To the Editor:
Coal in stockings. Crying children. Parents stressed out at the sight of empty store shelves. And anyone lucky enough to find something suffered a wave of sticker shock followed by feelings of inadequacy that the economy has left them unable to make their kids’ Christmas dreams come true. It was everything Republican leaders from Kevin McCarthy on down predicted.
It would be the worst Christmas that ever happened.
Except it didn’t happen. MasterCard reported holiday retail sales jumped 8.5% from 2020 and were over 10% higher than 2019. Despite supply chain woes, stores were stocked, and none of the major delivery services reported missing deadlines.
The news gets better, or worse if you’re a Republican leader. Bloomberg News said America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden’s first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years. The economy expanded an estimated 5.5% in 2021. The Wall Street Journal said U.S. economic growth was attracting overseas investment, and that suggested continued growth. Unemployment plunged to 4.2%. Consumer credit expanded, which means new cars and homes could be under next year’s Christmas trees. But before the old tree gets tossed, take another look underneath it. There’s a gift the GOP hopes you don’t see – the infrastructure bill, which means roads and bridges will get the attention they desperately need. Rail service could be improved and expanded, and the internet is going to get a lot faster.
Who knows why Republican leaders are working so hard to tell followers they’re supposed to be unhappy or outraged, when things are not nearly as bad as they say? Maybe it’s envy.
But it should be a reminder that a political party that tries to spin good news as bad, might also spin last year’s attack on Capitol Hill as nothing more than a tour that got slightly out of hand.