Economy Grows at 5% For Only Second Quarter Since 2001

The Commerce Department had a Christmas present for investors, businesses, and consumers today.

Economy Heartbeat

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a decade in the third quarter of 2014 according to the latest revision of Gross Domestic Product, which showed growth at 5.0%, a number it has only achieved twice since 200:

The U.S. economy posted its strongest growth in 11 years during the third quarter, supported by robust consumer spending and business investment.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5% in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was up from the second quarter’s growth rate of 4.6% and the strongest pace since the third quarter of 2003, when GDP grew at a 6.9% pace.

The agency last month had estimated third-quarter GDP growth at 3.9%. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a smaller upward revision, to 4.3% growth.

Tuesday’s report showed stronger-than-expected spending by U.S. consumers, particularly on services like health care. Fixed nonresidential investment also was revised up, signaling more spending by businesses on new buildings and research and development.

“There is a positive feedback loop going on at the moment,” Mike Jakeman, global analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said in a note. “Job creation is running at the strongest rate for 15 years. More people in work means more income, which means more private spending, which means more business investment, which means more hiring.”

The jump in growth was less dramatic on an annual basis. Economic output in the third quarter climbed 2.7% from a year earlier, up from 2.6% growth in the second quarter.

U.S. stocks rose sharply after the report was released Tuesday morning, with the Dow industrials topping 18,000 for the first time.

The Commerce Department also revised upward its estimate of corporate profits last quarter. Corporate profits after tax, without inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, rose 2.8% from the second quarter, versus an earlier estimate of 1.7% growth. Profits last quarter rose 5.1% from a year earlier.

The U.S. economy has experienced robust growth since the spring, recovering from the first quarter’s unexpected—but fleeting—GDP contraction. The nation has seen its best year of hiring since 1999. Those signs of strength stand in contrast to worries about a slowdown in other parts of the world, including China, Japan and members of the eurozone.

Still, the weak first quarter will weigh on full-year growth in the U.S., and many economists expect somewhat slower growth in the fourth quarter. Federal Reserve policy makers expect GDP growth of 2.3% to 2.4% in 2014, and a pickup next year to growth of 2.6% to 3%, according to projections released last week.

The Commerce Department will release its first estimate of GDP in the fourth quarter, which ends next week, on Jan. 30.

More from The New York Times:

In a second report, the Commerce Department said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, was unchanged after declining 1.9 percent in October.

The continued weakness in the so-called capital goods orders is at odds with industrial production data, which has shown strong momentum in the manufacturing sector.

But a rapidly strengthening labor market and lower gasoline prices should provide the economy with sufficient momentum in 2015 and keep the Federal Reserve on course to start raising interest rates by the middle of next year.

Underscoring the economy’s firming fundamentals, growth in domestic demand was revised up to a 4.1 percent pace in the third quarter instead of the previously reported 3.2 percent pace. It was the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2010.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.2 percent pace, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2013, instead of the previously reported 2.2 percent rate.

Growth in business investment was raised to an 8.9 percent pace from a 7.1 percent rate, with a stronger pace of spending than previously thought on equipment, intellectual property products and nonresidential structures accounting for the revision.

Inventories were also revised higher, with restocking now being neutral to GDP growth instead of being a mild drag. That also helped to offset downward revisions to export growth.

But inventories could undercut output in the fourth quarter.

Spending on residential construction was also revised higher, as were government outlays. Export growth was cut to a 4.5 percent rate from the previously reported 4.9 percent pace, while imports were also revised down.

