CINCINNATI (TDB) -- U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt is out with a new press release that seems to shout from the rooftops that "our nation's economy is unidisputably robust, resilient and roaring." The OH-02 Republican from Clermont County represents counties with some of the highest jobless rates in the state -- good thing the economy is roaring.
Schmidt contends the Federal Reserve Bank supports her rosy view. But does it? An "Economic Trends" report issued this week (February 7) by the federal reserve bank of Cleveland -- a bank with a branch in downtown Cincinnati, a town Schmidt serves as congresswoman -- reads far gloomier. In fact, the report describes the fix Ohio is in as a "jobless recovery."
Schmidt sees things differently than the fed's economists. "As I've said many times before, we owe this good news to sound pro-growth economic policies and historic tax relief legislation that continues to fuel our economy," she said.
So it is "good news" that we have a "jobless recovery" in Ohio. That's a massive disconnect between partisan spin and the fed, which reported:
"The glaring difference between nonfarm employment for 2001-07 and the average employment growth cannot be explained by atypical recession or recovery; real GDP stayed within normal bounds throughout the cycle. Nor can it be explained in the unusually large benchmark revisions in nonfarm employment for April 2005 through March 2006 (seasonally adjusted from 2002 onward) from the BLS; even the upwardly revised data show employment far below normal levels. Thus the current expansion remains a 'jobless recovery'"
The entire fed report, with charts, is HERE, and it focuses on the chunk of United States that Mrs. Schmidt is elected to speak for in the U.S. House. Check out her views on the "roaring economy".
The difficulty for Schmidt is that Ohio and other portions of the industrialized Midwest have not prospered in this economy. The state is struggling with the loss of its manufacturing base, a fact that seems to elude the U.S Rep from OH-02 where Ford Motor Co. is closing a tranmission plant. Even President George W. Bush has pointed out that we're not doing too good right now.
[UPDATE: Others in the Ohio blogosphere are scratching their heads about Schmidt's latest blast today. A Democratic blog has linked to a GOP-leaning blog, not something one sees in the normal course of political discourse. Schmidt might turn out to be a decent lawmaker if she can find her footing. She needs to shut up on the economy, though. She represents the Ohio River Valley, and she needs to figure that out. I have a guess that the latest missive was not prepared by Schmidt herself, but probably was some kind of handout that she regurgitated. Whoever gives her that stuff is getting her into trouble. Rob Portman, her predecessor, would have flushed it.]