Good news: The “McCain economist” Democrats love to quote says brace yourself for double digit unemployment

His name is Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist, a well known Keynesian, and number cruncher (not advisor) to John McCain, says things look bad, reaaaaaaaal bad.

And he seems to be bolting from the Democrat camp who are calling for an end to the Bush tax cuts. The video is below, but the Democrats are in a real jam. They quote this guy more than Saul Alinsky . What’s a lefty to do?

The spring board is the latest unemployment claims numbers … A seasonally adjusted 500,000 filing new claims last week. 500,000?

While Barack Obama tours the nation claiming that the economy has started heading in the right direction, the data continues to show otherwise.  Today, the Department of Labor announced that initial jobless claims hit 500,000 last week, the highest level in 2010 and highest since last November.  The four-week rolling average spiked upward again as well:

AS i have said many times, you’re looking for new claims to fall below 400,000 and actually get closer to 300,000 before you can talk about declining unemployment. And this is heading in the wrong direction, a fact even Wolf seems to get.


To summarize the highlights, or lowlights:

  • Double digit unemployment, again
  • a stronger possibility of a double dip recession
  • do not raise taxes on anyone, not even the rich, in case the economy does head back into recession
  • I’m worried … my guess is mom is worried too
Posted in

Jim Vicevich

Jim is a veteran broadcaster and conservative/libertarian blogger with more than 25 years experience in TV and radio. Jim's was the long-term host of The Jim Vicevich Show on WTIC 1080 in Hartford from 2004 through 2019. Prior to radio, Jim worked as a business and financial reporter for NBC30 - the NBC owned TV station in Hartford - and as business editor at WFSB-TV in Hartford for 14 years while earning six Emmy nominations and three Telly Awards.


  1. JollyRoger on August 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Double digit unemployment would be another crisis that would not go to waste!  Pelosi would lead investigations into who's against public sector job growth, who's anti-union, who's reactionary in the media, who's funding the opposition, who's watching FOX news…   And we can have new programs like Cash for Hovels where your old home is demolished and you're rolled over into a newer and greener home which you still can't afford.

  2. scottm on August 19, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    The last time we reached double digit unemployment was during Reagans 2nd and 3rd years in office.  He also tripled the deficit.  Now the right wants him on mount Rushmore while they hang Obama in effigy.  All of the right wing fanatics love it when bad news about the economy comes out even if it means they are hurting the economy by stirring up fear in a consumer driven economy.  Not long ago the dow dropped 1300 points in one day and Rush was positively giddy about it, when it turned out to be a glitch in the system he sulked for the rest of his show.  Here are some facts, of the last 7 republican presidents 6 of them left office with a higher unemployment rate.  Of the last 6 democratic presidents 5 of them left office with a lower unemployment rate and 1 stayed the same.  In the last 9 republican presidential terms unemployment increased in 7 of them.  Of the last 10 democratic presidential terms the unemployment rate was not increased.  The only presidents to balance the budget in the last 50 years were democrats.  The main person behind the stimulis for both Bush and Obama was Ben Bernanke, he is a student of the great depression and has done this because that's something they failed to do then and it caused it to drag on for several years.  Maybe it has saved jobs, we don't know.  I suppose if we spend it on bombing other countries its ok to run up a deficit, or maybe giving Halliburton huge no bid contracts.  At least Daddy Warbucks is happy. 

    • winnie888 on August 20, 2010 at 12:21 am

      @scottm…The make-up of the house and senate is always going to impact the numbers (i.e. inflation, unemployment) with which a president is forever associated with.  Ironically, everything is democrat across the board during this fabulous time of growth and prosperity (sarc.).  As far as the current fiasco goes, I'm at the point where blame should lie with the voters who elected a president based on empty promises, their childish belief in abstract, feel-good words like "hope" & "change", and someone with zero experience.  I don't care WHOSE fault it is anymore, and I don't care about previous administrations.  I'm living in the here & now and the here & now is seriously u-g-l-y.

