Goldman Declares US Economy Dead

January 12, 2022 Updated: January 16, 2022

Commentary

“Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs economists lowered their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in 2022 after Mr. Manchin’s comments regarding the president’s social-spending bill. Goldman wrote in a Sunday note that the bill’s apparent demise ‘has negative implications for near-term consumption.’ They cited the likely end of the expanded child tax credit, which has helped prop up consumer spending during the pandemic but is set to expire at the end of December,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

It doesn’t take an MIT doctoral degree to figure out what this means.

When Goldman Sachs lowers its gross domestic product (GDP) forecasts based on how much money the government will be able to pump into the economy, the economy is basically on life support.

Thanks to two rogue senators, Build Back Better—the president’s $3.5 trillion (recently slimmed down to $1.75 trillion) social spending measure—doesn’t appear to have the gas to get through Congress. And because of that, the U.S. economy will be taking a hit.

“Goldman Sachs now expects GDP to grow at an annualized pace of 2% in the first quarter, down from 3% previously,” The Journal reported.

To be fair, in completely objective terms, Goldman is right. Less money flowing through the economy means less buying, which means less GDP.

But that’s not really the problem, is it?

An Economy Built on IOUs

The fact that economists at major investment banks (not to mention the Biden administration itself) are predicting “robust” economic growth based upon factoring in massive deficit spending—that’s the problem.

I suppose there’s reason to be thankful for Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who have decided to show some actual fiscal backbone. As a Republican in Congress, you can oppose the legislation on principle—it’s a Democrat boondoggle. But to take that stand as a Democrat is a very different thing.

Manchin and Sinema have been dealing with the blowback from their own party for months now.

And kudos to them for not buying the administration’s “it’s all paid for” baloney. That line is perennial BS. Every piece of spending legislation that every Congress has ever approved and enacted has been “paid for” in some way or another. Yet we just raised the debt ceiling another $2.5 trillion to more than $30 trillion (incidentally, the Congressional Budget Office recently determined the real cost of this package would be upward of $4.5 trillion).

Again, it doesn’t take a doctoral degree to figure this out.

No, Build Back Better, if approved, would in fact pump trillions into the economy, mostly by way of spending on social programs. And that’s basically signaling that a larger and larger portion of the economy (average individuals such as you and me) are no longer able to afford the things they once could.

In December, President Joe Biden, while speaking at a holiday celebration for Democrat cheerleaders, said it himself (sort of).

“We’re helping working-class and middle-class people spend less money on the things they badly need,” Biden said. “So if you’re worried about rising costs, nothing will cut costs for American families more than the Build Back Better plan.”

We’re saving U.S. citizens money on the things they badly need by having the government (technically U.S. citizens) buy it all for them.

Aside from the sheer absurdity of the comment, it’s important to realize that government spending has never made anything cheaper. I’ll refer you to the out-of-control cost of higher education as an example of what government guarantees can do to a market.

The fact that an economy, according to Goldman, would be worse off for not experiencing that massive injection of fiat cash (and the accompanying deficits), doesn’t bode well for what’s left of the actual economy.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Bob Byrne
Bob Byrne built a reputation as a daily columnist for TheStreet.com after trading billions of dollars over two decades in financial markets. He now co-authors Streetlight Confidential investment newsletter with Tim Collins that focuses on under-the-radar companies and investment opportunities often overlooked by Wall Street. To discover how to get his proprietary research in the paid newsletter service, go to Streetlight Confidential.