The liberal tax revolt, as The Wall Street Journal is calling it, is a very important topic -- especially for investors and small-business entrepreneurs. And for new jobs.
Commentary by Lawrence Kudlow
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Ben Bernanke threw a curveball in his midterm report to Congress this week. The Fed view of the economy has been downgraded since it last reported in February. Although the official Fed forecast for 2010-11 is still 3 percent to 4 percent real growth, Bernanke sounded particularly gloomy when he characterized the economy as "unusually uncertain." And he indicated that the majority view of the Fed Board of Governors and Reserve Bank presidents is that the risks to growth are "weighted to the downside."
With a bad-blood, confidence-destroying battle royale going on between Team Obama and business, you would think a highly publicized White House jobs summit would have produced some kind of positive announcement that gives a nod to the business point of view.
This whole debate about government stimulus versus austerity, and the impact of these policies on economic growth, misses a key point: It is business, not government, that creates jobs.
Here are some thoughts on a few recent and important money-politics headlines.
Amidst all the political jockeying over the BP catastrophe, the main players are missing what is really uppermost on America's mind: It's the spill rate, stupid. It's jobs, stupid. It's the economy, stupid. And none of it is happening.
One problem with President Obama’s Oval Office speech was his declaration that 90 percent of the oil spill would be captured in “coming days and weeks.” Ah, if only government were that strong and powerful. Trouble is, the spill rate late yesterday afternoon was again revised upward toward 60,000 barrels per day from the prior estimate of 25,000.
Revolution in California and political regime change come November has been a theme of mine for weeks. Tuesday night's big victories for Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina moved that agenda nicely down the field.
One day Team Obama announces a plan for enhanced rescission authority to impound wasteful spending. The next day the House surfaces a $200 billion “stimulus” plan to spend on transfer payments for welfare, even more unemployment compensation, still more Medicaid, and a bunch of special-interest subsidies.
U.S and world stock markets are slumping badly as intensified systemic risks from the Greek and European debt-default contagion continue to spread. Disciplinarian markets of stocks, bonds, gold and currencies are signaling the inadequacy of European Union rescue plans and the global fear that economic recovery will be blunted.
The ink was barely dry on the $150 billion European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout of Greece, when world stock markets tanked on two major fears.
President Obama has appointed three new doves to the Federal Reserve Board, thereby taking command of the nation's central bank. But there's a split developing inside the Federal Reserve System: The Reserve Bank presidents, appointed by their own district boards of directors, are increasingly likely to wage a battle royale against the central-bank headquarters in Washington and its free-money, ultra-easy policies.
So much is being written in the mainstream media about who the tea partiers are, but very little is being recorded about what these folks are actually saying.
With everybody focused on Obamacare, and its new entitlement spending and taxing, the administration has tried to sneak in yet another bailout for housing. Yet again, Team Obama is rewarding reckless behavior, punishing the 90 percent of responsible homeowners who are making good on their mortgages, and setting up a greater moral hazard that will surely lead to an expansion of bailout nation.
Treasury rates jumped last week as the 10-year bond moved up to around 3.85 percent, about 20 basis points or so in the last week or two.
Surprise, surprise. Sen. Chris Dodd's financial-regulation proposal raises the possibility of substantial progress on the road to ending "too big to fail" and bailout nation for banks and other financial institutions.
The new Obama Fed is going to be very dovish when it comes to fighting future inflation and defending the value of the dollar.
There’s a lot of loose talk on Wall Street right now about the risk of a double-dip recession. I’m not buying it. Now, I’m the first to admit there’s a good debate about the overall strength of the recovery rebound. But the recession ended last June, and I’m still thinking a 4 percent growth rate in 2010 is likely. That could spell another large rally in stocks.
Rather than a post-partisan olive branch to congressional Republicans and the American public, President Obama’s latest health-care speech was a declaration of war.
The New York Times ran a front-page story this week called "Party Gridlock in Washington Feeds New Fear of a Debt Crisis." As usual, they got it wrong. Instead, the headline should have read, "After Scott Brown's Astonishing Senate Win in Massachusetts, New Political Gridlock in Washington Could Spell the End of the Liberal Crack-Up We Have Witnessed over the Past Year."