This is obviously good news about the state of the economy heading into the final quarter of the 2014, and most assuredly better than the sharply negative downturn that we saw at the start of the year, when First Quarter growth shrunk by 3% in what now seems to be purely the impact of one of the harshest winters the United States had seen in some time. Fortunately, the economy bounced by strongly from that downturn and, as we have seen, grown steadily over the past ten months or so at a pace that we really have not seen since the economy recovery began in early 2009. In addition to strong GDP growth, we’ve also seen strong jobs growth months after month, with new job creation now averaging over 210,000 jobs per month, a number that is, at the very least respectable although it could obviously stand to be much better. It’s difficult to say exactly what it might be about the economy that has “clicked” in 2014, but the fact that the economy remains strong in the United States while showing signs of slowing down elsewhere in the world is no doubt part of what’s going on since investors and business are going to look to put their money where it can earn the highest return while still being relatively safe, and right now that’s the United States. Additional factors, such as the decline in energy prices that we have seen since January, and which seems likely to continue going forward for at least the medium term, are also no doubt playing a role, especially when it comes to the up-tick in consumer spending since lower energy prices make it more likely that consumers will spend money elsewhere in the economy. Given that current forecasts have energy costs continuing to drop heading into 2015, this bodes well for the economy in the 4th quarter and for New Year, unless, of course, weather intervenes yet again to upset apple cart.

Conservative economist James Pethokoukis makes as interesting point about today’s numbers:

Or, to put it another way, more than 27% of the quarters over a 19 year period showed economic growth of 5% or better. Since 2001, just 3.7& of the quarters have seen economic growth at that level. That’s not a very good endorsement of the economic policies of either of the men who have been President during this period, to say the very least.  Hopefully, today’s news means that we’ve broken the trend of the last fourteen years.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. gVOR08 says:

    Random observations:

    Picketty argues that low growth is the norm. WWI and II were a huge disruption and we’re now reverting to the norm.

    If this isn’t reversion to the norm and is the result of policy, why do people who argue the country’s headed in the wrong direction never recognize that Republicans started to dominate politics and policy in the 80s?

    Obama’s reward for this growth is a Republican Senate.

    Who will cheerfully take credit for the improved growth. Once they’re seated.

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    I’m curious how this will be reconciled with the ongoing austerity (spending has now been flat for several years) and the end of quantitative easing. This was supposed to cause a double-dip recession.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    1) Strong job growth.
    2) Record stock market.
    3) More people covered by health insurance.
    4) Growth in health costs down.
    5) Deficit falling.
    6) ISIS contained with zero US casualties.
    7) Putin humbled.
    8) Iraq government greatly improved.
    9) NATO strong and growing.
    10) Cheap gas.

    I blame Obama.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Have you noticed that the science of economics is about as accurate at prediction as the average roadside palm reader? If medical science was as scientific as economics we’d all be dead.

  5. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    On that, I would agree. And when it intersects with politics, politicians take or distort whatever economic theory supports their bias (e.g., Republicans claiming that the Laffer Curve means all tax cuts “pay for themselves” even though Laffer never said any such thing.)

  6. anjin-san says:

    No worries guys, the GOP congress will be getting to work repairing all the damage Obama has done very soon.

  7. stonetools says:

    Obamanomics!
    My view of what happened: Republicans ran out of tricks to sabotage the economy(debt ceiling shutdowns, sequesters, etc) and finally allowed the economy to recover in normal fashion, which it is doing, but too slowly to help the Congrssional Democrats. Maybe if they actually campaigned on Obama ‘s record and maybe if Obama had acted on the courage of convictions and issued the imigration executive order in June, things would have gone better for the Democrats. Oh well…
    I think the fall in oil prices also helped.

    In other news Doug will never post,

    top-line numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services today show that, five weeks in to the Affordable Care Act’s 2014 open-enrollment period, 6.4 million consumers—including 1.9 million first-timers—have signed up, or were automatically re-enrolled, for coverage on healthcare.gov. That doesn’t count the million-plus enrollees who have signed up so far on state-based exchanges that aren’t run by the federal government.

    The current open enrollment period ends seven weeks from now, on February 15, which leaves Obamacare poised to nearly double its first-year enrollment total in year two.

    At the current pace, enrollment will shatter HHS’s cautious estimate that only 9.1 million people will be covered by an exchange plan by the end of 2015, and could even exceed the Congressional Budget Office’s relatively optimistic projection of 13 million signups.

