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timschochet

Unemployment lowest since 2008

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WASHINGTON The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly last week, a sign the job market is healing as the economy slowly recovers.

New jobless claims have dropped steadily since September, raising hopes that the economy may soon begin creating jobs and the unemployment rate could decline. That, in turn, would give households more money to spend and add fuel to the broader economic rebound that began earlier this year.

The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for unemployment insurance fell by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 432,000, the lowest since July 2008. That's much better than the rise to 460,000 that Wall Street economists expected.

The four-week average, which smooths fluctuations, fell for the 17th straight week to 460,250, the lowest since September 2008, when the financial crisis intensified. The crisis led to widespread mass layoffs, which sent jobless claims to as high as 674,000 last spring.

Analysts cautioned that the weekly data could be artificially low due to seasonal factors, such as the Christmas holiday and recent snowstorms.

Still, many economists saw the claims figures as a positive sign that employers could soon step up hiring. Abiel Reinhart, an economist at JPMorgan Chase, said in a note to clients that he estimates employers added a net total of 40,000 jobs in December, after cutting 11,000 the previous month.

The Labor Department will report the unemployment rate and jobs figures Jan. 8. Reinhart said the December jobless rate will likely be 10 percent, matching the previous month and down from 10.2 percent, a 26-year high, in October.

Still, most economists expect the unemployment rate to remain above 9 percent through 2010, as companies are likely to hire at a slow pace as they wait to see if the current recovery continues.

The stock market fell slightly in morning trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 24 points, while broader indexes also edged down.

Economists closely monitor initial claims, which are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire new workers.

The number of jobless workers continuing to claim benefits, meanwhile, dropped by 57,000 to 4.9 million, also better than the increase that analysts expected.

But the so-called continuing claims do not include millions of people that have used up the regular 26 weeks of benefits typically provided by states, and are receiving extended benefits for up to 73 additional weeks, paid for by the federal government.

About 4.8 million people were receiving extended benefits in the week ended Dec. 12, the latest data available, an increase of 200,000 from the previous week. The rise is partly a result of another extension of benefits by Congress in November.

President Obama earlier this month signed legislation that continues the extended federal benefits for the first two months of next year. That will prevent about 2 million jobless workers from running out of benefits in January and February, according to an estimate by the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit group.

But up to a million additional people could run out of benefits in March if the emergency benefits aren't continued for the rest of the year, the NELP has said.

Among the states, Michigan had the largest increase in initial claims, with 8,382, which it attributed to layoffs in the auto industry. California, Florida, Iowa and Missouri saw the next largest increases. The state data lags initial claims by one week.

Tennessee saw the largest decrease, of 2,972, followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

Edited by timschochet

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Timmy,

Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

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This could have been the main issue for 2010, and I believe it was the one issue that could have really hurt Obama and the Democrats. I don't think healthcare will have any real effect on the coming election. If unemployment continues to decrease, I predicts the Dems will maintain their numbers in the House and Senate or even increase them.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

You make a good point, but I was not trying to be deliberately misleading. As you know, this is how everyone reports it. I got the title from the AP story.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

You make a good point, but I was not trying to be deliberately misleading. As you know, this is how everyone reports it. I got the title from the AP story.
Just because the AP has dumb writers doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Learn to think for yourself. Oh, and you know you can change the thread title don't you? Edited by StrikeS2k

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

You make a good point, but I was not trying to be deliberately misleading. As you know, this is how everyone reports it. I got the title from the AP story.
Just because the AP has dumb writers doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Learn to think for yourself.
Gee, thanks for the advice.Do you consider this to be good news?

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Analysts cautioned that the weekly data could be artificially low due to seasonal factors, such as the Christmas holiday and recent snowstorms (might have helped if they added seasonal hirings)

Still, most economists expect the unemployment rate to remain above 9 percent through 2010, as companies are likely to hire at a slow pace as they wait to see if the current recovery continues.

