Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A Note to Conservatives on the Cyclical Rebound

Sometimes you have to take your political lenses out and look at the actual economic statistics in order to gauge whether we’re on the road to recovery or not. Without getting personal, I’m watching many of my friends on certain cable stations attempt to trash the March employment numbers released last Friday. Don’t do it, folks. The numbers were solid.

In fact, while everyone keeps saying that small businesses are getting killed from taxes and regulations out of Washington, the reality is that the Labor Department’s household survey has produced 1.1 million new jobs in the first quarter of 2010, or 371,000 per month. If that continues, the unemployment rate will be dropping significantly.

Additionally, the corporate payroll number increased by 224,000 — not 162,000 — with the prior two months being revised up by 62,000. And if you take out the 48,000 temporary census-worker jobs, it turns out that government employment actually declined in March.

What’s my point? Credibility. Conservative credibility.

No one has written more about the future tax-and-regulatory threats from the big-government assault of Obamanomics. But most of that is in the future. The current reality is that a strong rebound in corporate profits (the greatest and truest stimulus of all), ultra-easy money from the Fed, and some very small stimuli from government spending are all working to generate a cyclical recovery in a basically free-market economy that is a lot more resilient than capitalist critics would have us believe.

So conservatives should not lose their cool and blow their credibility over a cyclical rebound that is backed by the statistics.

Incidentally, the real-time ISM purchasing-managers reports for manufacturing and services show that the next few quarters, perhaps to year end, could be much, much stronger than the consensus expects. Higher future tax rates are going to be a problem. But then again, the tea-party revolution may overturn all those obstacles to growth. Think of it.