Dear Republicans and CPAC participants: I hate to burst your bubble, and I truly regret having to bring Paul Ryan back to what little reality he allows into his narrow little political life, but this happened:
L.A. Times: Piece by piece, evidence has begun to accumulate that after four years of lackluster performance, the U.S. economy is on track for stronger growth than many people had expected.
The latest support for that view comes from data on consumer spending, which grew at a surprisingly quick pace in February, pushed upward by robust demand for cars and building materials.
The report this week from the Commerce Department came just a few days after employment figures showed faster improvement than most economists had projected, in large part because of the strong rebound of the market for housing. A measure of first-time unemployment claims fell to a five-year low last week.
Oh pooh, who's going to believe the silly old Commerce Department? They're just a bunch of Marxist Kenyans in cahoots with their black gay French Muslim president and all those Big Guvmint types. Let's see, who can we trust? Oh! Maybe some big corporate economist could give conservatives something to hang their hats on:
"What's changed in the economy is that the key cyclical drivers of economic growth are kicking in," said Wells Fargo Securities economist Mark Vitner, noting the gains in the automobile and housing markets. "We are further along the recovery process than many people realize."
Oh please. That's just one measly little person. Anyone else? Someone with a teeny tiny bit more credibility?
"The fact that consumer spending hasn't slowed yet is definitely good news," said Ben Herzon, an economist at the forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers, one of several forecasting firms that have raised their projections for economic growth this quarter.
Forget them, they clearly have no idea what they're talking about. The only opinion that matters come from the "job creators" dammit!
Companies also have become more optimistic in their outlook.
In a new survey released Wednesday, the Business Roundtable said 72% of its member chief executives polled in the first quarter expected sales to increase in the next six months, up from 58% in the fourth quarter. Nearly 4 out of 10 said they planned to increase capital investment as well, compared with 30% previously.
Still skeptical, GOP? Okay, try this on for size, straight from the mouth of Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, about what the outlook is after taking the effects of the sequester into consideration:
Zandi and some other economists estimate that the combination will shave about 1.5 percentage points from economic growth this year. But that will not come close to derailing the recovery, they said. Most expected economic momentum to pick up in the second half as the fiscal drag begins to fade.
"The private sector of the economy is in very good shape, steadily improving, month by month, quarter after quarter," Zandi said.
Hey, I tried, I really did, CPACers. But facts are facts.
Oh wait. Those don't matter to them either. In that case, they're on their own.