Consumer Confidence Has Nowhere to Go But Up

costco

“President-elect Donald Trump took a deep bow, and thanked himself Tuesday night for a 4-point rise in an index that measures consumer confidence,” reports Newsmax.

The New York-based Conference Board said the December rise was the highest since August 2001. Some findings from the Conference Board include:

The number of those who said they see more job availability six months from now rose to 21 percent, the highest since February 2011, from 16.1 percent.

The number of those who expected their incomes to rise in the next six months rose to 21 percent from 17.4 percent.

The number of those expecting stock prices to be higher in the next year surged to 44.7 percent, the most upbeat reading since January 2004.

Sentiment rose among 35- to 54-year-olds and was the highest since July 2007 among Americans 55 and older; confidence fell among those 35 and younger.

Since Trump’s election last month, consumer confidence has jumped to the highest point since George W. Bush was president. It certainly doesn’t say much for the Obama years, does it? President Obama brags that he would easily have won a third term, running against Donald Trump. But Democrats have lost more seats in government (federal, state and local) under his terms than at any time since the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction. Isn’t it possible that years of Obama’s policies have at least something to do with this fact?

Look at what has changed since Obama became president. More people are on food stamps than ever before. More people successfully apply to get on Social Security at a younger age (via Social Security Disability) than ever before. Taxes are higher, but the rich still got richer while the middle class declined. Rich, elite Hollywood celebrities and powerful Washington politicians pat themselves on the backs and toast each other at cocktail parties and in their echo chambers at Huffington Post, on MSNBC, CNN, Facebook and elsewhere.

But the question remains: What have Obama’s “accomplishments” actually done for anyone? If your goal was to get on government benefits or stay on them longer, perhaps Obama’s presidency bought you a few years of additional stagnation and poverty. How is this inspirational, hopeful or indicative of any “change” worth having? It’s now easier to be dependent on the government than ever before. But what good is this for consumer confidence? Democrats under Obama lost sight of their earlier slogan that “it’s the economy, stupid.” It’s not that either Democrats or Republicans, for decades now, have ever been all that great at restoring economic freedom so the American economy could really take off again. But Obama declared war on economic freedom itself, spending his whole eight years bashing business and bullying or intimidating Republicans (successfully, given what a weak bunch they are) into doing his bidding. And what did consumers get to show for it? Nothing.

Whether Trump and the Republican Congress will deliver any results remains to be seen. What’s interesting, for now, is that most people perceive Trump’s promised policies of tax cuts for all (including the rich), reductions in government regulation and elimination of Obamacare as good things for the economy. This means that on some level, even after the anti-innovation, anti-capitalist, anti-profit mentality of the Obama years that most Americans still understand the purpose of economic growth is … well, economic growth.

Politicians can increase social welfare spending all they want. But this does nothing for consumer confidence. Quite the opposite: It drains the government, it drains the ability of the currency to have value, and it takes from those who work and produce and gives to those who cannot or simply will not work or produce. In the process, things like EPA regulations and Obamacare destroy the capacity of the private economy to create jobs.

Obama added an additional $7.917 trillion to America’s national debt, which amounts to a 68 percent increase from the $11.657 trillion debt level President George W. Bush accrued by the end of his presidency. If it’s true that government spending stimulates and creates economic wealth, as Obama predicted it would, then shouldn’t we have seen a 68 percent increase in the economy over the last few years, instead of the 1 or 2 percent a year we got?

Obviously, nothing close to that ever happened. Nor was it ever supposed to do so. The purpose of government spending always was, and always will be, to increase and enhance the power and artificial self-esteem of parasitical politicians and the constituents they hook on their handouts. The trillion dollar bailouts, the increases in food stamp and health care spending, and the influx of impoverished immigrants were all just a way for politicians to gain more power.

Placing confidence for economic growth in the government is kind of like a hostage placing confidence in his kidnapper. Only the kidnapper is more honest.

Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael  Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1

Check out Dr. Hurd’s latest Newsmax Insider column here!

Dr. Hurd’s writings read on the air by Rush Limbaugh! Read more HERE.