Explanation for the economy tanking: ‘It’s the weather, stupid’

Explanation for the economy tanking: ‘It’s the weather, stupid’

The U.S. economy this week suffered its worst non-recession contraction in over 40 years. As with every other event that makes headlines, liberals have an explanation that not only serves their agenda but lets Barack Obama off the hook. It was the harsh winter, they say.

“This quarter reflects everything that’s been bad about the long and cold winter,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. research and strategy at TD Securities USA LLC, in late April. Bloomberg’s Jeanna Smialek further explains:

Bad weather pushed up business costs for some companies, reining in output. The inclement conditions weighed on operating profit by $200 million at UPS, the world’s biggest package-shipping company said in a statement.

That sounds reasonable. It also sounds convenient. The cold weather was a byproduct of global warming climate change. If anybody deserves blame for the GDP’s descent into negative territory, it’s recalcitrant Republicans, who stood in the way once again of Obama’s green initiative.

So if the snow and cold were the drivers of a sluggish economy, there should be abundant evidence of similar cause-and-effect contractions historically. The graph that follows shows the average U.S. temperatures for January through March from 1983. In 1993, the winter temperatures averaged 34.5 degrees — the same average temperature the nation experienced last winter.

Graph of weather

Yet, the economy grew by around 4% because of Bill Clinton’s economic strategy, which included — among other factors — establishing fiscal discipline, eliminating the budget deficit, keeping interest rates low, and spurring private-sector investment. Obama has resisted doing any of this, instead carping that Congress is holding him back.

Maybe he should try taking a page from the Clinton handbook. Then again, Bill Clinton also migrated  to the center when it was politically expedient, whereas Obama under similar circumstance has refused to budge an inch.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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