By Bill Maher
Since President Obama took office, the banking industry has been regulated, the auto industry has been saved, the stock market has more than doubled and the unemployment rate has dropped from 10-something to 7-something, its lowest rate in over four years. Or, as Fox News is reporting it, "a dismal record of failed economic policies."
In the housing market, sales are climbing and burst-bubble home prices are beginning to inch back up. Last month, it was announced that existing home sales jumped to their highest level in over two years and residential construction is up 29% over 2011.
But all this is just numbers unless American consumers start to sense solid economic ground under their feet and get comfortable with the idea of spending again. The economy is fickle and fragile and that’s why consumer perception is so important. Which brings us to the latest news on an index called consumer sentiment: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey of how consumers feel about the economy came in at a surprising 83.1, its highest in five years.
Also the independent Economic Cycle Research Institute, which measures future economic expansion, says our economy’s annualized growth rate has accelerated to its fastest pace in over a year.
America is back, baby! Well, yes, unless a full one-half of the American government makes it its mission to convince the public that America is not back and that our economy is free falling and will likely be decimated beyond repair if a certain someone is re-elected. I won't say whom, but I'll look at the guilty party and yell, "You lie" at his State of the Union address.
What you'll hear from Romney/Ryan or, for that matter, Boehner, Cantor or anyone on Fox News is, "as Scranton goes, so goes America." Which may help them politically, but it's a lie that does harm to America. When the economy's health hinges so much on consumer confidence and sentiment, doesn't it border on treason for a political party of presumably trusted leaders to claim everything is going to shit despite an ever-amassing mountain of evidence to the contrary?
By Bill Maher