Wash Cycle. Updates for the new work week start with laundry in the Broadcast Bunker. You’ve probably been feeling pretty good lately, what with all the stories about how great Christmas Shopping was going and how cheap gas was like a tax cut, and how we’ve finally turned the corner on the economy, with the multitudes heading back to work, right? The toward the end of last week, someone punched the mute button on the celebration. Now, this won’t stop the President from taking credit for ‘booming’ economic growth in the United States in his State of The Union message, but new numbers temper the enthusiasm a little bit and may even explain why more than half of Americans aren’t so sure we’ve got the party started yet. As with almost every development related to President Obama and the economy, the compliant media continues to paper over mistakes, and grasp at green shoots in the economy. Unemployment is 5.6 percent! We’ve created over 250,000 jobs! What they don’t tell you is today’s 5.6 percent isn’t the same as when Bill Clinton was president, since there are 65 million some people who apparently are out of the work force permanently. Moreover wages, which have been rising slightly, are not rising fast enough, or high enough to sustain economic growth, say some analysts. At the end of last week, the compliant media was again surprised – stunned in fact – to see that retail sales actually contracted in December, a whopping .9 percent. Economists (astrologists) had predicted only a .1 percent drop. Remember when cheap gas was supposed to act like a tax cut? Gas stations got hit the hardest. Auto sales got hit. And, even though we ‘created’ two hundred fifty thousand plus jobs last month, there were 314,000 applications for unemployment, up 19,000 and the highest number in four months. Note to self; A tax cut is a permanent reduction in a tax rate, allowing people to plan for the long term future by investing, or purchasing big ticket items, or starting businesses. A reduction in a price is not a tax cut. Meanwhile the energy price and commodity price rout continues, and now banks in the oil patch, manufacturers like CAT, rail roads and energy states are taking the hit. Oh we’ll take the cheaper oil, but the media needs to stop crowing about how great a commodity price collapse is. It should be viewed as a danger sign, because the rest of the world economies apparently got the wrong flu shot. What’s wrong? No one is asking whether or not we should be stimulating supply, rather than demand. Are conservatives proposing dynamic, proven solutions? Finally, the IRS wants more money. They don’t have enough employees. Has anyone bothered to report how many employees the IRS actually has? You’d be surprised. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing.