If only the people of Southwest Virginia could eat fundamentals:
Boucher pulls a McCain in touting 'fundamentals'Here's the problem with this bit of hooey. There's not a person out there who would argue that, if John McCain were president today, Boucher would still be cheerleading the ailing economy we now have. The economy that he sees as being in recovery. He'd be trashing it to high heaven if roles were reversed. So his pronouncements are nothing more than political bullshit. You know it. He knows it.
Glenn Thrush, Politico
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) — a perennial GOP target who represents a majority-Republican district — sat down with a local reporter to discuss his support of the stimulus. He seemed to channel John McCain '08 by declaring the "fundamentals" of the still-shaky economy as good.
“The stimulus legislation has clearly worked,” he said. “The Christmas retail season was better than expected, a sign of recovery. Inventories are down. That will mean more factory orders, more people hired to fill orders. It’s a process and the results will not be seen for some time.”
He said the public looks most at unemployment that he called a lagging indicator and the last measure to see full recovery.
“But,” Boucher said, “the fundamentals of the economy are good.” [link]
But let's look at those fundamentals that Boucher says are now "good." From my schooling, I learned that those fundamentals involve such things as unemployment, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), housing starts, inflation (or deflation), and consumer confidence. They could also include such things as the value of gold, trends in oil pricing, and the direction the prime interest rate is headed.
First let's look at unemployment, as represented om a chart going back to 1948 (click on the image to enlarge it):
Do you see any signs of recovery in that last bar to the right (year 2009)? The one that is staggeringly higher than any other year? See anything "good" in this chart?
But Boucher says unemployment is a lagging indicator. And experts agree with him. So we let him off with a mild slap.
We could, though, look at lending rates (commercial, consumer, mortgage), but banks still aren't lending money, so that's of no consequence.
Housing starts? Click to enlarge.
I suppose Mr. Boucher could argue that inflation is in check. But with capacity utilization at a record low and unemployment continuing to be a huge problem, there are no inflationary pressures at present. And he'd be right in saying that's good (except for those out of work). Good, but some say Inflation Is Our Future.
And gold investors - whether you agree with their rationale or not - are betting on it:
Gold closed today at $1,122 an ounce.
Happy times? Tell it to those who are dumping dollars and buying precious metals.
And speaking of the dollar:
Maybe Boucher will argue that that uptick this month doth recovery make. But an uptick from rock-bottom is nothing to hang one's hat on. Besides, the outlook for the dollar is bleak ...
... unless and until the Fed starts raising interest rates ...
... which will fuel inflation ...
... which is already in the works because of all the trillions of dollars that are now floating around in the marketplace (thanks to an out-of-control Congress that includes Rick Boucher).
Which brings us to the national debt (that which you and I and our children owe ourselves):
It's fair to call that second bar the Obama-Pelosi-Boucher Contribution to the National Debt because Mr. Boucher contributed more than most to making it a reality.
Good? Only if you get paid from the receipts, as Rick does.
So what does that leave?
Make no mistake, Wall Street has rebounded well. What with trillions in tax dollars being handed to the banks by Boucher and friends.
So, if Rick Boucher is basing his declaration that “the fundamentals of the economy are good” on the Dow index, more power to him.
Out here in the real world, however, times are tough. And the outlook is bleak, to say the least.
Unless you live in Washington D.C. See "Explosive Growth in Government Jobs."
Things are going quite well up where Boucher lives.
Those fundamentals are indeed good.