    All this without no huge increase in premiums.
    Conservatives, as usual, are wrong all round. Prediction. They will be predicting hyperinflation yet again shortly. And they will be wrong-again!

  8. Scott F. says:

    Hey Doug, I see what you did there…

    That’s not a very good endorsement of the economic policies of either of the men who have been President during this period, to say the very least.

    You took the economics policies of one man that put the country into a very deep hole and the economic policies of another man that have slowly, but surely, brought us out of that very deep hole and you suggest their performance was the same.

    Well done.

  9. humanoid.panda says:

    @Hal_10000: Laffer most surely did, repeatedly. What you are trying to say that his curve implies no such thing, but as a policy entrepreneur, that was exactly what he was (and still is, in Kansas) selling to policy-makers.

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So I’m just gonna go and steal that for Facebook. Time to start intentionally pissing off family members as I head home in a few hours…

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @stonetools: It does seem that no matter what happens, if a Democratic President is in office, the WSJ will find some reason to bitch. I can’t count the number of articles moaning about how the low interest rates are causing hardship for retirees who get their cash flow from the return on bonds. Or the low gas prices–which are supposedly causing “hardship” for airline companies who hedged against rising gas prices and are now out of the money. (The fact that this is what a hedge does totally flies over the head of the reporter.)

    Heck, the WSJ could save print and ink and just hand out sheets with the following on them, daily:

    “No matter what it is, it’s Obama’s fault.”

  12. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: In that, he is very similar to Hayek and Friedman: both applied lots of nuance in their theoretical work (Hayek conceded the need for social insurance, Friedman was a great believer in central management of money supply), but were extremely simplistic as policy entrepreneurs/ free market evangelists.

  13. humanoid.panda says:

    @grumpy realist: The thing about interest rates is really infuriating, given that half of all retirees don’t have any income besides social security, an income that the Wall Street Journal wants to cut, but I do think that a business publication should be cut a slack for writing about the downside of a positive economic development- this is the sort of thing that they should be doing.

  14. anjin-san says:

    Not surprisingly, you have to look pretty damn hard to find this major story on foxnews.com.

  15. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    That’s not a very good endorsement of the economic policies of either of the men who have been President during this period, to say the very least.

    Really? Both sides failed?

    I’m guessing that you own a home and you have an investment portfolio. How are they doing today as opposed to the day before Obama took office?

  16. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I’m curious how this will be reconciled with the ongoing austerity (spending has now been flat for several years) and the end of quantitative easing. This was supposed to cause a double-dip recession

    Dunno where that prediction came from, but it certainly didn’t come from the Federal Reserve Bank:

    Federal Reserve policy makers trimmed bond buying for a second straight meeting, uniting behind a strategy of gradual withdrawal from Ben S. Bernanke’sunprecedented easing policy as Janet Yellen prepares to succeed him as chairman.

    The Federal Open Market Committee said yesterday it will cut monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $65 billion, citing labor-market indicators that “were mixed but on balance showed further improvement” and economic growth that has “picked up in recent quarters.”

    The Fed seemed united behind a policy of tapering off QE this year. A couple of pundits may have had the vapors about it, but most respected economists were cautiously optimistic. Seems the experts got it right this time, helped by a sudden fall in oil prices. FWIW, my guru, Krugman, didn’t oppose the tapering off of QE.

  17. @michael reynolds:

    6) ISIS contained with zeroonly three US casualties.

  18. stonetools says:

    @humanoid.panda: @anjin-san:

    Doug , like most conservatives, wants to pretend that Bush’s hands off, free marketed oriented, tax cutting economic program didn’t crash the economy in 2008.and like most conservatives, he wants to pretend that the fiscal stimulus didn’t check the collapse and start the recovery. And again like most conservatives, he wants to pretend that the turn to austerity in 2011 didn’t retard the recovery.
    He would like to pretend this was all very mysterious, and no one knows what happened. But those who have been paying attention know the truth.