Conveniently hidden in the body of the article... Edited by P Boy

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

You make a good point, but I was not trying to be deliberately misleading. As you know, this is how everyone reports it. I got the title from the AP story.
Just because the AP has dumb writers doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Learn to think for yourself.
Gee, thanks for the advice.Do you consider this to be good news?
Not necessarily. I've posted about this type of thing before when some supposedly good numbers like this were reported. The problem with making a big deal out of losing less jobs is that at some point you've lost all the jobs that can be lost. At some point you HAVE to hit rock bottom. Are we there yet? Dunno, but I don't think these numbers reflect better on the Dems as you're suggesting. We're STILL losing jobs, and your suggestion not only in the thread title but in your analysis is that "unemployment is decreasing". And that's just not true. When the number of people out of work starts actually decreasing we can have this discussion. Edited by StrikeS2k

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Analysts cautioned that the weekly data could be artificially low due to seasonal factors, such as the Christmas holiday and recent snowstorms (might have helped if they added seasonal hirings)

Still, most economists expect the unemployment rate to remain above 9 percent through 2010, as companies are likely to hire at a slow pace as they wait to see if the current recovery continues.

Conveniently hidden in the body of the article...
That's a good point as well. Let's hope it's not true.

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This could have been the main issue for 2010, and I believe it was the one issue that could have really hurt Obama and the Democrats. I don't think healthcare will have any real effect on the coming election. If unemployment continues to decrease, I predicts the Dems will maintain their numbers in the House and Senate or even increase them.

I'm in the employment business and the job market began to pick up the 2nd half of 2009 although it was mostly temporary employment that saw a boost. Temp jobs are always ahead of permanent employment during a recovery. I focus on executive placement in finance and we had a very successful 2nd half of the year. However, almost without exception every client we made a placement with hired someone already employed. The market for folks currently unemployed is simply brutal. I'm fairly optimistic about employment next year but I don't see unemployment dropping much below 10% by the elections and would be shocked if we reach near 9% by the Fall. If that holds than I don't see how the Dems don't lose in both Houses.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

The reduction in new job loss claims is certainly good news and an indication that the employment sector may be stabilizing. It also appears that the unemployment rate is down slightly from the high in October, which supports the assertion that unemployment may indeed be slowly decreasing. These are good indicators, though I agree that things aren't anywhere near rosy (and aren't likely to be rosy for a long time). Edited by bigbottom

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Not necessarily. I've posted about this type of thing before when some supposedly good numbers like this were reported. The problem with making a big deal out of losing less jobs is that at some point you've lost all the jobs that can be lost. At some point you HAVE to hit rock bottom. Are we there yet? Dunno, but I don't think these numbers reflect better on the Dems as you're suggesting. We're STILL losing jobs, and your suggestion not only in the thread title but in your analysis is that "unemployment is decreasing". And that's just not true. When the number of people out of work starts actually decreasing we can have this discussion.

Just to clarify: I believe that the public will look upon the Dems more favorably if unemployment numbers decrease. Personally, I really don't think politicians can do much about this one way or the other. I don't hold them responsible for job losses, nor do I give them credit for job gains. But the public does, and will.

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Analysts cautioned that the weekly data could be artificially low due to seasonal factors, such as the Christmas holiday and recent snowstorms (might have helped if they added seasonal hirings)

Still, most economists expect the unemployment rate to remain above 9 percent through 2010, as companies are likely to hire at a slow pace as they wait to see if the current recovery continues.

Conveniently hidden in the body of the article...
That's a good point as well. Let's hope it's not true.
Tim, I would love for this to not be true. I'd be ecstatic if my wife could find a full time position - it's killing her with all the effort she's putting in (for over a year now) and not even getting "Thanks but no thanks" responses. I'd also love to make at least a lateral move myself after having to take two separate 10% pay cuts in less than 9 months just to keep my job.

Realistically though, the numbers just don't add up that way.

Edited by P Boy

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Not necessarily. I've posted about this type of thing before when some supposedly good numbers like this were reported. The problem with making a big deal out of losing less jobs is that at some point you've lost all the jobs that can be lost. At some point you HAVE to hit rock bottom. Are we there yet? Dunno, but I don't think these numbers reflect better on the Dems as you're suggesting. We're STILL losing jobs, and your suggestion not only in the thread title but in your analysis is that "unemployment is decreasing". And that's just not true. When the number of people out of work starts actually decreasing we can have this discussion.

Just to clarify: I believe that the public will look upon the Dems more favorably if unemployment numbers decrease. Personally, I really don't think politicians can do much about this one way or the other. I don't hold them responsible for job losses, nor do I give them credit for job gains. But the public does, and will.
Of course the public will look on them favorably if the numbers decrease, as long as it's significant. As I noted, that's not happening yet. We're simply losing LESS jobs.

