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42 and Falling Fast
Townhall.com ^ | November 2, 2013 | Charles Payne

Posted on 11/02/2013 8:18:41 AM PDT by Kaslin

That was an ugly close for the second session in a row reflecting a number of things including a fair amount of confusion, matched or surpassed by frustration. I continue to say Fed news should be interpreted as a red flag for the US economy. It reminds me of a fancy electronic air pump I bought last year.

The engine was impressive, and the sales guy said it could fill up a truck tire in minutes. I finally broke it out early this summer as we prepared to go bike riding. I plugged it in, and the motor was humming. I Inserted the bike tube ... nothing. I tried over and over again, but nothing.

I finally came to the realization that the tire couldn't be pumped up as there was a serious and irreversible flaw. This is the dilemma facing the Fed, which can only print but can't get those funds to Main Street. The problems are policies the deter success and rhetoric that just makes people want to go somewhere and hide. While the blame game may have gotten President Obama reelected it's weakened the foundation of the nation into something akin to an indifferent mush. People are bombarded each day with excuses or news people fear by the very leaders we elect to give us confidence.

There is no confidence, and it's wearing down on Main Street. The Fed is worried about deflation, so the notion of hiking rates or even tapering seems farfetched. On the other hand, Bernanke is coming to the realization that all his efforts have come up short. Economies are cyclical, and Fed-led rebounds are written into each script, but this time there are still so many areas of the economy lacking, including declining real wages (remember true inflation is too much money chasing too few goods). There probably is some kind of Fed etiquette also that would prohibit a change in policy as the torch is being passed along.

The flat tire is perhaps the best symbol of America these days. It reflects our lack of confidence and the inability to get out of first gear. The flat tire is also a great symbol for the Bernanke Fed that gave it the old college try but couldn't overcome attempts to transform America into a collectivist nation without winners or losers and where earnings are shared by the masses. This is happening more and more each day, resulting in less effort by those that care ... and don't care.

Fundamental Transformation

If you didn't catch it in your local news, President Obama's approval rating slipped to its lowest point of his presidency. The irony of it all is his approval has never really been that high versus other recent occupants of the White House. Even more interesting is there was once a time when the economy had a direct correlation.

See the table on the left, and it's clear an average GDP above 3% during the first term went a long way toward justifying a second term. The lone exceptions were Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman. For the former, the economy began to deteriorate rapidly as that infamous "malaise" settled into the nation.

For Truman, the economy followed post war recession, sky high inflation, and the start of the Cold War. Still he managed to turn it around in his final year in office and gain reelection.

President Obama on the other hand has enjoyed his best GDP in the four years in part to a nicely timed stimulus package that sort of moved the needle, but the outcome was substantially below all his predecessors. So, how come the reelection was so easy? I think it had more to do with Republican incompetence at campaigning and serious mistakes that couldn't be overcome. A changing nation recoiled at some of the same social issues that scored points in the past, and there was no effective counter-attack. Be that as it may, what Americans got in the process was acceptance of mediocrity.

Or at least that's what the administration thought.

People get tired of living paycheck to paycheck and even the notion that somehow taxing so-called rich people more can alleviate their circumstances is wearing off. Each day the air slips out of the nation more and more. Being the best finger-pointer isn't working as wages move lower and job growth remains anemic. The future looks dimmer each day. So after the holidays, we'll head into the same old battles in DC where perhaps embolden with the notion of another pyrrhic victory, the President allows the wheels to come to a grinding halt.

From a government shutdown point of view, it doesn't matter, but markets are sensitive to the debt ceiling and understand that going cold turkey is something Big Government is ill-prepared to endure. It would be a wonderful time for leadership. It would be the perfect moment to pump some air in our sagging national confidence. Maybe it happens because despite all the cheering about Tea Party blowing it, the White House is watching its own ratings evaporate. At some point even folks with small egos consider legacy. Two presidents since end of WWII saw second term approval increase over the first term:

It's one thing to smear the Tea Party with a complicit media and complain about how hard the economy was upon inauguration, but there are two standard bearers for the two political parties in America and years from now few will mention President Obama outside of trivia and novelty. (Unless we stay down this road and then he'll be known as the man that wrecked America.) He has a chance to borrow the Clinton playbook and bring some life back into the nation. Stop pitting Americans against one another and forget about fundamentally changing the greatest nation on earth.

It takes more than lip service and takes the kind of guts that begins with an honest mea culpa.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/02/2013 8:18:41 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

May it rest at the bottom of Davie Jone’s Locker.


2 posted on 11/02/2013 8:21:44 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Kaslin

I thought 42 was the secret of the universe...


3 posted on 11/02/2013 8:30:50 AM PDT by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: Kaslin

Mea Culpa?

Democrats are actually preparing to double down for another round of tax hikes, as the next fiscal cliff looms out in front of our tired nation.


4 posted on 11/02/2013 8:30:58 AM PDT by EBH ( The Day of the Patriot has arrived.)
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To: Kaslin
Yes, Obama's approval ratings have plummeted....but his personal likability remains solid.

A good portion of this nations' citizens are schizo.

Leni

5 posted on 11/02/2013 8:36:30 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: chajin
I thought 42 was the secret of the universe...

It is, but it still means disaster.

Worse yet it is not a prime number.

6 posted on 11/02/2013 8:47:38 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: Kaslin

Back in the old days economy is linked to POTUS approval rate, because it was harder to borrow to buy things and create an illusion of wealth. Prior to 1980’s credit cards were not widely available or used. You had to spend a minimum of $ 25 before you can charge it and not every store was set up to use credit cards. Most places it was still a cash or check system. Widespread usage of credit cards and equity loans changed the perception of doing well. That can explain the de linking of economic growth to POTUS popularity.


7 posted on 11/02/2013 8:49:11 AM PDT by Fee
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To: chajin

Actually, it was the answer to the ultimate question.


8 posted on 11/02/2013 8:49:25 AM PDT by Yogafist
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To: Kaslin

No Clinton on that chart?


9 posted on 11/02/2013 8:50:36 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Kaslin

It has just about bottomed out at the percentage of the population that is totally dependent on him for more...more...more from his “Stash”.


10 posted on 11/02/2013 8:51:02 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Kaslin

I was a kid back when Ike was President. Back then all we had to worry about was the Russians annihilating us. Now we have to worry more about our [own supposed] government doing it. Should I wish for the ‘Good Old Days’?


11 posted on 11/02/2013 8:52:08 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Who but a TYRANT shoves down another man's throat what he has exempted himself from?)
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To: Kaslin

Obama and his Fed henchmen are keeping the economy pumped up with funny money until the last quarter or so of his reign. Then they will pull the plug leaving the mess for the next guy, especially if it looks like it will be a right-winger. It’s the Spite House, after all.


12 posted on 11/02/2013 9:09:51 AM PDT by Chaguito
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To: The Sons of Liberty

Yes. At least with the Soviets we could depend on them behaving rationally.


13 posted on 11/02/2013 9:11:00 AM PDT by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
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To: Kaslin

Clinton was left out of the table. Why?

“People get tired of living paycheck to paycheck and even the notion that somehow taxing so-called rich people more can alleviate their circumstances is wearing off. Each day the air slips out of the nation more and more. Being the best finger-pointer isn’t working as wages move lower and job growth remains anemic. The future looks dimmer each day. So after the holidays, we’ll head into the same old battles in DC where perhaps embolden with the notion of another pyrrhic victory, the President allows the wheels to come to a grinding halt.”

I don’t know about the “nation” but surely a lot of people who have have ambitions or hope are becoming weary. Some economic theory, Austrian maybe, has shown that it takes 3% inflation of wages to keep people motivated and coming back for more year-after-year even in the same job and that it takes about 7% rate of return on investments to keep people putting their money at risk. These are components of hope and we have the change but a whole lot less hope now than we once did.

There are people who are content with little. In fact, we have bred a whole lot of people content with little. They are just lazy and have been convinced they need to be taken care of. They will never change because they don’t want to and don’t have to. The carrot will not work for them and we don’t have the will or the way to exercise the stick.

“This is happening more and more each day, resulting in less effort by those that care ... and don’t care.”

At the margin I’m working on a 60/40 basis or less with everything at risk and long, long hours to do it. Returns are dismal on investments. Why stack up more in a mediocre proposition?


14 posted on 11/02/2013 9:11:08 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Kaslin

Is Clinton censored finally?


15 posted on 11/02/2013 9:13:28 AM PDT by cicero2k
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To: Sequoyah101

He’s a non-person.


16 posted on 11/02/2013 9:15:48 AM PDT by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
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To: All


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17 posted on 11/02/2013 9:15:56 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Kaslin
He has a chance to borrow the Clinton playbook and bring some life back into the nation.

He would if he were a Clinton who can easily carry a large Bible with one hand and feel up women with the other. The problem is that Obama has much higher ambitions than Clinton that mostly revolve around revenge for perceived but mostly fictional discrimination against him.

18 posted on 11/02/2013 9:24:46 AM PDT by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: Yogafist
Actually, it was the answer to the ultimate question.

Not many people remember the question though.

19 posted on 11/02/2013 9:39:47 AM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: seowulf

Actually no one remembers the question, because it was lost when the Vogons destroyed Earth to make room for a bypass.


20 posted on 11/02/2013 9:45:32 AM PDT by Yogafist
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To: Yogafist
Actually no one remembers the question, because it was lost when the Vogons destroyed Earth to make room for a bypass.

I thought the question was "What is six by nine?"

21 posted on 11/02/2013 9:54:04 AM PDT by seowulf ("If you write a whole line of zeroes, it's still---nothing"...Kira Alexandrovna Argounova)
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To: chajin

no, the answer from deep thought was written forty-two

that is, 40 - 2 = 38

The answer to the ultimate question is 38


22 posted on 11/02/2013 10:05:11 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: Yogafist
Actually, it was the answer to the ultimate question.

You mean life, the universe and everything? Or, the number of calories in six Reese's Pieces?

23 posted on 11/02/2013 10:16:42 AM PDT by VRW Conspirator (Obama is a proven liar.)
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To: VRW Conspirator

More likely, how many roads must a man walk down?


24 posted on 11/02/2013 10:27:05 AM PDT by Yogafist
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To: Kaslin

Excellent piece.
BUMP


25 posted on 11/02/2013 10:29:17 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: null and void

So are others but they still included them.


26 posted on 11/02/2013 3:15:12 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: Sequoyah101
The title is "42 and Falling Fast."

Clinton was President #42. He fell so fast that by the time the chart was posted he had fallen off of it.

27 posted on 11/02/2013 4:14:30 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
Bill is still raking in the money and spreading venereal diseases around far and wide.
28 posted on 11/02/2013 4:18:28 PM PDT by sport
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To: Kaslin

I hope it’s this low or lower one year from now when it can make a difference in the midterm elections.


29 posted on 11/02/2013 10:28:07 PM PDT by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: Impy

If the media were honest it would be already lower.


30 posted on 11/03/2013 3:34:25 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: palmer

I think what Charles Payne means with he has a chance to borrow the Clinton playbook is to work with the GOP and not against it.


31 posted on 11/03/2013 3:39:46 AM PST by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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