Looking For Good Economic News? Keep Looking
I’m sure the “all is well; nothing to see here. Keep moving on” crowd in Bush’s economic team are sleeping about as well as the political operation is these days. Knowing that their boss needs to somehow convince voters that his policies can begin to recapture almost three million lost jobs by next November, these latest developments crush those hopes.
Bush’s friends in OPEC unexpectedly cut production levels yesterday, on the basis of a yet-to-be materializing increase in Iraqi oil output. So while Bush pleads for billions from US taxpayers to rebuild and protect the Iraqi oil infrastructure, his friends in OPEC want to lock in their profits at a time when we were told by the White House in selling this war that supplies would be going up and prices coming down. We will now face the double-whammy of not only paying for Halliburton and Bechtel contracts to get oil that won’t show up for months, but we will also pay more now due to the greed of Bush’s friends in OPEC. Needless to say this was the last bit of news that the markets needed to hear, as they started to head south yesterday. So much for an uptick in GDP the remainder of this year.
As evidence that hopes are already overstated, durable goods orders took a fall last month, contrary to analysts’ expectations. The only sign of strength was in defense-related goods.
Consumer confidence slipped slightly last month as well, not surprisingly.
Whatever benefits consumers were to obtain from Bush’s tax cuts have now been obliterated by gas and heating oil prices that will remain high for the foreseeable future, and may go higher, if there are any more delays in bringing Iraq back on line.
A fall in the value of the dollar, partially brought about by the comments of Treasury Secretary John Snow, would cripple both the US and world economies as overseas investors may no longer want to finance our ever-increasing deficits.
So let’s add up the winners here: OPEC, oil companies and their shareholders, Bush campaign contributors. The losers: American taxpayers and consumers, and fittingly Bush himself.