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If Obama keeps doing things like giving blank checks to Freddie and Fannie I don't think 2010 will be a very good year for the Dems, regardless of what happens with the unemployment rate over the next few months.

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Analysts cautioned that the weekly data could be artificially low due to seasonal factors, such as the Christmas holiday and recent snowstorms (might have helped if they added seasonal hirings)

Still, most economists expect the unemployment rate to remain above 9 percent through 2010, as companies are likely to hire at a slow pace as they wait to see if the current recovery continues.

Conveniently hidden in the body of the article...
That's a good point as well. Let's hope it's not true.
Tim, I would love for this to not be true. I'd be ecstatic if my wife could find a full time position - it's killing her with all the effort she's putting in and not even getting "Thanks but not thanks" responses. I'd also love to make at least a lateral move myself after having to take two separate 10% pay cuts in less than 9 months just to keep my job.

Realistically though, the numbers just don't add up that way.

Good luck to your wife. I have plenty of friends in the same boat.

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Good luck to your wife. I have plenty of friends in the same boat.

As do we, my friend. I think a lot of us do - which convinces me more than anything else.Thanks for the good thoughts.

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If Obama keeps doing things like giving blank checks to Freddie and Fannie I don't think 2010 will be a very good year for the Dems, regardless of what happens with the unemployment rate over the next few months.

I think if you asked a majority of voters they couldn't tell you anything about that. They wouldn't have the slightest idea whether that was good or bad (Heck, I consider myself well-informed, and I'm not sure I could tell you for certain!)But they know jobs. Most people have friends or family members out of work. Everyone either knows somebody who is struggling or is struggling himself. If things don't get batter, they will take it out on the politcal party in charge. That's just how it works. If things do appear to get better, then status quo is far more likely (along with apathy and a reduced number of voters.)

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The REAL number is closer to 18%. The current 10% number does not reflect those who's benefits have run out, those only working part time, and those who've given up. That # is courtesy of IBD.

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Good luck to your wife. I have plenty of friends in the same boat.

As do we, my friend. I think a lot of us do - which convinces me more than anything else.Thanks for the good thoughts.
Good luck to your wife P Boy. I'm in the same boat right now, *eagerly* awaiting the post-holiday job search.Tim - check out a guy named John Mauldin. He writes a free investment newsletter, and extensively analyzes why headline unemployment numbers are typically misleading. Since you like to read/learn about new stuff, you might enjoy him.

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If Obama keeps doing things like giving blank checks to Freddie and Fannie I don't think 2010 will be a very good year for the Dems, regardless of what happens with the unemployment rate over the next few months.

Main Street only cares enough about Wall Street for this to matter when they are suffering is what I think Tim's point is. He isn't agreeing with any specific democratic policy or agenda item, just saying that if the economy is looking better to the average voter in the next few months it will minimize the normal mid term losses. For example, while not midterms in both 1980 and 1992 the economy was actually doing better on election day but the change was too little and more importantly too late for the defeated incumbents to benefit from an improved economy. I don't think there is much controversial to this historically - "it's the economy, stupid", whether or not 2010 is different based on recent events where the electorate votes in a more informed versus "feelings" manner remains to be seen.

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Of course the public will look on them favorably if the numbers decrease, as long as it's significant. As I noted, that's not happening yet. We're simply losing LESS jobs.

:confused:

Unemployment Graph for the past few years

The common phrase regarding unemploment in this country is "10% is the new 5%", so an election during a period where unemployment is "down to 9% "(as suggested in the original article like it would be a positive) would not be good for incumbents when the voting public is now facing a far higher number of unemployed than the previous norm.

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Of course the public will look on them favorably if the numbers decrease, as long as it's significant. As I noted, that's not happening yet. We're simply losing LESS jobs.

:confused:

Unemployment Graph for the past few years

The common phrase regarding unemploment in this country is "10% is the new 5%", so an election during a period where unemployment is "down to 9% "(as suggested in the original article like it would be a positive) would not be good for incumbents when the voting public is now facing a far higher number of unemployed than the previous norm.

Not good posting. Even the graph you posted shows that unemployment is slowly decreasing from a peak of around 10.2%, as the title says.

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This is like getting excited that your wife only spent $432 on a pair of shoes she'll only wear once, instead of the $460 you expected her to spend.

