02 July 2014

As the Economic Handbrake Is Finally Released

Tomorrow's job numbers should come in at about 300,000, give or take tens of thousands. (Okay, Maybe give or take a hundred thousand.)

The best part of this stage of recovery is that the economy is finally getting past the austerity handbrake held by politicians intent on deficit reduction.

The House Republicans have now led the House to its lowest approval rating in history. Never before has the unemployment rate and confidence in Congress been less than 1 point apart. (Gallup's measure of confidence in Congress was at an all-time low at 7% and unemployment was 6.3% in June.) People are clear that the government has mostly hampered the economy, and are particularly clear that this traces back to the House Republicans.

But for House Republicans' it has been worth it. Up until now. The general disgust with government focuses on Congress but isn't limited to it. Obama's approval rating is only 42%. And given House Republicans are anti-government, it doesn't matter that their refusal to cooperate with Obama even on policies they have initiated effectively makes government dysfunctional. If anything, that just proves their point that government is dysfunctional, like men botching the task of changing diapers to make their point that men are no good at such tasks and shouldn't be expected to do them. There are times when ineptitude pays off.

But now, finally, it matters less every month that they won't take steps to help the economy. The economy is finally at a stage of recovery that depends less on a push than its own momentum. Which is one reason to really be intrigued to see what happens during the next year or two. If this train can move forward with the handbrake on, think what will happen once it is released.

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