You've got to love The New York Times, and their eternal search for dark lining in every silver cloud when a Republican is in the White House.
Consider today's front-page article on state of the U.S. econonmy. The Times admits (reluctantly) that the economy is booming, despite the impact of two devastating hurricanes and a late-summer spike in energy prices. Times reporter Vikas Bajaj notes that gasoline prices are now lower than when Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast three months ago. October figures for new home sales were very strong, and consumer confidence is up as well. Hard to argue against those indicators, unless (of course) you're The New York Times.
Bajaj and his editors begin raising their eyebrows in paragraph three, observing that, when it comes to the U.S. economy, "it's not quite that simple." Over the rest of the story, they caution that the overall economic picture remains far from robust, fretting about additional interest rate hikes from the fed, a possible housing slowdown, and potentially sluggish job growth. They're also concerned about a possible alien invasion from Mars.
Sorry, I made that last one up. But if there were the slightest possibility of exterresterial attack, I'm sure the Times would include that in their list of potential economic spoilers. Downplaying the remarkable resilience of the U.S. economy, the Times sees potential doom and gloom on the horizon, forecasting a potential slowdown in the latter half of 2006. Can the Democratic TV ads, touting "the worst economy in 50 years," be far behind?