The economy was voters’ most pressing concern as they cast their ballots in the midterm election, with seven of 10 rating conditions poor, preliminary exit polls showed.
More than five years after the recession ended, ordinary Americans still feel pinched. Wages and incomes haven’t recovered even as corporate profits hit records, stocks have almost tripled and the nation’s output of goods and services grew more than $1 trillion from its pre-recession peak.
Obama’s Democratic allies took the hit, with Republicans gaining a majority in the Senate for the first time during his presidency and adding seats in the House, which they have controlled for four years. Yet Republicans could hardly claim a mandate from yesterday’s results, and they’ll be judged on their ability to govern.
Irony #1: Bloomberg, which has been one of the many outlets spinning the "great recovery" is confused:
The discontent simmered even as the economy showed signs of strengthening in the run-up to the election, posting its strongest six months of growth in more than a decade. Gross domestic product expanded at a 3.5 percent annualized rate in the three months that ended in September after a 4.6 percent gain in the second quarter, the best back-to-back showing since 2003.
Maybe, just maybe, the economy never really strengthened, and it was all even more of the same propaganda that has ordinary Americans finally seeing through the lies. Bloomberg at least admits that much: "Most Americans haven’t shared in the gains. Adjusted for inflation, the July median household income of $54,045 was $2,600 lower than in December 2007.... Voters by 65-31 percent said the country is on the wrong track. That’s 12 points more negative than two years ago and was the second-gloomiest exit-poll reading since 1990, trailing only the 2008 election, the preliminary numbers showed. Half of voters expect life to be worse for the next generation."
Irony #2: even as America is increasingly seeing through the left-right lies, and realizes that the GOP has no magic bullet to fix the economy, the vote last night was not for Republicans as much as against a broken status quo.
Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, attributed his party’s gains to “disappointment and disillusionment with the administration.” He added, “I don’t think on the other end it’s a major endorsement of the Republican Party, either.”
Fifty-eight percent of voters said they were dissatisfied or angry at the White House, according to the preliminary exit polls; 59 percent said the same about Republican congressional leaders.
Irony #3: nothing will change:
Senator Ted Cruz, a Tea Party-backed Texas Republican, said this week that his colleagues must fight Obama at every turn. His priority, he told the Washington Post, is “looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration.”
Cruz also wants to line up votes to dismantle Obama’s health-care law, a mission that would require improbable two-thirds majorities in both chambers to overcome presidential vetoes.
Some Republican leaders also say an all-out confrontation with Democrats is a one-way ticket back to the minority. Already, there are a few issues, most notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, where both sides say there is opportunity for Obama to come together with Republicans.
The problem is that Obama, increasingly focused only on the golf course, will have none of it.
Frustrated with gridlock in Congress, Obama declared earlier this year that he would use his executive power to circumvent lawmakers on climate change and the minimum wage paid to federal contractors, as well as on immigration. That didn’t help his party yesterday and some, including Vice President Joe Biden, have signaled a willingness to compromise with Republicans.
The irony does not stop there, because the biggest beneficiary of the Obama administration and the split Congress so far has been the 1%, by way of the S&P 500 rising relentlessly in the fact of bad or good news. That rise continued overnight.
U.S. equity-index futures rose, the dollar strengthened and precious metals fell. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures advanced 0.4 percent at 10:03 a.m. in London, signaling the gauge will approach a record. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed to its highest level since April 2009. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1 percent.
Well, the economy may not get better but at least the rich will get a little richer as the charade continues.
But even a world full of ironies needs some humor, and it got it with this WSJ story, "GOP Senate Takeover Puts Fed on Hot Seat":
Republicans’ takeover of the U.S. Senate promises increased political turbulence for the Federal Reserve, which has already been under pressure from a GOP-controlled House.
Financial executives say a GOP-led Senate would ratchet up congressional scrutiny of the central bank’s interest-rate policies, as well as its regulatory duties as overseer of the nation’s largest financial firms. Republicans haven’t controlled the Senate since before the 2008 financial crisis and recession, which put a spotlight on the Fed and its powers.
“If the Republicans take control of the Senate and thus have control of both the House and the Senate—two words for the Federal Reserve: Watch out,” Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said before the Election Day results were final. His group represents the community-banking industry.
While we enjoy the humor that someone will dare to touch the goose that lays the golden market, we wish to make a small correction: it's not two words. It's three: "get to work." Because after a few days, when the excitement and the drama wears off, the people will once again realize they have been fooled, the only winners are Wall Street, the wealthy and their political marionettes in D.C. As for everyone else, well there is 2016, and then 2018, and so on... because the lie must go on.