So much so, in fact, that his economic team said the stimulus vote would keep unemployment no higher than 8 percent. It’s 9.5 and climbing. Warren Buffet, the famed Oracle of Omaha, predicts it will go higher. Of course, his predictions aren’t doing so great lately. His firm lost billions of dollars and he had to lay off 500 people.Of course, some blame sits squarely on the stock pickers. Business Week’s annual prediction issue in 2008 was off by miles. The magazine interviewed 54 economists and only two predicted a recession. The magazine turned to top investment professionals for a market view and well-known investor Elaine Garzarelli predicted the Dow would close 2008 at 16,000 – almost double the actual total of 8,776.
So you’ll pardon everyone’s cynicism when another crystal ball-type, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, comes out and says “'I'm short-term optimistic, but with many caveats.” He went on to say we should have economic growth … unless we don’t. It was classic political double-speak. And this from a man widely criticized by both left and right for making the housing crunch worse by keeping interest rates artificially low.
And you’ll allow me to be suspicious when top Obama officials dodge the question about raising middle class taxes. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that “we’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”
Obama says he’s sticking to his tax pledge, but who believes him? Tax revenue is dropping 18 percent this year and the deficit is up to $1.8 trillion (and we’re still missing a couple major Obama spending sprees).
Sure, there is legitimate good news. The stock markets are up and housing may show signs of life. But with the track record the experts have, they might not know which way up really is. And even if they do, the left turn Obama is taking is bound have a negative impact.