When we last checked in with our friends at Fox News, they were speculating about whether low gas prices might hurt the U.S. economy. Yesterday, as Craig Harrington noted, the network rolled out a brand new question: will Wall Street soar once Republicans control Congress?
Fox News misleadingly claimed that a Republican Senate majority could be a “big plus” for the stock market and generate economic growth of 3 percent to 4 percent, but hid the reality that growth has already topped those levels.On the November 3 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum warned that the midterm elections could have a “big impact on your money” and argued that despite recent stock market growth, “we could be seeing an even bigger rally if the GOP takes the Senate.” Fox Business host Stuart Varney agreed, attributing the stock market rally of the past two weeks to the fact that “Republicans look more and more likely to take the Senate,” and predicting that policies produced by a Republican-led Senate could set the economy on a path toward “3 to 4 percent” growth “instead of 2 percent.”
It’s tough to know where to start, so let’s review the basics, one element at a time.
First, on the day President Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 7,949.09. Yesterday, it closed at 17,366.24, That’s 218% growth in less than six years, under our socialistic, anti-business, tyrannical dictator. Investors don’t need Republican victories to see great returns – indeed if we compare the Clinton and Obama eras to the Bush and Bush eras, investors appear to benefit from the opposite.
Second, the right made similar claims two years ago, predicting great economic successes in the aftermath of Republican victories. The GOP lost badly in the 2012 elections, at which point unemployment fell, growth improved, and the Dow climbed over 4,000 points.
Third, Varney may be convinced there’s a connection between recent gains and Republicans’ lead in the polls, but from mid-September to mid-October, the Dow lost about 1,000 points. Then it regained the losses. It’s almost as if election forecasts had nothing to do with the markets whatsoever.
Finally, the notion that congressional Republicans, who’ve presented no real economic agenda at all, will magically produce a stronger GDP, is very hard to take seriously. Indeed, it’s worth noting that economic growth over the last six months is the best seen in the United States in over a decade.
Given that this occurred after the Affordable Care Act was implemented, and after last year’s tax increases on the wealthy, one wonders how Fox and its allies explain the developments.