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Ed Driscoll

The Economy Stinks — Now They Tell Us

December 4th, 2012 - 4:57 pm

In his latest Impromptus column Jay Nordlinger describes something that almost everyone reading this Website experiences on a daily basis — “Swimming Against the Tide.” Here’s but one of numerous examples Nordlinger rounds up:

 The briefest word about the news media — a further word. You may recall this year’s Al Smith Dinner. The tradition at these dinners is for the presidential nominees to crack wise. And here’s something that Romney said about the news media: “My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.”

Everyone laughed. No one said, “Gee, that’s weird. I don’t get it. What’s he talking about?” They knew. Everyone knows.

Or as Investor’s Business Daily notes today:

Little noticed in President Obama’s “fiscal cliff” plan is a demand for a huge new stimulus package. Wait! Wasn’t he and everyone in the press telling us just before the election how the economy was gathering steam?

In addition to the $1.6 trillion in new taxes on “the rich” that Obama demands, he’s also pushing for upward of $255 billion in new stimulus spending for next year — including $50 billion for roads, $30 billion in extended unemployment benefits and various short-term tax breaks.

According to the New York Times, the administration’s argument is that “the sluggish economy requires a shot in the arm.”And, indeed, the Times paints a rather grim picture of the current economic situation.

Data show “the recovery once again sputtering,” it reported Tuesday, adding that the “underlying rate of growth (is) too slow to bring down the unemployment rate by much.” Manufacturing and exports are lagging, it noted, while consumers and businesses are “holding back” and “wage growth is weak.”

What’s more, the Times says, economic data have “come in surprisingly weak,” and forecasters have “slashed their estimates of growth in the fourth quarter.” Macroeconomic Advisers thinks annualized GDP growth will be just 0.8% this quarter.

Now they tell us. In the crucial last few weeks before the election, the mainstream media were falling over themselves painting a rosy economic picture. Every upbeat bit of data made it to the front page; any bad news got buried.

Well, yes. And the same pattern works exactly the same in reverse in an election year, when the economy is recovering nicely under a GOP president.

And it’s not just burying bad news about the economy: “Yes, all those people coming out of the woodwork now to complain about drone strikes, interrogation, warrantless spying, indefinite detention, etc. could have been talking about this stuff in September. But they didn’t.”

Related: “Tell your troubles to Jesus; the chaplain’s gone over the hill.”

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