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Here's hoping for a great economy in 2010! :banned:

:goodposting: I'll drink to that :suds:
You'll drink to anything. :suds: Me too.

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If Obama keeps doing things like giving blank checks to Freddie and Fannie I don't think 2010 will be a very good year for the Dems, regardless of what happens with the unemployment rate over the next few months.

I think if you asked a majority of voters they couldn't tell you anything about that. They wouldn't have the slightest idea whether that was good or bad (Heck, I consider myself well-informed, and I'm not sure I could tell you for certain!)

But they know jobs. Most people have friends or family members out of work. Everyone either knows somebody who is struggling or is struggling himself. If things don't get batter, they will take it out on the politcal party in charge. That's just how it works. If things do appear to get better, then status quo is far more likely (along with apathy and a reduced number of voters.)

You can't say for sure that giving corrupt organizations like Freddie and Fannie a blank check is a bad idea? Seriously?

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All this means is that employers didn't fire as many people as the month before. It doesn't mean they hired more.

Am I wrong?

I suppose that's a good thing, but it just seems like you're saying that the boat isn't sinking as fast. It's still sinking.

Edited by Andy Dufresne

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All this means is that employers didn't fire as many people as the month before. It doesn't mean they hired more.Am I wrong?I suppose that's a good thing, but it just seems like you're saying that the boat isn't sinking as fast. It's still sinking.

You get a lot of temp hiring over the Holidays as well, especially in retail. I'm sure the rate of job losses has slowed, but employers are still firing and not hiring.I think the call for a very unpopular second stimulus is a good indication that noone is Congress feels that they are any more secure with the job numbers than they were 6 months ago. Edited by jonessed

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The Democrats fully expect to lose their super majority in the house and several seats in the senate in 2010. This is why Obama is pushing so hard to get as much as done now. First the slush fund aka TARP, expansion of healthcare, immigrant reform and last cap and trade. You'll note nothing here improves the job picture. Democrats don't care about the general economy just pushing their agenda while they can.....

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Timmy,

Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

You make a good point, but I was not trying to be deliberately misleading. As you know, this is how everyone reports it. I got the title from the AP story.
Just because the AP has dumb writers doesn't mean you have to follow suit. Learn to think for yourself.
Gee, thanks for the advice.

Do you consider this to be good news?

We still have continuing job losses, but it's obviously slowed down tremendously. It's probably good news.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

Yea, losing less jobs is good news but it is also like being on a sinking ship and someone giving you the good news that they plugged 'one' of the 'leaks'. Sure, it is good to hear but it does little to change the reality of your situation. There is a whole lotta job hiring that needs to be done before the average Joe on the street 'feels' like the economy has turned around. How they feel is going to shape the 2010 elections. I have stated over and over that for Obama, it is all about two things: 1) The economy. He needs the economy to get back on track and to do so without high inflation. 2) He needs to keep us safe. Where goes Obama, goes the Democratic party. At this point, the GOP is on track for significant gains due to the economy. They did dodge a bullet on Christmas, but even if that plot was successful, I am doubtful it would have sunk his administration. There will need to be multiple events like that (successful) or a larger one for the electorate to turn on Obama/Democratic party for that singular reason. At this point, I do not see #1 being doable. I think there are three real possibilities: 1) The economy continues to struggle with little or no gains while not declining as well, akin to that of the Japanese lost decade. 2) We have a double dip recession. 3) The economy gains its footing and starts to grow but that growth is the missing piece for elevated inflation and inflation would then hit hard.

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Obama should've been more focused on the economy and not on the Euro-socialist policies like healthcare and cap and trade. He claims he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class, but by simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire, it is in effect, a tax raise. And just wait until the poor and lower middle class see their electricity and heating bills if cap and trade passes......it will be a huge increase and clearly a big regressive tax.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

