GOP: Hey Look, Our Tax Deal Saved the Economy!

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Three weeks after taking office, Republicans are claiming responsibility for the improving economy. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office sent the following message to reporters this morning:

THERE ARE THE JOBS: Republicans Prevent Massive Tax Increase, Economy Begins to Improve: U.S. companies plan to hire more workers in the coming months amid growing optimism over the economy, a quarterly survey released Monday showed, providing further evidence that the jobs market is turning around. In the fourth-quarter poll of 84 companies by the National Association for Business Economics found 42% of companies interviewed, ranging from manufacturing to finance, expect to boost jobs in the six months ahead. That's up from 29% in the first three months of 2010. Only 7% in the latest survey predict they will shed jobs in the coming six months, down from 23% at the start of last year.

Yes, this is pretty silly. But I'm not as outraged as other writers seem to be about this memo. The fact is that the deal struck between the White House and Republicans was supposed to deliver immediate confidence to companies and quick cash to families. So while any economist will probably tell you that a firm's economic outlook is determined by months of economic data rather than one three-week old vote -- and I'm inclined to agree -- it's hardly monstrous to vote for a bill you think will stimulate the economy and then tout good economic news in the months to follow.

Read the full story at Politico.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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