    • scottm on August 20, 2010 at 2:45 am

      Empty promises?  He said he would withdrawal combat toops from Iraq, he did it.  He said he would reform health care, he did it.  Bush used the stimulis to bail out banks and Wall street, Obama has used it to help the most needy.  He said he would use diplomacy over force in foreign relations and he has done that.  I know a lot of people are against health care reform but they have been talking about reform for the last 60 years and he is the only one to actualy do something.  Every program ever initiated has had its detractors but they have all had their benefits.  Medicare, social security, public school, the food and drug administration etc have all benefitted the people of our country.  I guess it's just coincedence that unemployment goes up under republican presidents and down under democratic presidents since 1928.  And I know the republicans and Clinton like to take credit for the prosperity of the 90's but I think it had more to do with the onslaught of personal computers and the spinoff of jobs that came with it.  The economic catastrophe we are currently dealing with did not start overnight and can't be solved overnight.

    • Dimsdale on August 20, 2010 at 3:35 am

      Empty promises: close Gitmo, transparency, bipartisanship, "healing the divide", no tax increase for anyone under $250K per year (or $200K or $100K depending on the speaker), promises not to hire lobbyists and special interest people, being able to read a bill at least 5 days before he signs it (not even Congress got that one), etc., etc.   And this is right out of the gate!


      As for health care reform etc., sure, there are benefits, but they are outweighed by the downsides: huge deficits, government (mis)management, Congress "borrowing" the funds and the inevitable bankruptcy of the program.  Unintended consequences is not the goal here.  We hire them to thoughtfully legislate.  We don't even know who actually wrote the health care bill, but we sure know who didn't read it before voting on it in a fabricated rush.  Maybe they should have just focused on the 10 million legitimate health care hard cases…

    • winnie888 on August 21, 2010 at 2:33 am

      To quote my hugely liberal-leaning, college student nephew:  "Obama is a horrible president".

  3. BEA on August 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Lucky for us that "unemployment" isn't a company or we'd be bailing them out too! ;P

    • TomL on August 23, 2010 at 3:41 am

      But we are

  4. Dimsdale on August 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for the statistics on the presidents and unemployment.  I think you will find that it is far more relevant and revealing to correlate the party control of Congress with both the unemployment rate and the deficit, since they are in far more control of the finances of the government than any president could be (see… The president may get the credit or blame, but the real responsibility is with Congress.  A president can influence the Congress though.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a data gold mine (  Punch in the range of years you like and it will make a nice graph for you that might be more revealing.


    Now, as for the schadenfreude that you claim the "right wing fanatics" savor when bad economic news comes out, do you think it is more enjoyment or a sense of "I told you so".  I suspect the latter.   You might also look up the way Democrats, both in the minority and majority in Congress, went after "the worst economy since the Great Depression" from 2000 to the present.  Funny we don't hear that phrase anymore.


    I wonder if the stimulus money would have been more beneficial of the government wasn't still holding onto about 2/3 of the big infrastructure project money  (  The cynic in me suspects the money will flow around election time.  Right now, jobs are being shed, not maintained, and certainly not created.


    Didn't the Great Depression really end with us "bombing other countries", i.e. WWII?  Just curious.

    • scottm on August 20, 2010 at 4:59 am

      By your reasoning the prosperity of the mid 80's was because of the 1982 midterm election when the democrats gained 25 seats in the house and nothing to do with Reagan.  Yes the great depression ended with our involvement in WWll, but maybe it could have ended much earlier if they had propped up the country with stimulus money instead of being deficit hawks.  The deficit grew much higher than it is today with the war (adjusted to todays dollars) anyway.  You seem to link democratic control in congress in 2006 with the collapse of the economy when in reality it had been waiting to collapse for several years.  The money probably will flow around election time, thats what both parties have done for a long time.  As far as I know the taxes have not increased for anyone and he did say that people making over 250k would pay more.  As far being bi-partisan, is anyone bi-partisan these days?  He agreed to more drilling as a show of bi-partsanship, when the oil spill happened it got thrown back in his face.  I don't hear too many solutions from the other side other the same tired phrase to cut taxes for business so they can turn around and invest in China.  How has that worked out for us?

