Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Economic news that isn't getting the attention it deserves

Michael Barone points to some economic news that isn't getting much airtime play.
Which you won't find on the front pages of mainstream media:

The Labor Department Friday announced that the number of jobs increased between April 2005 and March 2006 not by 5.8 million but by 6.6 million. As an editorial in the Wall Street Journal notes, "That's a lot more than a rounding error, more than the entire number of workers in the state of New Hampshire. What's going on here?" The most plausible explanation, advanced by the Journal and by the Hudson Institute's Diana Furchgott-Roth in the New York Sun, is that lots more jobs are being created by small businesses and individuals going into business for themselves than government statisticians can keep track of. Newspaper reports on the number of jobs usually focus on the Labor Department's business establishment survey. But over the past few years, the Labor Department's household survey has consistently shown more job growth than the business establishment survey. The likely explanation: The business establishment survey misses jobs created by new businesses. Our government statistical agencies do an excellent job. But statistics designed to measure the economy of yesterday have a hard time reflecting the economy of tomorrow.

The federal budget deficit has been cut in half in three years, three years faster than George W. Bush called for. Why? Tax receipts were up 5.5 percent in FY 2004, 14.5 percent in FY 2005, and 11.7 percent in FY 2006. That's up 34.9 percent in three years. And that's after the 2003 tax cuts. When you cut taxes, you get more economic activity, and when you get more economic activity, the government with a tax system that is still decidedly progressive gets more revenue.

The bottom line: The private-sector economy is much more robust and creative than mainstream media would have you believe.
I guess we're too busy talking about Mark Foley to notice that the economy, after a brief recession, 9/11, two wars, a protracted presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, terror attacks around the globe, and Katrina is booming. This is amazing and it doesn't seem to be getting the attention that the 1990s economy got day after day. We're seeing more evidence for the biased media coverage of the economy according to the party of the president.