Shutters Are Closed Up and Down Main Street but Wall Street is in the Money

Shutters are closed up and down Main Street but Wall Street is in the money. How could that be? The bull market in stocks has gone farther for longer than I thought possible.

Just surveying the salient points of the economic situation in 2009 led me to a more bearish view. The anti-business party controls the presidency and both houses of Congress, and they are turning the bad US fiscal situation disastrous. They are in love with budget-busting, price-increasing government solutions: stimulus programs that are really giveaways to Democrat constituencies, universal health care, a cap-and-trade energy regime. But in the hard-pressed profit-seeking sector, labor faces an employment outlook as bad as any time in the last twenty-five years, and the government’s response is make-work schemes that waste money and; management is unable to plan in the rapidly changing tax and regulatory environment.

So again, what possible reason is there for the stock market to rally this hard? It must be discounting a much better day ahead, a day that according to a strict economic accounting is not easy to see. I said in July:

Some of this bounce is almost certainly due to the business and investment interests of this country re-assessing President Obama’s grand and ambitious schemes and concluding that they represent impossible over-reach. Rightly or wrongly, they came around to the view that most of this stuff will never come to pass. On this view, Obama has expressed extreme initial positions just as a negotiating tactic to get more than he could with conventional bipartisanship, but less than he asks. Republicans and responsible Democrats in Congress will push back on the crazier ideas. The American people will not go along, will resist with mute passive aggressiveness and loud argumentation, once the full implications are clear. And if it is not just a tactic, if Obama really insists on every bit of what he says, Republicans will gain enough seats in 2010 to apply the brakes, if not an outright majority. One way or another, the entire Obama agenda can and will be resisted.

As the popularity of Barack Obama, congressional Democrats, their radical leftist economic schemes and unconstitutional power grabs plumb new depths, this is seeming more and more likely. They have mounted a counter-revolution to the American Revolution, and Americans are not standing for it.

Without doing anything to deserve it, the nominally pro-business, nominally loyal opposition Republicans stand to benefit from the ass-whipping American voters are fixing to administer to Democrats in November. To really capitalize, the Republican leadership needs to learn from the Tea Party movement, which has emerged over their heads as the true opposition to the schemes of the left. If the leadership gets smart and understands that the American people demand a response to fiscal sanity, national security, and constitutional government, their recovery can be remarkable and enduring.

Of course the poet WB Yeats used the language better than I can when he told his political opponents in the Seanad Éireann:

You victory will be short, and your defeat final, and when it comes this country will be transformed.

Ardently to be wished.

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