Fox News website. My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

The deficit is a spending problem. That's the simple truth. If federal government spending after President Clinton's last budget had simply grown fast enough to keep up with inflation and the growth in population, the 2012 budget would be running over a $70 billion surplus. Instead, federal expenditures more than doubled from $1.86 to $3.82 trillion in the ten years from 2001 to 2011, causing this year’s enormous $1.65 trillion deficit.

During President Obama's first three years in office the government's deficits are adding up to over $4.3 trillion. And there is no let up in sight. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the President Obama's budget plans will add another $10.4 trillion in deficits over the next decade from 2012 to 2021.

Americans can't afford to ignore this problem. The pricetag for that expected addition to the federal debt over the next decade comes to over $134,000 for a family of four. That doubles the debt the CBO expects that families will already face by the end of this year. . . .

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