My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Whose Job Is This?

Once again, we get a little bit of good economic news today.

This year's federal deficit will come in smaller than originally predicted, budget forecasters projected Monday, settling in at $331 billion, well below the $412 billion deficit record in 2004.

The surging revenues — July's tax receipts were the nation's highest in history for that month — and a steadily growing economy forced the Congressional Budget Office to lower its projection from last September, a month before the 2005 fiscal year started. At that time, the non-partisan CBO, charged with doing budget analyses for Washington lawmakers, estimated the deficit for 2005 would be $348 billion.

The CBO predicts a $314 billion deficit for the budget year starting Oct. 1.

Couple this with the following:

--Nonfarm employment grew by 207,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was
unchanged at 5.0 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Depart-
ment of Labor reported today.

--A year earlier, the number of
unemployed was 8.2 million and the jobless rate was 5.5 percent.

--This followed job gains of 126,000 in May and 166,000 in June
(as revised)

--Employment in professional and technical services increased by 23,000 in
July. Over the year, this industry has added 211,000 jobs.

--Average weekly earnings increased by 0.4 percent over the month to $543.58.
Over the year, both average hourly and weekly earnings grew by 2.7 percent.

--The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in June, before seasonal adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

In other words, jobs are up, wages are up, inflation is basically flat, and the budget deficit is shrinking.

So who can explain this:

The Rasmussen Consumer Index dropped three points on Monday to 102.6. That's the lowest level in twenty-one months (since October 28, 2003).

The Index, which measures the economic confidence of American consumers on a daily basis, has fallen nearly fourteen points over the past week.

Certainly, some of this is due to the rising price of gasoline. I have to admit, $2.30 for a gallon of gas is enough to make me cough every time I go by. But ALL OTHER INDICATORS ARE STARTLINGLY POSITIVE, except for consumer perception.

So, again, my question is WHOSE JOB IS IT to get the good news in the spotlight and hold it there? I know the media (all-Sheehan-all-the-time) is at least partly culpable, but for Chrissakes there is this whole bully pulpit thing. Let's get this stuff out there!

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