The country’s gross domestic product contracted for the first time in six years during the final quarter of 2007. After that, a bit of a recovery ensued. While official first-quarter growth was a paltry annualized 0.9%, the second quarter came in at a pretty decent 2.8%. Monthly economic growth estimates from Macroeconomic Advisers (MA) indicate that second-quarter growth was much higher — a stunning 6.4%.
Besides giving rise to legitimate reasons to question the National Bureau for Economic Research’s assertion that the U.S. has been in a continuous recession since December 2007, Uncle Sam’s and MA’s data show what the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy has been doing to us since last summer. Uncle Sam says that the economy contracted at an annualized 0.5% in the third quarter, while MA’s numbers for July through October annualize out to a mind-boggling -7.6% — and no one thinks that November and December were any better.
The POR economy kicked in during the latter part of June, when its architects — Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid — decided that starving the economy of energy by refusing to allow more offshore drilling in the face of $4 gas prices was a winning political position. Pelosi claimed that because we couldn’t totally “drill our way out of this,” we shouldn’t increase drilling at all. Reid put an exclamation point on Pelosi’s stubbornness by insisting that fossil fuels are “making us sick.” Ed Morrissey at Hot Air properly characterized Reid’s statement as economic “surrender.”
Democratic presidential nominee Obama’s unique contributions, beyond pathetically insisting that proper tire inflation and tune-ups would solve our energy problems, consisted of promises to radically raise Social Security and federal income taxes on the country’s highest earners, who also happen to largely be the most productive contributors to the economy’s growth.
I observed in July that as a result of these economy-hostile positions, “businesses and investors are responding to their total lack of seriousness by battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst.”
Those preparations were justified. “The worst” arrived; the prospect of a government infected with permanent energy antagonism and profoundly punitive taxes was just the beginning.