As the mainstream media fixates on Russia and gun control, the economy continues to hum right along. We’ve been tracking the strong and improving economic fundamentals— not to be confused with stock market gyrations — for months, and a new data point has just emerged to bolster the case. US consumer confidence has jumped to its highest level since 2001, demonstrating that average Americans are feeling the economic progress in their personal lives. Bloomberg reports:
U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 17-year high as optimism about employment prospects grew and Americans began seeing additional money in their paychecks from recently enacted tax cuts, data from the New York-based Conference Board showed Tuesday. The report reflects increased confidence in employment and incomes, which could support consumer spending. The labor differential, which measures the gap between respondents saying jobs are plentiful and those who say they’re hard to get, rose to 24.7 percentage points, the highest since 2001. Recent tax legislation signed in December may have also buoyed sentiment, as many Americans saw bigger after-tax paychecks in February due to the law. That may have helped consumers shrug off the early-February 10 percent decline in stock prices, which have since recovered most of their losses.
More and more Americans are starting to notice their fattened paychecks — a pleasant surprise to most that is directly attributable to the new law, which cuts taxes for 80 to 90 percent of all taxpayers. That helps explain why public support for the GOP tax reform has rocketed upward by 26 percentage points since December. Democrats lied and fear-mongered about the Republican plan during their demagogic campaign of lockstep opposition. But the now-implemented law has been vindicated by reality, and lots of people are starting to notice. Including in swing districts:
Polling in battleground congressional districts shows that voters increasingly believe the Republican tax reform law will cut their taxes rather than raise them…The polling found that, in California’s 21st congressional district, 23 percent of respondents said in January that the law would lower their taxes, but in February, that number increased to 29 percent. Meanwhile, 42 percent said in January that their tax rates would increase because of tax reform; that number decreased to 30 percent in February. In Colorado’s sixth district, 31 percent of respondents said in January that the tax overhaul, which President Donald Trump signed into law in December, would lower their taxes; in February, that number grew to 44 percent. The percentage of voters who said the tax plan would raise their taxes decreased from 40 percent to 27 percent over the same time period. Other battleground districts—including New York’s 24th, Pennsylvania’s eighth, and Virginia’s second—showed similar results.
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