What Runs Out?

We have seen another dismal jobs report from ADP, another in a long series of dismal jobs reports. Despite the long march of weak employment growth this report as have so many was………….wait for it……………unexpected!

Unexpected has to be put in context, economists projected 150,000 new jobs which are far short of what is needed to grow the economy generally or indicate significant future growth, 118,000 were reported. So ‘unexpected’ is weak as compared to a weak forecast. In simple terms; weaker than weak!

With not a single material macro-economic indicator signaling strong consistent recovery we remain mired in the ‘unexpected’. We get an occasional spike in consumer spending or housing starts but it never lasts over time. For those of us down here on the ground this report was exactly what we expected. Brian Williams may be shocked at the ‘unexpected’ but we’re not!

Sequester is, of course, partially to blame say most Gurus of economic analysis; but I’m confused.

Four years of rampant government spending; the stimulus program, cash for clunkers, massive growth in welfare spending, which leading Democrats tell us is good for the economy, and there is no aggressive recovery and no significant job growth. The Fed has pumped trillions into the economy and still, no significant job growth. All of that money, 40% of it borrowed, and we continue to limp along.

The source of my confusion is that somehow, despite all of the spending, all of the debt, all of the freshly printed money a 2% cut in the rate of growth in spending, most of which has not yet materialized, is compressing job growth??? Really? The sequester cuts did not cut spending in empirical terms, just in terms of the rate of growth as compared to the easily manipulated budget ‘baseline’.

Something has to run out here. We can be reasonably confident that excuses are not going to run out. We can be absolutely sure the President’s commitment to deficit spending will not run out. We can also remain confident that Republican inability to deliver a coherent, in context economic message will not run out.

Ah yes, I know what could run out. Your family’s budget surplus that you commit to saving or your children’s future will run out. Your confidence in maintaining your employment could run out. Your ability to enjoy just a few of the better things in life could run out. Your ability to invest in your home could run out.

Your stress level will not run out!