There has been a theme in the media for the first year of President Obama's term that has been getting some notice on the right. Considering all of the experts weighing in on things, all of the examination and consideration, there have been an awful lot of 'unexpected' things happening. Just this week, for example, there are no less than three 'unexpected' reports.
The first is the 'unexpected' dip in consumer confidence. And by dip, I mean a nearly 10 point drop. The index last month stood at 56.5. The 'experts' were expecting it to dip to 55. Instead it dropped to a staggering 46. Ooops. Just a minor miscalculation, I'm sure.
Next came the 'unexpected' dip in new home sales. Now, how this could possibly be unexpected is beyond me. New home sales have been dropping since August (with the exception of a slight rise in October - which was touted as a leading indicator that the recession was officially over). There is a lame attempt to blame the weather for some of the drop (no, seriously), but that is just a load of malarkey. I'm pretty sure there weren't any blizzards back in August. This is the biggest drop on record, bringing new home sales to a 50 year low, even with government intervention in the form of tax incentives to buyers.
And then there is the report on unemployment that came out this morning. There was a - you guessed it - 'unexpected' rise in unemployment claims. This, too is being blamed on the weather.
I'm waiting for them to use these new numbers to push for Cap and Trade again - after all, the weather is caused by global warming, so global warming is to blame for unemployment and low home sales. Thus, by that logic, not only will Cap and Trade save the planet, it will also save us from high unemployment and low home sales. It truly is a miracle cure, isn't it?
You know, I remember when our 'experts' actually sounded like they knew what they were talking about. I keep hearing about the Great Recession being over, but, aside from the stock market's hurkey jerky rise and a one month increase in new home sales, the evidence doesn't seem to support that position. Every month we have new 'unexpected' numbers - the only time the numbers are expected is when they actually meet the sunshiny projections - a rarer and rarer occurance. This administration's overly rosy predictions do these experts and the American people a disservice.
It's time to start telling it like it is. It's time to start getting real numbers, real projections and real debate over how the administration's policies are really going to effect us. This constant atmosphere of 'unexpectedness' does nothing to promote confidence in the economy, the administration and the country in general.
There is one more 'unexpected' number that came out at the beginning of February - the 'unexpected' rise in inflation. How this could possibly be unexpected is beyond me. The FED has been pumping literally trillions of dollars into the economy with nothing backing it. We have to get that money out of the system, and the only way to do that is to increase interest rates in order to buy back the debt. The notion that an increase in inflation was unexpected is, well, unexpected.
If this is the best our 'experts' can do, I think it's time to get new experts.