  19. al-Ameda says:

    That the economy has been on a path of slow steady growth in GDP and employment since the catastrophic Great Recession of 2008-2009 completely validates the economic policies of Quantitative Easing, economic stimulus, and bailout of GM and major financial institutions that the Obama Administration pursued.

    The Tea Party was wrong, and they have been handsomely rewarded by the voters for being about as wrong as you can be about the economy.

  20. Another Mike says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Have you noticed that the science of economics is about as accurate at prediction as the average roadside palm reader? If medical science was as scientific as economics we’d all be dead.

    I would dare say you got this right. Half of 5% came from revision and the other half came from a drawdown in saving, which was spent on healthcare, Obamacare premiums, I suppose. But maybe it just depends on which analysis one asks. For sure doom has not caught up with us yet.

  21. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Considering that progressives (think Paul Krugman) did not want to shrink the deficit, did not want cheap gasoline or natural gas (think cap and trade and energy taxes), and were unconcerned with the success or failure of wall street, it is amazing to see so many of them taking credit.

    Considering the Republicans have been had control of the U.S. House for four years and have been a do nothing, obstructionist Congress, maybe not starting new programs, not creating new regulations, and lowering the number of government employees is actually a good thing.

    This should also be a lesson to Republicans that getting involved in foreign adventures, new entitlement programs, and higher spending is not the way to help the economy.

  22. Liberal With Attitude says:

    @Scott F.:
    Well if one man stabbed you, and a doctor stitched you up, it would be truthful to say that your encounter with the two of them left you slightly worse than before.

  23. Liberal With Attitude says:

    @superdestroyer:
    But surely, given the continued fortunes being made by Wall Street, we can all agree that Obama is the world’s most ineffectual socialist!

    Not to mention the continued delay in the rollout of the FEMA camps.

  24. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer:
    1. Please explain, in detail, why lower deficits caused lower growth, and not the other way around (while you are doing so, please take heed of the fact that in Europe, where deficit reduction was much more agressive than here, growth had been non-existant)..
    2. Please note that taxes had actually been raised on higher income individuals, twice: once on the fiscal cliff deal, and once again when ACA surgcharges on capital income taxes, were updated, without any devastating consequences.
    3. Please note that a major new entitlement, the ACA went online this year, without causing any of the negative effects people like you have been predicting.
    4. You do have a point on gas prices, but can you explain what is the mechanism that makes cheaper oil prices grow the economy is any different than a stimulus, and why?

  25. Dave says:

    @superdestroyer: You do realize that the argument wasn’t about if the economy would recover, it was how long? We still haven’t got a full recovery and it has been 7 years. This could have, should have, been much quicker.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @superdestroyer: May I take it then that you’re confident we would be seeing an even better recovery had we followed conservative principles and done no stimulus, no QE, allowed GM and Chrysler to collapse, never extended unemployment bennies, and most importantly HAD cut taxes on rich people, thereby magically cutting the deficit?

  27. C. Clavin says:

    Since 2001, just 3.7& of the quarters have seen economic growth at that level. That’s not a very good endorsement of the economic policies of either of the men who have been President during this period, to say the very least.

    Seriously? You actually see this as a BOTH SIDES situation?
    You really are going to ignore the hole Republicans left (a 9% contraction in Q4 of 2008) and the refusal of Republicans in Congress to do anything?
    Amazing.

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    You missed:
    ~US citizens freer
    ~Pot more legal

  29. anjin-san says:

    @Doug:

    BTW Doug, that was an actual question, and I am hoping for an answer. Of course there is a very good chance that an honest answer would show your “both sides” argument to be a bad joke, so I don’t really expect one.

  30. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Considering that progressives (think Paul Krugman) did not want to shrink the deficit, did not want cheap gasoline or natural gas (think cap and trade and energy taxes), and were unconcerned with the success or failure of wall street, it is amazing to see so many of them taking credit.

    I’m not sure that progressives had the problem at all. Economic growth has in fact shrunk the deficit, and that is exactly what Krugman anticipated. Krugman also knew that bailing out Wall Street was necessary because the capital markets were locked up, there was no liquidity, and many of those financial institution had toxic balance sheets.

    The real problem lies with those who advocated economic austerity policies – Tea Party conservatives. We now know that those policies have failed in every country where an austerity regimen was implemented (think most countries in Europe).

  31. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    The ACA is just at the beginning. However, if the government is really effective in “bending the cost curve” there will eventually be lower pay in health care and fewer people employed. That is already beginning to be seen in nursing and pharmacy jobs.

    You make it seem that stimulus came at no costs when it really has added a massive amount to the national debt and that budget deficits are expected to expand the future instead of shrink due to increased spending on entitlements. http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45229 For all the talk of a great economic success, the projected budget deficits are still above historical norms and the size of the national debt has made the U.S. vulnerable to interest rate increases in the future.
    It would actually make sense to increase taxes in the future. If Americans really want a $3.5 trillion dollar government, then Americans should have to pay $3.5 trillion in taxes. I do not think a conservative party can survive in the U.S. until taxpayers are paying full retail (the full $3.5 trillion).

    No matter what the government did, an economic recovery was bound to occur if due to nothing more than pent up demand that was pushed off in the future during the recession. However, it looks like the government is making the same mistakes is usually does: expanding entitlements, skewing incentives, and paying off special interest that will continue to have long term impacts on the economy of the U.S.

  32. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Krugman has written many times that the stimulus was too small and should have been twice the size. Krugman wrote that adding to the national debt to create the stimulus was no no consequence. In addition, progressives in the form of Senator Warren have wanted to take Wall Street apart so that it would be a bunch of small companies. Of course what Senator Warren does not say is that reigning in Wall Street will make the federal government even more powerful and less in need of thinking about how decisions affect markets.

  33. stonetools says:

    Steven Benen sticks the knife in, by way of Kevin Drum:

    Steve Benen evaluates recent economic news by the standards of Republican promises from two years ago:
    ■The Romney Standard: Mitt Romney said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans elect him, he’d get the unemployment rate down to 6% by 2016. Obama won anyway and the unemployment rate dropped below 6% two years faster.
    ■The Gingrich Standard: Newt Gingrich said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans re-elected the president, gas prices would reach $10 per gallon, while Gingrich would push gas down to $2.50 a gallon. As of this morning, the national average at the pump is a little under $2.38.
    ■The Pawlenty Standard: Tim Pawlenty said trillions of dollars in tax breaks would boost economic growth to 5% GDP. Obama actually raised taxes on the wealthy and GDP growth reached 5% anyway.

    Is this fair? Meh. Maybe, maybe not. But there’s not likely to be a whole lot of news to blog about today, so why not poke holes in some Republican balloons instead? As Benen says, “By the party’s own standards, Obama is succeeding beautifully. They established the GOP benchmarks and now the Democratic president is the one meeting, and in some cases exceeding, the Republicans’ goals.”

    Hey, It’s not suprising that Doug isn’t giving Obama much credit for this economic success. Wonder how he would spin this if Romney was President? (Actually, I don’t wonder).

    LINK:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/12/recovery-growth-obama-economic-policies

  34. stonetools says:

    @superdestroyer:

    No matter what the government did, an economic recovery was bound to occur if due to nothing more than pent up demand that was pushed off in the future during the recession.

    There’s a little something called the Great Depression that says you and the rest of the do-nothing crowd are wrong about this. There’s also the FACT that western Europe went with modest stimulus or austerity and is worse off than the US by almost every measure..

    If we compare the economic recovery of the United States since the Great Recession with that of Europe – or more specifically the eurozone countries – the differences are striking, and instructive. The US recession technically lasted about a year and a half – from December 2007 to June 2009. (Of course, for America’s 20.3 million unemployed and underemployed, and millions of others, the recession never ended – but more on that below.) The eurozone had a recession of similar length from around January 2008 to April 2009. But it then fell into a longer recession in the third quarter of 2011 that lasted for another two years, and may only be exiting that recession currently.

    This makes a big difference in people’s lives. In the eurozone, unemployment is at near record levels of 12.1%; while in the US, it is currently 6.7%. Despite the incompleteness of these measures, these numbers are comparable. And, of course, in Spain and Greece unemployment is 26.7 and 27.8%, respectively, with youth unemployment at an intolerable 57.4 and 59.2%.

    How are we to explain these differences? The United States was, after all, the epicenter of the world financial crisis and recession in 2008. But US policy-makers responded to the recession with different policies. Most important was monetary policy: the Federal Reserve lowered short-term interest rates to about zero in 2008 and has kept them there since. The Fed also signalled its intention to keep these interest rates at these levels for a long time. And venturing into uncharted territory, the Fed engaged in three rounds of “quantitative easing”, or more than $2tn of money creation. This enabled the Fed to stimulate the recovery by lowering long-term interest rates, including the crucial home mortgage interest rate, which helped recovery in the housing market. After some stimulus in both areas, the eurozone governments also engaged in more and earlier budget tightening than the United States did; and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown a clear relationship (Figure 6) between this fiscal tightening and reduced GDP growth.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your analysis. In this you are like the rest of the conservatives.They are also in denial.

  35. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: God, this might have been the most uninformed thing anybody on this website had ever written.

    Like literally, the one thing that any economist, right or left, would agree on is that, all things being equal, a financial market dominated by fifty medium sized firms rather than a handful of mega-banks would be much more efficient, in the textbook sense of the word, and therefore both less prone to government pressure, and less likely to need and receive bailouts.

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Krugman has written many times that the stimulus was too small and should have been twice the size. Krugman wrote that adding to the national debt to create the stimulus was no no consequence. In addition, progressives in the form of Senator Warren have wanted to take Wall Street apart so that it would be a bunch of small companies. Of course what Senator Warren does not say is that reigning in Wall Street will make the federal government even more powerful and less in need of thinking about how decisions affect markets.

    And if, as Krugman asserts, the stimulus had been twice the size, economic growth would have been greater, sooner.

    Elizabeth Warren is an old style populist who believes that Wall Street got too much benefit without Main Street realizing benefits. While there are Warren adherents, many modern Democrats saw the need to prevent the economy from plummeting into a full depression. Warren probably disagrees, that’s her problem, not one that I have. Obama plus many other financial experts thought these actions were necessary.

    Essentially, Krugman has been consistently correct about economic policies since the 2008-2009 Great Recession, while Tea Party mavens have been wrong, about growth in GDP, about inflation, about jobs growth, about bailing out GM and saving auto industry jobs throughout the Midwest – just plain wrong.

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Thanks for that correction. Three isn’t a lot in terms of national security, but it’s three families that gave all they had and will live their lives with terrible grief hanging over them.

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your analysis.

    No worries on that score. He never will.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @superdestroyer:

    It would actually make sense to increase taxes in the future.

    Yes, it will. And a little inflation would be nice too.

  40. Rafer Janders says:

    @al-Ameda:

    While there are Warren adherents, many modern Democrats saw the need to prevent the economy from plummeting into a full depression. Warren probably disagrees, that’s her problem, not one that I have.

    I know Warren, and she doesn’t actually disagree with the need to have bailed out the banks. Warren does, after all, know far more about finance than most US Senators, having literally written the books on restructuring, reorgs and bankrupcty law. She’s one of the pre-eminent American experts in this field.

    What she does feel, however, is that after the necessary bailout there were not enough conditions and restrictions put on the banks to prevent them from pulling us over the brink again.

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Ameda: All true, except I don’t think Warren disagreed with the need to bail out the banks. (IIRC.) Might have had a lot of concerns about details, but not the need. I suspect she’d agree with me, you can’t, like the TP, run around screaming, “Never bail out the banks.” The thing is, if you get to where you have to bail out the banks, you really do have to bail out the $$^^% fracking banks. What I think Warren would say, and is trying to accomplish, is, “Don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll have to bail out the banks.”

