We have said, several times, that the best thing that the federal government could do with regard to the economy is nothing at all. President Obama, who got his way with the eleventy-first Congress, completely controlled by the Democrats, to the point of having a filibuster-proof majority for a while, did pretty much what the President wanted. The voters were not pleased, and the 2010 elections gave control of the House of Representatives to the Republicans, who put a stop to most of the President’s programs. Now, Mr Obama is complaining. From NBC News:
Obama: GOP should be ‘embarrassed’ by low productivity on Hill
By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News
Republicans ought to be “embarrassed” of their record low productivity during their time in charge of the House of Representatives, President Barack Obama said Thursday.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the president said Republicans shouldered most of the blame for gridlock in Washington, especially as GOP lawmakers tend to the ideological concerns of their party’s conservative flank.
“They’ve got to be embarrassed,” the president said on a special edition of “Hardball” that aired Thursday evening. “Because the truth of the matter is they’ve now been in charge of the House of Representatives – one branch or one chamber in one branch of government – for a couple of years now. They just don’t have a lot to show for it.”
As the White House works to move past a rocky few weeks in which Republicans seized upon the troubled launch of key portions of Obama’s signature health reform law, the president has pivoted to highlight inaction on Capitol Hill.
Obama has spent much of this week hammering Republicans in Congress for failing to take action on his agenda – or worse, even proposing a viable alternative.
More at the link. And now, from The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Employers Add 203,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Falls to Five-Year Low
By Jeffrey Sparshott and Sarah Portlock | Updated Dec. 6, 2013 9:09 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON—U.S. employers continued to add jobs at a steady pace and the unemployment rate fell in November, a sign of stronger economic growth that may intensify debate within the Federal Reserve about reducing central bank bond purchases as early as this month.
U.S. payrolls rose by 203,000 last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.0%, the lowest level in five years. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast nonfarm payrolls would rise by 180,000 and the unemployment rate would tick down to 7.2%. September and October payroll numbers were revised up by a combined 8,000.
Friday’s report may reinforce expectations that the Fed will soon slow the pace of its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. At their October meeting, officials were looking to end the program “in coming months.” The Fed’s program, started in September 2012, is designed to keep long-term interest rates low, boost investment and spur hiring.
Fed officials next meet Dec. 17-18.
“December is certainly a meeting where the issue can be addressed, but I want to be quite confident” the economic recovery is on track before cutting Fed bond buys, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said Thursday.
Perhaps we are the only ones who have noticed, but since the voters installed that “do-nothing Congress,” and the President’s programs have been effectively stymied, the economy has been getting better. Yes, it’s improving more slowly than we would like to see, and the deficit, which has been coming down due to the sequester, is still too large, and we would like to see more rapid improvement, but our argument that the government should do nothing about the economy, that the economy will adjust by itself, has been borne out by the results.