Yea, losing less jobs is good news but it is also like being on a sinking ship and someone giving you the good news that they plugged 'one' of the 'leaks'. Sure, it is good to hear but it does little to change the reality of your situation. There is a whole lotta job hiring that needs to be done before the average Joe on the street 'feels' like the economy has turned around. How they feel is going to shape the 2010 elections. I have stated over and over that for Obama, it is all about two things: 1) The economy. He needs the economy to get back on track and to do so without high inflation. 2) He needs to keep us safe. Where goes Obama, goes the Democratic party. At this point, the GOP is on track for significant gains due to the economy. They did dodge a bullet on Christmas, but even if that plot was successful, I am doubtful it would have sunk his administration. There will need to be multiple events like that (successful) or a larger one for the electorate to turn on Obama/Democratic party for that singular reason. At this point, I do not see #1 being doable. I think there are three real possibilities: 1) The economy continues to struggle with little or no gains while not declining as well, akin to that of the Japanese lost decade. 2) We have a double dip recession. 3) The economy gains its footing and starts to grow but that growth is the missing piece for elevated inflation and inflation would then hit hard.
A successful terrorist attack might acually help Obama if he played it right. Look at how W's popularity soared after 9/11.

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Of course the public will look on them favorably if the numbers decrease, as long as it's significant. As I noted, that's not happening yet. We're simply losing LESS jobs.

:goodposting:

Unemployment Graph for the past few years

The common phrase regarding unemploment in this country is "10% is the new 5%", so an election during a period where unemployment is "down to 9% "(as suggested in the original article like it would be a positive) would not be good for incumbents when the voting public is now facing a far higher number of unemployed than the previous norm.

Not good posting. Even the graph you posted shows that unemployment is slowly decreasing from a peak of around 10.2%, as the title says.
You have got to be kidding me. This is essentially a "it was cold outside today so global warming is a myth" argument. Edited by KnowledgeReignsSupreme

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Of course the public will look on them favorably if the numbers decrease, as long as it's significant. As I noted, that's not happening yet. We're simply losing LESS jobs.

:goodposting:

Unemployment Graph for the past few years

The common phrase regarding unemploment in this country is "10% is the new 5%", so an election during a period where unemployment is "down to 9% "(as suggested in the original article like it would be a positive) would not be good for incumbents when the voting public is now facing a far higher number of unemployed than the previous norm.

Not good posting. Even the graph you posted shows that unemployment is slowly decreasing from a peak of around 10.2%, as the title says.
That's because the graph he showed only has those on unemployment benefits. There are still more people without a job than there were last month, but more people lost their unemployment benefits last month than were fired from their job. I don't see that as a positive.

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Tim,

Just a word of advice: when someone offers you a second derivative argument (i.e. the rate of something is increasing or decreasing), they are usually blowing smoke up your ###.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

Yea, losing less jobs is good news but it is also like being on a sinking ship and someone giving you the good news that they plugged 'one' of the 'leaks'. Sure, it is good to hear but it does little to change the reality of your situation. There is a whole lotta job hiring that needs to be done before the average Joe on the street 'feels' like the economy has turned around. How they feel is going to shape the 2010 elections. I have stated over and over that for Obama, it is all about two things: 1) The economy. He needs the economy to get back on track and to do so without high inflation. 2) He needs to keep us safe. Where goes Obama, goes the Democratic party. At this point, the GOP is on track for significant gains due to the economy. They did dodge a bullet on Christmas, but even if that plot was successful, I am doubtful it would have sunk his administration. There will need to be multiple events like that (successful) or a larger one for the electorate to turn on Obama/Democratic party for that singular reason. At this point, I do not see #1 being doable. I think there are three real possibilities: 1) The economy continues to struggle with little or no gains while not declining as well, akin to that of the Japanese lost decade. 2) We have a double dip recession. 3) The economy gains its footing and starts to grow but that growth is the missing piece for elevated inflation and inflation would then hit hard.
A successful terrorist attack might acually help Obama if he played it right. Look at how W's popularity soared after 9/11.
Two different dynamics, I believe. With Bush, it was a surprise for most everyone (although the magnitude obviously was shocking, anyone paying attention should not have found us being attacked surprising). The nation rallied in the shock and there was not a lot of desire to blame anyone because again... it was a surprise. Hence, almost instant forgiveness. Now, there is the knowledge that they are out there and that our government ought to be keeping us safe. I think, for the most part, if one plane went down, that would be forgivable. However, if there were multiple attacks or a large scale attack, there would be a different reaction. First, there are standing accusations that Obama and the Democrats, through certain actions and non-actions, have made us less safe. Second, it is consistent that Americans trust the Republican party more in terms of keeping us safe. There is suspicion that the Democratic party is ill equipped to keep us safe. That general attitude would explode in the face of successful attacks. Third, it would be a striking contrast to Bush 7 years of safe US soil. Americans would want to know why Bush kept us safe after 911 for so long and Obama failed to in such a short period of time. Finally, the most important thing to consider is expectations. The electorate has an expectation of Obama that he will keep us safe. The demand it. This expectation was not as much stated with Bush because there was nothing to expect him to keep us safe from (very naively) but the danger is known and the American people expect that they are protected. If they are not, they will look to others to keep them safe.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

