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December 5, 2003
It Must Be Official: Even the Strib Printed It

A new AP-Ipsos poll has Bush's numbers rebounding, significantly enough that even the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is carrying the report:

People are increasingly comfortable about job security for themselves and for those they know -- 44 percent now, compared with 35 percent in early October.

And more approve of the way Bush is handling the economy -- 50 percent compared with 45 percent earlier, according to the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Support for his handling of other domestic issues such as education, health care and the economy, at 47 percent, has not shifted significantly.

However, the Strib being the Strib, it just can't print this story without this editorializing in the middle of it:

The economy is showing mixed signs of recovery: rapid growth that surprised most economists last quarter, indications the job market could be turning around, a rebound in the stock market over the past six months. But the nation has lost 2.3 million jobs, the turnaround in employment is uncertain and states hard hit by revenue losses are making cuts.

Allow me to make a few points here.

Indications that the job market could be turning around -- it's added over 300,000 jobs in the last quarter, and in fact has already turned around and is heading in the right direction. Unemployment dropped to 5.9%, according to an announcement today from the BLS. That, by the way, is the lowest rate in eight months. 865,000 jobs have been added since June But, uh, maybe it's turning around. Uh-huh.

The turnaround in employment is uncertain - A bit redundant, don't you think? But again, had the Strib bothered to read the report, they would have found that

the share of private industries adding jobs last month rose to 54.7 percent, which analysts said was evidence of the broadly based nature of the labor market gains.

So it's a broad-based uncertainty? Or is it just uncertain in a narrow way?

[S]tates hard hit by revenue losses are making cuts - That's because states spent like drunken sailors during the 90's bubble. Besides, it all depends on the definition of cuts. Here in Minnesota, it's defined as not getting the rate of increase we wanted. When Governor Pawlenty submitted his first budget, he was attacked for cutting the budget heartlessly; Pawlenty had to hold news conferences to get the press to report that his budget actually grew from the previous fiscal year. He had just held the increase to 4%:

The budget will increase state spending by one billion dollars, 3.8 percent, over the last biennium and is the largest budget in state history.

At the time, from the Strib's coverage, you would have thought Pawlenty to be Ebenezer Scrooge. They're still referring to Pawlenty's budget "cuts", in typical hysterical mode:

The wail in the vicinity of the State Capitol at midday Wednesday might have been the monthly emergency siren test. Then again, it could have been the sound of air being let out of hopes that the rebounding economy would yield enough state tax revenue to undo the most egregious cuts made by the 2003 Legislature.

As usual, the Strib editorializes throughout the news section. Ho hum.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 5, 2003 9:52 PM

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