Friday, April 08, 2005

Power Vacuum

Stagflation is a common buzz word these days as nothing seems to be going right with the economy. Inflation scares have created a steady rise in interest rates that are now effecting long term rates(read Mortgage rates). Gas prices are skyrocketting effecting prices all across the consumer spectrum.

The job market continues to disappoint, after being teased in February with a revised 240,000. Economist believe the growth to continue, but March's rate came in at 110,000, well below the hopes, and significantly below what is needed to keep pace with the job market as a whole:
The report marked the eighth time in the last 10 months that payroll growth has come in well below forecasts by most economists. It also is less than the 150,000 gain in employment seen as necessary to keep pace with population growth.
The current administration successfully embedded the meme of an inherited recession during the last election cycle, but at some point they will have to accept responsiblity for the sluggish behavior of the market forces. Since they have no real plan, other than to continue to pad the pocketbooks of the wealthy, we have seen a steady stream of smoke and mirrors. They have been distracting the public with social issues, instead of spending their time on the reality of the current economic situation.

At some point, the party in power will have to address these concerns. As mentioned before, the vacuum created by a lame duck presidency is causing a level of turmoil in the majority party. They have lost their ability to lead, since they are floundering without a future leader.

On the other hand, the minority party is sitting on their hands during an opportunity for them to position themselves for victory in the 2006 midterms. They have become obsessed with raising money, but not with platform positioning. I realize we are a year away from serious campaigning and message delivery, but now seems like an opportune time to take a leading role in the debate.

The failure of the administration's Social Security plan, the fumbling of the Schiavo issue, and the wallowing of the economy have placed them in a very vulnerable situation. If the Left sits back too long, they will miss their chance at prime time. It is not too often, lately, that the minority party has been in a position to control the debate. And if they wait much longer, the ship will have long left port.


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