Yea, losing less jobs is good news but it is also like being on a sinking ship and someone giving you the good news that they plugged 'one' of the 'leaks'. Sure, it is good to hear but it does little to change the reality of your situation. There is a whole lotta job hiring that needs to be done before the average Joe on the street 'feels' like the economy has turned around. How they feel is going to shape the 2010 elections. I have stated over and over that for Obama, it is all about two things: 1) The economy. He needs the economy to get back on track and to do so without high inflation. 2) He needs to keep us safe. Where goes Obama, goes the Democratic party. At this point, the GOP is on track for significant gains due to the economy. They did dodge a bullet on Christmas, but even if that plot was successful, I am doubtful it would have sunk his administration. There will need to be multiple events like that (successful) or a larger one for the electorate to turn on Obama/Democratic party for that singular reason. At this point, I do not see #1 being doable. I think there are three real possibilities: 1) The economy continues to struggle with little or no gains while not declining as well, akin to that of the Japanese lost decade. 2) We have a double dip recession. 3) The economy gains its footing and starts to grow but that growth is the missing piece for elevated inflation and inflation would then hit hard.
A successful terrorist attack might acually help Obama if he played it right. Look at how W's popularity soared after 9/11.
Two different dynamics, I believe. With Bush, it was a surprise for most everyone (although the magnitude obviously was shocking, anyone paying attention should not have found us being attacked surprising). The nation rallied in the shock and there was not a lot of desire to blame anyone because again... it was a surprise. Hence, almost instant forgiveness. Now, there is the knowledge that they are out there and that our government ought to be keeping us safe. I think, for the most part, if one plane went down, that would be forgivable. However, if there were multiple attacks or a large scale attack, there would be a different reaction. First, there are standing accusations that Obama and the Democrats, through certain actions and non-actions, have made us less safe. Second, it is consistent that Americans trust the Republican party more in terms of keeping us safe. There is suspicion that the Democratic party is ill equipped to keep us safe. That general attitude would explode in the face of successful attacks. Third, it would be a striking contrast to Bush 7 years of safe US soil. Americans would want to know why Bush kept us safe after 911 for so long and Obama failed to in such a short period of time. Finally, the most important thing to consider is expectations. The electorate has an expectation of Obama that he will keep us safe. The demand it. This expectation was not as much stated with Bush because there was nothing to expect him to keep us safe from (very naively) but the danger is known and the American people expect that they are protected. If they are not, they will look to others to keep them safe.
While I can see the merit of your very logical argument, it would be somewhat suicidal to attack a standing President who would react strongly to a wave of terrorist attacks. People tend to pull together during crises and look for leadership. If he acts weakly as I suspect a Gore or Kerry would have, then he would be toast for sure.BO coming out with a "Mo More Mr. Nice Guy" approach could rally the country. I personally wouldn't belive a word of it, but I think many might. However, if a strong leader emerged among the Republilcan ranks and played his spin right, the Dems could be toast. The only person I see out there with that kind of ability and ambition is Newt.

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He claims he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class, but by simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire, it is in effect, a tax raise.

;)
I assume you are laughing at Obama; unfortunately it is not funny.

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Timmy, Your thread title is misleading at best. Losing LESS jobs is not the same as unemployment decreasing. You realize that if 100% of everyone was laid off this week then next week new claims would be ZERO. Would that mean unemployment was decreasing?

