July 25, 2013

Illinois Outshines Ohio in Job Growth (UPDATE: And Columbus Has the Vast Majority of Ohio’s)

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:23 pm

This post expands on yesterday’s column on Midwestern job growth in June and during the past 12 months and how Governor Kasich’s stubborn positions on Medicaid expansion and “fracking” taxation continue to create the kind of uncertainty which is holding back economic growth and job creation in the Buckeye State.

That column contained the following table:


One can explain away the fact that Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin are outperforming Ohio in job growth, simply because Republicans Mike Pence (and predecessor Mitch Daniels), Rick Snyder (who regained his equilibrium earlier this year by getting behind the Wolverine State’s right to work law), and Scott Walker have been unfortunately (for us, not for them) doing a better day-to-day job in their states than our governor is doing in his. It also probably helps Indiana that it passed right to work early last year, and it “helps” Michigan that it had a bigger hole out of which to emerge thanks to eight awful years of Jennifer Granholm.

Kentucky’s position above Ohio a bit hard to handle, until one remembers that Bluegrass State Democrats generally don’t have the moonbat streak found in most other states, and that Republicans control the state’s Senate.

West Virginia is getting killed by the war on coal. Pennsylvania is to a lesser extent, and Republican Bob Corbett is not doing a particularly good job in a state which is perilously close to becoming incurably blue.

But that leaves Illinois.

Illi-flippin-nois? The state enacted massive tax increases in early 2011 which have hurt its economy and employment growth. Its credit rating is the worst in the nation.

Despite all of that, Illinois has outperformed Ohio in job creation in the past 12 months — by a lot:


If this comparison isn’t a signal that Team Kasich needs to reevaluate what it’s doing and how it’s doing it from top to bottom, I don’t know what is.


UPDATE: In something I didn’t expect (maybe it’s typical and I just don’t know it), the metro area tables at the Bureau of Labor Statistics have been updated through June, even though the related Metro Area report isn’t due until next Tuesday.

That’s useful, because I can modify the above graph to segregate job growth in Columbus from the rest of the state.

This hurts:


Is there anybody out there who still thinks that Columbus isn’t getting almost all of the economic improvement in Ohio, while the rest of the Buckeye State is being left virtually high and dry?

I guess this also explains why so many people inside and just outside of the I-270 beltway seem to think things are just fine.

UPDATE 2: For those who want the underlying numbers:


Santelli Vs. Leisman: ‘But, if not the Fed, Then Who Would Pull The Levers?’ (OMG)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:10 am

Worth the almost nine minutes to get an exhibit of the density of de facto administration mouthpieces (via Zero Hedge):

Excerpts (my responses are in italics):

Steven Leisman: “Jobs numbers have held up, but growth hasn’t.” (Sorry, the jobs numbers have done no such thing — not after considering how far below the peak we are, and especially how many jobs are part-time.)

Rick Santelli:… But the real issue … (in the U.S.) is that we have a structural issue of employment where skills don’t match … (and) where many large corporations have now totally figured out that they can earn record corporate profits without hiring record amounts of people — and I don’t see … (that) changing any time soon.” (Thank you, President Obama and the 2007-2011 Democratic Congress.)

… (Squawk Box host Joe Kiernan reasonably wondered what happens if we can’t get unemployment down to its targets. Does the Fed’s $85 billion per month go on forever?)

Wilbur Ross: … If the only thing keeping the economy together is $85 billion a month of bond purchases, we’re in bad shape. (Well, we’re in bad shape, and Big Ben said so.)

Leisman (in effect): But it would be crazy to stop it. (Not as crazy as letting it go on indefinitely!)

Leisman: Central bankers are saying “It’s not our job to lecture the fiscal side (about getting their house in order).” (Yeah, but it’s not your job to accommodate them from here to eternity either, and it looks like that’s what’s going to happen if they don’t start “lecturing.”)

Liesman: It’s not their (central bankers’) job to treat their governments like children.

Santelli: They are treating them like children by giving them an exit! They are doing things that are keeping Congress and many people from understanding the current issues of the day by pushing them (the problems) forward in time. (Exactly.)

Santelli’s point that “they (policymakers) don’t even remember” that markets would clear out the problems if only they were allowed to do so was particularly poignant — and sadly true.

Leisman’s final question, which the folks at Zero Hedge apparently saw, but which is not in the video above (was it cut off on purpose?) was “But, if not the Fed, then who would pull the levers?”

Geez, Steve, Adam Smith knew the answer to that question. Why don’t you?

June Durable Goods: Overall, +5.2%; Excluding Transportation, +0.1%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:05 am

Business Insider’s prediction: “Economists predict total orders rose 1.4% in June after advancing 3.7% in May. Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft (a.k.a. “core capex”) are expected to have risen 0.6% in June after gaining 1.5% in May.”