  42. Rafer Janders says:

    @gVOR08:

    What I think Warren would say, and is trying to accomplish, is, “Don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll have to bail out the banks.”

    And, “once you’ve bailed out the banks, put some conditionswith real teeth on those $$^^%s and make ’em pay for what they did.”

  43. michael reynolds says:

    Incidentally, another right-wing talking point dies in a news black-out:

    WASHINGTON — An 18-month congressional investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s mistreatment of conservative political groups seeking tax exemptions has failed to show coordination between agency officials and political operatives in the White House, according to a report released on Tuesday.

  44. the Q says:

    ……Since 2001, just 3.7& of the quarters have seen economic growth at that level. That’s not a very good endorsement of the economic policies of either of the men who have been President during this period…..

    Sorry Doug and all you other baby boomers, but this is a complete and total reflection of a selfish, “worship the rich ethos” which completely permeates the worthless boomer economic policies, which under Dems or Repugs favors the rich and wealthy.

    The Dems have long replaced anti trust enforcement, redestribution of wealth, expanded safety nets, increasing entitlements, defense of labor etc with a social agenda of going to the mattresses over contraceptive availabiltiy in Catholic organizations, gay marriage which affects a nano section of the populace (less than 1 percent) environmental fascism and capitulation to the potential Latino voting crowd.

    Many libs like me (yes an old white male New Deal FDR/Truman Democrat) are almost as out of place in the modern Dem party as the real Ronald Reagan would be from todays looney wingnut party.

    A case in point that few of you are even aware: Two years ago, the Obama Admin signed the U.S. Korea free trade pact. The result? A doubling of our trade deficit and more good paying American jobs lost.

    Google TPP to see the horror in store for the middle class if this insanity is passed. And Obama’s USTR is a Wall Street dick who seeks to use the TPP and other proposed trade agreements to enrich his cronies.

    Boomers except for gay and racial issues are one of the most anal, selfish, aggrandizing generations EVER.

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I’m sure Jenos will be around any minute to admit he was wrong about that too.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    How big of a failure has Issa been, really?
    Dude…you had one job. And you failed. Miserably.
    And you let so many conspiracy theorists down.
    Poor, poor Jenos.

  47. Steve V says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s ok, treason can be aspirational, it doesn’t huabe to be “actual.”

  48. anjin-san says:

    And the hits just keep on coming:

    Obama Approval on the Rise

    A new CNN/ORC poll finds President Obama’s approval rating has jumped to a 20-month high at 48%.

    “The approval jump follows a late-quarter jolt in Obama’s governing agenda, which gained momentum after unilateral actions on immigration and relations with Cuba. Separate surveys have showed those moves popular among the American people.

    http://politicalwire.com/2014/12/23/obama-approval-on-the-rise/

    The GOP victory dance lasted what, 12 minutes?

  49. anjin-san says:

    Just read that President Bush is in the hospital, hopefully his stay will be brief and he will be home for Christmas.

  50. stonetools says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    God, this might have been the most uninformed thing anybody on this website had ever written.

    Wow, I dunno, the competition is stiff with this one. You may want to make this a macro.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott F.: I’d give you a thousand thumbs ups for this if I could.

  52. Ben Wolf says:

    @Hal_10000: Two thirds of 3rd quarter GDP growth resulted from delayed government health spending. To put it bluntly the ACA was a form of fiscal stimulus.

