The Health Care Time Out

by Patrick Appel

Nate Silver tells liberal bloggers to stop panicking:

[One] reason why the delay might be OK for the Democrats is because of the economy. Nobody much seems to have noticed, but the Dow is now over 9,000 and at its highest point of the Obama presidency; the S&P is nearing 1,000 and the NASDAQ has gained almost 55 percent since its bottom and has moved upward on 12 consecutive trading days. There are ample reasons to be skeptical about the rally -- it isn't supported by strong volumes, and it's almost entirely the result of surprisingly solid corporate earnings numbers rather than the sorts of figures that Main Street cares about. But, there are two big dates to watch out for. On July 31, an advance estimate of second quarter GDP growth will be released, and on August 7th, we'll get the monthly report on the unemployment situation. If either of those reports reflect the optimism elicited by the corporate earnings numbers -- in this context, a job loss number under ~250,000 or a 2Q GDP number somewhere close to zero -- there will be a lot of quite optimistic chatter about the end of the recession which might not penetrate to Main Street, but which will at least have some reverberations on Capitol Hill.