Result (Census Bureau link):

New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased $9.9 billion or 4.2 percent to $244.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 5.2 percent May increase and was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992.

That’s the good news, and it is good, especially the upward revision to May from 3.6%.

The not-so-good news (see Page 2 at the Census link for the specific number, which is +0.1%), as Business Insider notes in its post-release write-up: “Durable goods orders excluding transportation, however, were flat on the month. Economists had expected 0.5% growth here after an upward-revised 1.0% gain in May.”


UPDATE: Zero Hedge’s take is that “of the $21 billion increase in overall Durable Goods since April (from $223 billion to $244 billion), $20 billion is due to transportation equipment (from $67 billion to $87 billion). … Boeing orders are now the sole factor seemingly keeping US GDP afloat …”

Initial Unemployment Claims (072513): 343K SA; Raw Claims Less Than 1% Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:30 am



- Last night, Bloomberg would only say that today’s report “will likely show initial claims for jobless claims rose.”
- This morning, Business Insider has a prediction of 340,000 seasonally adjusted initial claims.

Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended July 20, 2013 — 93.8
- Week ended July 21, 2012 — 98.6

Raw claims:
- Week ended July 13, 2013 (before likely revision) — 408,710
- Week ended July 21, 2012 — 340,780

For claims to come in at 340,000 or lower, raw claims will have to come in lower than about 334,000 (rounded). If last year’s seasonaly adjustment factor would have been used, claims would have to come in lower than about 319,000. Why this year’s factor is so much higher is a mystery. The fact that it is represents a huge break for Team Obama.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):


In the week ending July 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 343,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 336,000. The 4-week moving average was 345,250, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 346,500.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 338,140 in the week ending July 20, a decrease of 71,879 from the previous week. There were 340,780 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

So last week’s figure was revised up by 2,000.

If last year’s seasonal adjustment factor had been used on this year’s raw claims, the seasonally adjusted result would have been 360,000 (338,140 divided by .938, rounded). As noted earlier, Team Obama caught a huge break.

The year-over-year drop of less than 1% in raw claims is one of the smallest so far this year.

The predictable initial AP take: “the broader trend is consistent with an improving job market.” The reality: At best, it’s barely moving forward.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072513)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s items (updated sporadically).

Positivity: Christian lawyers sue to overturn contraception mandate

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Ann Arbor, Michigan:

Jul 24, 2013 / 08:04 pm

Michael and Shaun Willis and their Michigan-based law firm filed a lawsuit seeking to have the HHS mandate declared a violation of the Constitution and of federal law over religious liberty concerns.

“That our own government is knowingly displaying such a lack of tolerance for faithful Christians is outrageous,” Erin Mersino, a lawyer at the Thomas More Law Center, and the lead attorney on the case, stated July 24.

“The HHS mandate must be ruled unconstitutional or there will be no end to the federal government’s intrusion on the religious liberties of Christians.”

Michael Willis is Catholic, and Shaun is Protestant. The brothers operate their firm in a way that reflects the teachings and values of the Christian faith. Both gravely object to providing abortion and abortion-causing drugs in their employees’ insurance coverage, as required by the federal contraception mandate.

The mandate was issued under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and its final rules on religious freedom accommodations, which were found unacceptable by the U.S. bishops, were released June 28.

The suit was filed in the U.S. district court for the District of Columbia July 24, and lists the secretaries of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor, as well as their departments, as defendants.

Because the mandate forces employers and individuals to violate their consciences and their religious beliefs, the suit argues that it is a violation of the Willis’ rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

“The Mandate … subverts the expression of Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs” the suit argues, by forcing them to “fund, promote, and assist others to acquire services which Plaintiffs believe involve gravely immoral practices, including the destruction of innocent human life.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Not News: Biden’s Niece Voted in New Hampshire in 2012 Using Dem State Senator’s Home as Her ‘Residence’

If a relative of GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan had done what Joe Biden’s niece Alana Biden appears to have done in the November 2012 election in New Hampshire, i.e., casting her ballot in a swing state where she doesn’t really reside, establishment press coverage would be intense. But as of now, it’s a virtual secret outside of the Granite State, and it certainly hasn’t penetrated the nation’s vast horde of low-information voters.

According to TV station WMUR (HT Gateway Pundit) in a Tuesday afternoon report, Ms. Biden, while working for the Obama-Biden reelection campaign, swore in an affidavit that she was a resident of the state. That claim appears to have been false, at least as normal people would define residency (though it might technically comply with poorly written state law; more on that shortly). Several other Obama campaign workers from other states, all of whom claimed the home of Democratic State Senator Martha Fuller Clark as their “home address,” also voted in New Hampshire.