Friday, November 13, 2009

Course corrections?

We’re in tough times and there are lots of things that need fixin’…here are just a few:

Jay Hancock of The Baltimore Sun notes that “unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since January. T. Rowe Price economist Alan Levenson looks at the data. New claims fell by 12,000 to 502,000 last week. Continuing claims fell by 312,000 to 5.8 million. (That's for two weeks ago.) Bottom line: Labor market healing trend continues into November, and the unemployment rate should reverse some of October's outsized gain. Nonetheless, the unemployment will tend to rise until monthly job growth is sufficient to absorb the flow of labor force entrance (roughly +110,000 per month); we don't expect a peak until mid-2010.” Gee, I feel better already…don’t you?

Bloomberg News adds, “Fewer Americans than anticipated filed claims for jobless benefits last week, signaling the worst employment slump in the post-World War II era is easing as the economy expands.” See, I told you we’d all feel better.
Of course, to fix all this, there’s always Super Obama to the rescue.

If the jobs news doesn’t do it for you, how about the deficit picture? “The federal government kicked off fiscal year 2010 by posting its widest-ever October budget deficit, the Treasury Department said Thursday. The $176.36 billion gap is more than $20 billion wider than the shortfall recorded in October 2008, driven up by lower tax receipts, stimulus-related revenue reductions and consistently high government outlays. Treasury’s monthly budget statement shows receipts were $135.33 billion in October, down 18% from a year earlier and at the lowest level since October 2002. Meanwhile, outlays were $311.69 billion, down 3% from a year earlier and at their second-highest monthly level on record.” As Hot Air notes, “What better way to kick off Barack Obama’s first full budget year as President than with a deficit that exceeded the White House’s own projections as well as analysts’ expectations? The federal government busted the budget worse than last October by $20 billion with a deficit of $176.36 billion for the month. That used to be considered a decent deficit target … for an entire year.”

And while some believe “the U.S. labor market is slowly healing [and] the declining number of monthly job losses and weekly initial unemployment claims show that. Yet President Obama still [feels] the need to announce a ‘jobs summit’ at the White House next month,” writes James Pethokoukis. “That’s compelling evidence that the White House doesn’t believe the job market is mending nearly fast enough to keep unemployment from trending higher — or Democratic electoral prospects in 2010 from trending lower.”


Finally, the biggest course correction of the week: From the NY Times – “Published: November 11, 2009 Corrections: An article on Monday about difficulties for Muslims serving in the American armed forces described incorrectly the background of Michael A. Monsoor, a member of the Navy Seals. Mr. Monsoor was a Christian of Lebanese and Irish descent, not a Muslim. The article also described incorrectly the act that earned him a Medal of Honor. It was for falling on a grenade and saving at least three team members — not for pulling a team member to safety. (Saving a team member in an earlier incident earned him a Silver Star.) Complications Grow for Muslims Serving in U.S. Military (November 9, 2009)

No comments: