The PJ Tatler

The US Economy Shrank Even More Than Expected in 2014 Q1

About that whole “recovery summer” thingy…

The U.S. economy contracted at a much steeper pace than previously estimated in the first quarter, but there are indications that growth has sincerebounded strongly.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday gross domestic product fell at a 2.9 percent annual rate, the economy’s worst performance in five years, instead of the 1.0 percent pace it had reported last month.

While the economy’s woes have been largely blamed on an unusually cold winter, the magnitude of the revisions suggest other factors at play beyond the weather. Growth has now been revised down by a total of 3.0 percentage points since the government’s first estimate was published in April, which hadthe economy expanding at a 0.1 percent rate.

Yeah. A bad winter doesn’t cause the world’s largest economy to contract nearly 3% all by itself. Even the media are having a hard time keeping that excuse aloft. But Obama’s partisan bitter-enders will fight on to the end…

I want you to watch a couple of clips. A rep for the National Association of Manufacturers appeared on CNBC today. CNBC is supposedly a business-oriented channel. The NAM rep said that a majority of manufacturers are generally optimistic about their own companies, but are worried about Obamacare.

After the NAM rep says this, the CNBC host actually asks this question: “Can you just explain to me, why the provision of more affordable healthcare for wider swathes of the American population and the public, would be an impediment to growth?” Actually, he sneered the question. In a British accent. I’m not even kidding.

No clue as to how regulations, how achieving that so-called “more affordable healthcare” forces businesses into deciding whether to hire or stay under an artificial, government-imposed cap on the number of employees they can have before they run afoul of Obamacare regulations. No clue as to how much chaos Obamacare will impose on the employer-employee relationship — so much chaos that Obama delayed implementing that part of the regulation until after this year’s mid-terms. No. Clue. At. All.

On CNBC. The supposedly business oriented cable news channel.

CNBC wasn’t finished making excuses for Obama today. CNBC’s Brian Sullivan showed up on sister network MSNBC today. He blamed the economic contraction on…really horrible weather. I’m not even kidding.

“Here’s the thing: weather,” Sullivan told Morning Joe. “This quarter really actually was horrible. People didn’t go to restaurants for weeks. So we’re waiting to see what happens with the second quarter, whether we’re not gonna completely sharply rebound. That negative 2.9% is a big number,” he conceded, “but people are optimistic overall. They still are.”

Hope springs eternal! It even got Barack Obama elected president.

We have a whole generation of people, adults, who are living with their parents, not getting jobs, not getting married, not buying houses and cars. I guess we’ll blame that on the weather too?

CNBC, the business channel, really ought to look beyond the weather. The business channel published a survey of state business climates on the same day that the world learned that the US economy is contracting at an alarming rate.

The top five states — Georgia, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, and North Carolina — are all either red states or purple states trending red. They all tend to keep the regulatory environment to a minimum and keep taxes low. Blue giants California and New York did better on CNBC’s survey than they do on most — 32nd and 40th respectively. They tend to rank 49 and 50 on most business climate surveys.

It is just possible that federal and state overregulation have as much, if not more, impact on the economy than a few storms?