    • Dimsdale on August 20, 2010 at 6:38 am

      Prosperity is a different dataset.  Don't cherry pick which Congress you like.  Look at the whole enchilada.


      "You seem to link democratic control in congress in 2006 with the collapse of the economy when in reality it had been waiting to collapse for several years."


      So they "sealed the deal" after six years of obfuscation, obstruction and being the "party of no"?


      Just wait for your taxes.  It's early.


      "I don’t hear too many solutions from the other side other the same tired phrase to cut taxes for business so they can turn around and invest in China.  How's that worked out for us?"


      Well, considering that China is keeping us afloat by buying up all the debt that the government is creating, it is working out better than the alternative.  Why did Michelle Obama "invest" in Spain instead of the Gulf, which could use the cash infusion and the positive notoriety a visit would bring?


  5. Odonna on August 20, 2010 at 5:19 am

    These arguments over minutiae make my head explode.  The whole problem with our economy is and has been that government has been in collusion with factions to tweak this and tweak that, picking winners here and creating cartels there.  It is the hubris of the few thinking they know how to create prosperity, design or control an economy.  But the foundation is rotten and crumbling because it is all artificial and not built upon anything sound.  The "fixes" and tweaks work for a short while, but as with all hubris, reality eventually sets in.

  6. scottm on August 20, 2010 at 10:10 am

    The president himself went to the gulf and was photographed swimming with his daughter to enforce positive notoriety.  We sent our manufacturing base to China and made them rich at the expense of American jobs.  Because of that the cost of steel, copper and other raw materials skyrocketed which left many more american manufacturers unable to compete.  It also played a huge role in the cost of oil skyrocketing which left many businesses and homeowners unable to pay bills, forcing them into bankruptcy and foreclosure.  We gave China the store and now we have to go back to them for money.  I can recall Nancy Johnson trying to get a bill passed that would make it easier for Stanley Works to stamp "Made In America" on products made in China, the catch was that the box was made in America.  As it turned out Nancy Johnson had over a quarter million in Stanley Works stock.  Just another example of a politician looking out for the little guy.

    • Dimsdale on August 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      He went to the Gulf after the controversy.  It was a photo op, not a real vacation.  How much time and money did they spend there?  Was it the equivalent of the Spain tour?


      I don't like to see everything "made in China" either, and go out of my way to buy American.  Are you saying oil and steel prices would have remained low if there was more American manufacturing?  How is that?


      How many other people had/have stock in Stanley Works?  How many jobs were involved?  Was it demonstrated that it was a crass attempt to cash in, or was she trying to keep the company in CT?  I really don't know.  Do you?

  7. rickyrock on August 21, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Jim lose that " i worry my mom worries" line……I'm really sick of the fear mongering aspect of this line.There are jobs out there …stop complaining and go to work.The reality of the situation is that there is and always will be a rule by the rich ………there is too much lobby money changing hands…Please don't give me that crap about how great the Republicans are …..when they use campaign money for strip bars..lap dances..The Repubs are repugnant and up to their collective necks in pay offs..And please no more about the Spain vacation this is just nit picking ………Bush had his 977 days off in his eight year stint.We have bigger issues to deal with.Each of us needs to vote against all incumbents …and go to work.

    • scottm on August 22, 2010 at 11:33 am

      Well said rickyrock,? Jim has a post about using children as shields to further their agenda while he uses the “I worry my mom worries” line to help promote his views.? It’s despicable.

    • TomL on August 23, 2010 at 4:00 am

      Scott if its so despicable why you wasting your time here? Why are you listening? Must be that you come here for the truth.

    • Steve McGough on August 23, 2010 at 4:31 am

      RickRock is a liar. Jim has never – on this blog or in a personal conversation – defined Republicans as "great". Never, not once. I can't speak to the radio show since I'm unable to listen most of the time, but tell me when he said that? You can't. You're a liar.


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