Yea, losing less jobs is good news but it is also like being on a sinking ship and someone giving you the good news that they plugged 'one' of the 'leaks'. Sure, it is good to hear but it does little to change the reality of your situation. There is a whole lotta job hiring that needs to be done before the average Joe on the street 'feels' like the economy has turned around. How they feel is going to shape the 2010 elections. I have stated over and over that for Obama, it is all about two things: 1) The economy. He needs the economy to get back on track and to do so without high inflation. 2) He needs to keep us safe. Where goes Obama, goes the Democratic party. At this point, the GOP is on track for significant gains due to the economy. They did dodge a bullet on Christmas, but even if that plot was successful, I am doubtful it would have sunk his administration. There will need to be multiple events like that (successful) or a larger one for the electorate to turn on Obama/Democratic party for that singular reason. At this point, I do not see #1 being doable. I think there are three real possibilities: 1) The economy continues to struggle with little or no gains while not declining as well, akin to that of the Japanese lost decade. 2) We have a double dip recession. 3) The economy gains its footing and starts to grow but that growth is the missing piece for elevated inflation and inflation would then hit hard.
A successful terrorist attack might acually help Obama if he played it right. Look at how W's popularity soared after 9/11.
Two different dynamics, I believe. With Bush, it was a surprise for most everyone (although the magnitude obviously was shocking, anyone paying attention should not have found us being attacked surprising). The nation rallied in the shock and there was not a lot of desire to blame anyone because again... it was a surprise. Hence, almost instant forgiveness. Now, there is the knowledge that they are out there and that our government ought to be keeping us safe. I think, for the most part, if one plane went down, that would be forgivable. However, if there were multiple attacks or a large scale attack, there would be a different reaction. First, there are standing accusations that Obama and the Democrats, through certain actions and non-actions, have made us less safe. Second, it is consistent that Americans trust the Republican party more in terms of keeping us safe. There is suspicion that the Democratic party is ill equipped to keep us safe. That general attitude would explode in the face of successful attacks. Third, it would be a striking contrast to Bush 7 years of safe US soil. Americans would want to know why Bush kept us safe after 911 for so long and Obama failed to in such a short period of time. Finally, the most important thing to consider is expectations. The electorate has an expectation of Obama that he will keep us safe. The demand it. This expectation was not as much stated with Bush because there was nothing to expect him to keep us safe from (very naively) but the danger is known and the American people expect that they are protected. If they are not, they will look to others to keep them safe.
While I can see the merit of your very logical argument, it would be somewhat suicidal to attack a standing President who would react strongly to a wave of terrorist attacks. People tend to pull together during crises and look for leadership. If he acts weakly as I suspect a Gore or Kerry would have, then he would be toast for sure.BO coming out with a "Mo More Mr. Nice Guy" approach could rally the country. I personally wouldn't belive a word of it, but I think many might. However, if a strong leader emerged among the Republilcan ranks and played his spin right, the Dems could be toast. The only person I see out there with that kind of ability and ambition is Newt.
I do not think the GOP attacks in this instance. I do agree that it would be a mistake to attack the standing president. It would help him and hurt them. All they simply do is come out and say what needs to be done, which a lot of it being stuff Obama was/is opposed to in the past. Then Obama is faced with a problem of coming out swinging hard... and switching positions, thus acknowledging he was wrong. Or, ignore them and continue as is. But that situation is a catch 22. It also is important to remember this is about context. One plane going down will not set any of this in motion. It would have to be a larger scale attack or multiple instances of attacks- such as several planes going down.

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He claims he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class, but by simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire, it is in effect, a tax raise.

;)
Bush's cut the income tax of every income tax rate. Even the lowest tax bracket at 15% was reduced to 10%, the biggest cut in any of the rates. It is a myth that Bush's tax cut was only for the rich. It was across the board and had bi-partisan support.

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He claims he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class, but by simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire, it is in effect, a tax raise.

:banned:
Bush's cut the income tax of every income tax rate. Even the lowest tax bracket at 15% was reduced to 10%, the biggest cut in any of the rates. It is a myth that Bush's tax cut was only for the rich. It was across the board and had bi-partisan support.
1% of it was, my bad. :thumbup:

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He claims he wouldn't raise taxes on the middle class, but by simply letting the Bush tax cuts expire, it is in effect, a tax raise.

:banned:
Bush's cut the income tax of every income tax rate. Even the lowest tax bracket at 15% was reduced to 10%, the biggest cut in any of the rates. It is a myth that Bush's tax cut was only for the rich. It was across the board and had bi-partisan support.
1% of it was, my bad. :thumbup:
Folks in lower income brackets got a tax cut that was larger, on a percentage basis, than the rich. What else do you want, naked wealth transfer from rich to poor? Negative income tax rates for the lowest brackets?

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