Archive for economic recovery

US economy heating up

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It's the economy stupid pin Clinton US economy

The US economy is on its way back! Want to know how I know that? I mean besides the stats and other technical stuff like that. I know that the US economy is recovering because Fox Biz has told me so in yet another email alert. And because we all put our trust in Fox more than any other news source, we believe them:

Economic activity is bouncing back from winter doldrums across most of the Federal Reserve’s 12 districts, according to the central bank’s anecdotal Beige Book report. At the same time, labor market conditions were seen as ‘mixed but generally positive,’ while price pressure remained subdued.

I think we all know what's coming next, right? Say it with me...

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

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No one said affordable health care would be free

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Obama you're welcome affordable health care obamacare

Affordable health care means just that: health care we can afford, not health care that's provided to us at no cost. Unfortunately, the vehement anti-Obamacare opponents on the right are pushing lies, and the news dee jays need to diligently call them out. The letters below refer to one case that is being exploited.

Like Barbara Garnaus did, there are Americans out there who become ill and then complain that they have to pay for health services. But some of the most vocal critics fail to put their stories into context. Garnaus, a cancer patient, wasn't covered at all. Obviously (at least to most people), the Affordable Health Care Act says you still have to pay for services, but in most cases, you get more bang for your buck.

It also means that some people are struggling to make payments because they are unable to earn enough money to afford much of anything in the first place. Increasing the minimum wage would help rectify the problem.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "For working poor, new health premiums can be a burden," April 14

The headline on this article is very misleading. The impression given is that Obamacare places an undue burden on low-income citizens.

This story is about someone — 63-year-old Barbara Garnaus — who went for years without any insurance, relying on good health and free clinics. Now she has cancer and has bought insurance under Obamacare.

Before healthcare reform, she probably would not have been able to obtain insurance at all after the cancer was diagnosed.

So yes, her $13.50 monthly premium is more than she paid when she had no insurance and was in good health, but it's a lot less than it would cost for the same healthcare without insurance, which is where she would have been without Obamacare.

Sure, paying premiums costs more than not paying them, but healthcare with insurance costs a lot less than healthcare without insurance.

Perry Valantine

Costa Mesa

***

A $13.50 monthly payment for health insurance is amazingly low. The Times should applaud the program that allows a person who could never afford healthcare to receive medical treatment for cancer.

The cost of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act isn't the source of Garnaus' troubles. Rather, she is struggling to pay for healthcare because of her extremely low salary.

Until hardworking Americans like Garnaus receive wages that allow them to pay for a place to live, housing, transportation and, yes, healthcare, they will struggle as she does.

But don't blame the Affordable Care Act — it has brought affordable healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans.

Jo Perry

Studio City

blame obamacare health insurance

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Fox Biz: Weekly Jobless Claims Slide to Lowest Level Since ‘07 + Bonus #BlameObama News!

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fox biz

The only way I know how to stop all of you nag-nag-naggers to stop bugging TPC to post more reporting from the most reliable name in news-- Fox-- is to post more reporting from Fox. So here you go, via an email alert from the one source you can trust: Fox. Fox Biz to be exact. They always come through for us, rain or shine, and today it's a ray of shine:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to 300,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 332,000 the week prior. The reading was the lowest since May 2007. Economists expected claims to fall to 320,000 from an initially reported 326,000.

But wait! There's more! This news comes from a Gallup email alert:

After hitting a low point at the end of President Barack Obama's first term, U.S. leadership ratings worldwide rallied in 2013 as he began his second.

Waitwhat? President Obama's worldwide popularity is rising? But... but... Republicans have been relentlessly mocking the decline in his global approval numbers and called him "feckless"! (Which is kind of funny considering they also call him a dictator.)

What must this all mean? Could it be that they're *gasp!* wrong? (Again. Like they are about just about everything.)

Gallup:

Global Image of U.S. Leadership Rebounds

Median approval rating of 45% in Asia is highest on record.

Not to say there aren't challenges and that everything is hunky-dory, but per Gallup, "the image of the leadership of the U.S. showed signs of rebounding in 2013."

President Obama must have dictated that poll.

UPDATE, via another Fox Biz email alert:

The Treasury Department reports the federal budget deficit fell to $37 billion in March from $107 billion in the same month last year. The fiscal 2014 deficit is running at $413 billion, down from the $600 billion gap the year prior.

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Don't let Paul Ryan near your money

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Paul Ryan ugh this guy

He's ba-a-ack. Yes, Paul Ryan and his "budget" (quotes required, because it's not a budget, it's a redundantly cruel joke) have returned to make the 99% miserable as it caters to the top 1%.

In his Los Angeles Times column, the brilliant Michael Hiltzik takes Paul Ryan and his Very Serious Plan apart. He rips into Privatize Ryan's latest attempt to screw the middle class and the poor by cutting government programs, killing Medicare and Social Security, and thumbing his nose at everyone who knew better than to vote for him and his "severely conservative" running mate.

Read our lips, Paul: Austerity doesn't work.

Via AusterityNut.com

What's the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah:

insanity doing same thing over different results

Hiltzik also manages to get a word or two in about GW Bush's squandering of the Clinton surpluses on tax breaks for the wealthy and how he spent borrowed funds on wars without bothering to raise income taxes.

Take it away, Michael:

There should be a rule--or even a law--that politicians who propose "fixes" to Social Security should at least show they know something about the program. By that standard, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would flunk. [...]

