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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - David Wyss
Hiring is soft. Pay is barely up. Consumers are cautious. Economic growth has yet to pick up.
Social Security and Medicare are emerging once again as seemingly untouchable third rails of politics despite their looming insolvency, and economists say the reason is obvious.
The White House is warning of financial Armageddon this spring if Congress fails to raise the Treasury's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, but many on Wall Street are skeptical that the looming spending clash will produce anything but riveting political theater.
Now that Detroit's automakers are back to financial health, they increasingly are looking overseas for sales.
More people bought previously owned homes in November, the third increase in four months after the worst summer season in more than a decade.
The dueling economic arguments by Democrats and Republicans will dominate the airwaves between now and Nov. 2 in an election that will turn on which message is believed.
We are roughly one-third of the way through June and so far the major stock market indexes are all negative month to date despite the rally under way Thursday morning.
"If this were a decision based on economics, I think the Fed would wait, but given the politics of a new chairman having to go before Congress for confirmation, that could be an argument for moving now," Wyss said.
"Bernanke may well want to have a bond-reduction program in place before a new chairman comes in," said David Wyss, a former chief economist at Standard & Poor's and now an economics professor at Brown University.