  53. stonetools says:

    Yesterday has been probably the worst day for conservatives since Obama’s 2012 election victory. However, per Kevin Drum,the silver lining for them is :

    The downside of all this is that in the past Democrats haven’t promoted their own economic policies plainly enough to get credit now that the economy has finally turned around…
    To some extent, of course, Democrats were stymied in their economic policy, which gave them less to brag about back in 2009. And five years is a long time to wait for a recovery. Still, Dems did pass a stimulus; enact a payroll tax holiday; extend unemployment benefits; pass Obamacare; reform Wall Street; raise taxes on the rich; and pass several jobs bills. It’s true that this laundry list doesn’t quite have the simple oomph of “Tax cuts will bring the economy roaring back to life!” But it is an economic program, and eventually it got us to where we are today: a pretty good recovery, and one that looks like it might be sustainable since it’s not built on the sandy foundations of tax cuts and deficits. Democrats should be louder about demanding more credit for all of this.

    Democratic messaging incompetence on economic issues is an awesome force multiplier for Republicans, unfortunately.

  54. @michael reynolds:

    Three is certainly a big improvement over 4,425.

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    Link?

  56. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:
    Crickets

  57. humanoid.panda says:

    @C. Clavin: He pulled that out of his nether regions:

    The latest example is today’s GDP report. Last month, the agency said spending on services rose at a 1.2% pace in the third quarter. Now, it says services spending climbed 2.5%. Health-care spending alone contributed 0.52 percentage point to growth, up from an earlier estimate of 0.22 percentage point.

    Source

  58. C. Clavin says:

    @humanoid.panda:
    Actually…it seems he pulled it from Zerohedge.com’s and/or David Stockman’s butt.
    A couple of seriously dubious economic sources.
    Going through the BEA numbers I can’t find what these nut cases say is there. Maybe I, and everyone else, simply can’t see it.
    Which is about what I would expect from Mr. Trickle-down .

  59. humanoid.panda says:

    @C. Clavin: That would be funny, because as far as I know, Ben Wolf is an MMT guy, and both zero-hedge and Stockman are fiat money is root of all evil guys. I guess, just like in politics, the spectrum of opinion is not a line, but a circle…

  60. Turgid Jacobian says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:”Not to mention the continued delay in the rollout of the FEMA camps.”

    Well you know govt programs–always behind schedule.

  61. Ben Wolf says:

    @C. Clavin: No, you dear, sweet lover of violence toward foreigners. Zero Hedge wrote:

    In short, two-thirds of the “boost” to final Q3 personal consumption came from, drumroll, the same Obamacare which initially was supposed to boost Q1 GDP until the “polar vortex” crashed the number so badly, the BEA decided to pull it completely and leave this “growth dry powder” for another quarter. That quarter was Q3.

    That isn’t the same thing. Merry Chriatmas.

  62. C. Clavin says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    Yet still no link or explanation.
    OK, then.

  63. Barry says:

    @Scott F.: “You took the economics policies of one man that put the country into a very deep hole and the economic policies of another man that have slowly, but surely, brought us out of that very deep hole and you suggest their performance was the same. ”

    Yes, Doug – this is rather dishonest of you.

  64. Barry says:

    @humanoid.panda: ” In that, he is very similar to Hayek and Friedman: both applied lots of nuance in their theoretical work (Hayek conceded the need for social insurance, Friedman was a great believer in central management of money supply), but were extremely simplistic as policy entrepreneurs/ free market evangelists. ”

    I’d sure love to see nuance in either Hayek’s or Laffer’s work.

  65. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “Doug , like most conservatives, wants to pretend that Bush’s hands off, free marketed oriented, tax cutting economic program didn’t crash the economy in 2008.and like most conservatives, he wants to pretend that the fiscal stimulus didn’t check the collapse and start the recovery. And again like most conservatives, he wants to pretend that the turn to austerity in 2011 didn’t retard the recovery.
    He would like to pretend this was all very mysterious, and no one knows what happened. But those who have been paying attention know the truth. ”

    Heck, just pretending that the Bush administration was ‘free market’, rather than a Putninesque looting spree is pretty bad.

  66. Barry says:

    @superdestroyer: “Considering that progressives (think Paul Krugman) did not want to shrink the deficit, ”

    Liar. At this point I’ll stop, since you’re not going to get better.