But the trust fund is still growing, because Social Security's income streams--the payroll tax, interest on its bonds, and revenues from income taxation of benefits--still are sufficient to cover current benefits, and then some. [...]

As I've written before, when you hear people like Paul Ryan talk as though the country can't afford to pay back the money by redeeming the bonds in the trust fund, what you're hearing is the sound of the wealthy preparing to stiff the working class. [...]

[I]f Ryan has his way, yes, the money will be stolen. It's up to you and me to make sure that doesn't happen. So, to put all these pieces together, there's no "dubious government accounting" involved here--the dubious accounting is all Ryan's. [...]

The most important factor is the one that people like Ryan want you to forget: The money in the Social Security trust fund came directly or indirectly from the payroll taxes paid by millions of American workers--100% of it. It was paid by workers in the trust that the government would pay it back. Paul Ryan is hinting, pretty strongly, that he doesn't want to pay it back. 

So why would you trust him? 

Exactly. Why would anyone trust this guy? Especially after the abysmal response to his previous Kill Medicare/Social Security proposals.

paul ryan really really bad screen grab

Please read Hiltzik's entire piece here.

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Good news that will make GOP heads explode #Obamacare

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ermahgerd good news

head explode

blame Obama 2

At about 4:15 EDT today we will be posting a live video feed President Obama's remarks on the good news regarding the Affordable Care Act. It will include this:

More than 7 million people signed up for health insurance through Affordable Care Act exchanges through Monday night's deadline, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

A total of 7,041,000 people enrolled, Carney said, and that number doesn't include sign-ups that took place in recent days through state exchanges. Carney did not immediately say how many of the enrollees were previously uninsured.

For more information... http://www.politico.com

And those numbers do not even include those still in the queue (a number we don't know), per a tweet by HuffPo's Sam Stein.

Repeal THAT, GOP. So much for the "death spiral":

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

But wait! There's more!

This time the good news comes directly from-- wait for it-- Fox! Yes, once again, Fox Biz (the name you can trust!) is helping us with our favorite GOP Head Explosion Cause: Obama victories. Check it out, via an email alert:

Manufacturing activity picked up slightly in March, with the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI gauge rising to 53.7 from 53.2 the month prior. Wall Street was looking for the gauge to rise to 54. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below point to contraction.

Wall Street is rallying on the back of strong factory data and auto sales, driving the S&P 500 to a fresh record high. The broad-market barometer is up 0.6%, while the Dow is up 100 points. Meanwhile, traders are selling U.S. Treasury bonds, sending the yield on the 10-year bond up by 0.04 percentage point to 2.761%.

Say you're sorry, Fox Biz. Wink wink.

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Weekly jobless claims fall, federal deficit narrows, retail sales better-than-expected #BlameObama

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jobless claims unemployment down

Jobless claims fell? What? Did anyone tell the Republicans? Why yes, yes someone did. Fox Business did! As you can see by this email alert that magically appeared in my inbox, Fox Biz is letting everyone know, even the GOP, that jobless claims fell just when Wall Street expected the opposite to happen. Damn you, Fox Biz! Just when we crazy lefties were having field day after field day mocking Fox in general, you have to go and ruin everything with some upbeat economic news!

but wait there's more smaller

But that's not all, nosireeBob! Defying the usual Debbie Downer expectations, retail sales went up! Up, I say! Or rather, Fox Biz say. Or rather, the Commerce Department say. What's a poor conservative to do? Other than wish for a lousier economy, that is, because if they don't have bad news to report, they can't-- say it with me now-- Blame Obama:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 315,000 from an upwardly revised 324,000 the week prior. Wall Street was looking for claims to rise to 330,000 from an initially reported 323,000.

The Commerce Department reports retail sales rose 0.3% in February, slightly higher than the 0.2% pick-up economists expected. Excluding the auto segment, sales rose 0.3%, verses expectations of a 0.2% gain.

But wait! There's even more! And again, from Fox Biz, this just in! Literally:

BREAKING NEWS: February Budget Deficit Narrows

The U.S. federal government posted a budget deficit of $193.5 billion in February, down from $203.5 billion in the same month last year. For fiscal 2014, the deficit is running at $377.4 billion, also less than the $494 billion deficit from the same period in fiscal 2013.

blame Obama 2

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Bikini Graph time! Job creation beat economists' predictions. #BlameObama

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bikini itsy bitsy bikini graph job creation

It’s job creation time, which means it's time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph Feb 2014 overall

bikini graph Feb 2014 private sectorSteve Benen:

Today’s announcement was a more pleasant reversal – job creation exceeded modest expectations.

The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating economists’ predictions. The unemployment rate inched higher to 6.7%, though as we’ve discussed many times, that’s not the metric to watch.

This time around, the unemployment rate ticked up because more people were out there looking for work, a healthy sign. Another nugget of good economic news: The public sector added an unusually high 13,000 jobs.

You may recall that the GOP have been doing all they can to eliminate public sector jobs (aka *gasp!* government jobs held by teachers, postal workers, firefighters, police officers, public transit workers, etc.). Why? Well, for one thing, a lot of those jobs are held by union members, and union members tend to vote for Democrats. For another thing, they want to minimize those jobs because, well... government. Duh.

But there's one thing they can't eliminate, no matter how hard they try: Facts.

[O]ver the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.15 million jobs overall and 2.19 million in the private sector. What’s more, February was the 48th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth.

And we all know what that means, right?

blame Obama 2For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.

Our own David Garber's take on the jobs report can be found here.

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