Friday, February 17, 2006

Spring Is Busting Out All Over...

February 17, 2006 -- IT'S NOT JUST GOOD WEATHER

"THE hard economic data leave little room for doubt: Following a fourth-quarter lull due to Hurricane Katrina, things are roaring again. Yesterday came news that housing starts reached their highest level in 32 years, a 14.5 percent increase over the previous month. That followed Monday's stunning news that retail sales grew by 2.3 percent in January — three times as fast as anyone had predicted.

Another measure of the economy's strength is how much tax revenue the federal government is taking in. In both December and January, the federal government actually took in more money than it paid out. In other words, the federal budget in the past two months has actually been in surplus, as it unexpectedly was during the second term of the Clinton administration.
Corporate tax revenues increased by 27 percent from a year ago. Payments from individuals grew by 11 percent, and money collected from capital gains and dividends was up by 16 percent."

Yeah, yeah, it happens every time we get an early spring. New housing skyrockets, people use less energy to heat the house, and since the cars don't sit and warm up every morning gas mileage increases too. Energy, energy, energy. Addicted to it and addictions are costly so don't expect cheap power anytime soon because if a mega return isn't in the offing there's no research.

But this time, John Podhoretz thinks that Spring has nothing to do with the improving's the Bush tax cuts that have pumped us up. And since we really won't know until late May or early June, it's a safe column to run on an otherwise boring February morn.

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