Wow: NYT Coverage of Lew's European Trip Carries Claim That U.S. 'Has Entered a Cycle of Self-sustaining Economic Growth'

April 8th, 2013 8:51 AM

Your daily dose of inadvertent humor comes from an article by Annie Lowrey at the New York Times on Sunday evening ("Lew to Press for European Policy Changes"; also in today's print edition).

In "covering" (from Washington?) Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's four-day European trip for meetings with EU leaders encouraging them to pursue "growth" policies -- which in Keynesians' fevered minds always really means "stimulus" and not genuine growth-driven initiatives -- Lowrey wrote the following (bold is mine):

Though Mr. Lew will travel to Europe with a familiar message from Washington, it may not be delivered as urgently as in the past. The European crisis continues to weigh on American growth, cutting into exports, but many economists believe that the United States has entered a cycle of self-sustaining economic growth driven by a turnaround in housing and improving household budgets.

Well, that's nice. I guess we don't have to think about the economy any more, because it will just keep going, and going, and going ...

I guess Ms. Lowrey somehow missed or chose to ignore Friday's awful employment news and several other government and private reports issued early last week indicating that the alleged "self-sustaining" cycle isn't going quite as well as many believed.

Apart from that, how can anyone call U.S. economic growth, such as it is (i.e., an annualized 0.4% in the fourth quarter of last year in the last official report), "self-sustaining" when it's being unsustainably propped up by massive federal budget deficits and massive "quantitative easing" by Ben Bernanke's Federal Reserve?

Exit question: Does the phrase "many economists believe" in Ms. Lowrey's writeup really mean "the White House told me to write"?

Cross-posted at