With Obamanomics, We're Not Even Close to $eeing Green

In much of the Midwest, 2009 thus far has been a year of record rains, lots of snow, and lots of record low temperatures.

The bad news is that this year's weather has presented unwanted challenges to farmers attempting to get their planting done in time, and that flooding has caused terrible hardship in some areas. The upside, besides the fact that it's yet another anecdotal nail in the coffin of global warming alarmists, is that 2009's weather thus far has made keeping the grass green a much easier task for most homeowners. When they look outside, they see healthy green growth and would agree that this year's climate, for all of its other problems, has been pretty good for growing a lawn.

What in the world does this have to do with government receipts? Plenty, in a metaphorical sense. You see, in the spring of 2008, U.S. government coffers, like this spring's Midwestern grass, also experienced a lot of healthy green growth. That's because, despite the fact that the alleged recession-deciders at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) still believe otherwise, the U.S. economy's climate was pretty good. In fact, the results were so positive that the NBER's apparent failure to consider federal receipt growth in their recession determination should be seen as almost negligent.

To appreciate just how good the supposedly recessionary second quarter was for Uncle Sam, it's useful to look at the numbers in two ways. Here's the first (the analysis excludes 2008 stimulus payments, which the government should have classified as expenditures; all figures are in millions):


The chart shows strong inflows in two of the three specific line items. First, taxes paid by employees basically kept pace with inflation excluding food and energy.

Second, confounding the alleged experts, taxes directly paid by individuals continued to soar in the year during which the effect of Bush 43's supply-side tax cuts was supposed to wear off. April's inflows in this category led to an all-time one-month record for federal receipts. What's more (not shown), June 2008's analogous figure, which consisted almost entirely of estimated payments, came in slightly above that of June 2007, indicating that entrepreneurs, investors, businesspeople, and others who pay quarterly estimates remained mostly optimistic about the state of the economy -- at least on June 16, when the payments were due. Additionally, collections from economic activity during June 2008 were an all-time record for that month.