Fox Business panel dismisses economic damage from the shutdown: "Who needs the federal government?"
James Freeman: "You look at this job creation -- a lot of Americans are going to be saying, 'Hey can we have another one?'"
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the February 1 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co.:
Loading the player reg...
STUART VARNEY (HOST): Let's bring in James Freeman. He's with The Wall Street Journal. Now, talk to me about small business because you've got a column on that in the Journal.
JAMES FREEMAN (ASST. EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL): Yeah, that's right. Yesterday, we got the NFIB -- National Federation of Independent Business -- report. So these are small firms and looking at their hiring, they actually ramped up more job creation in January than in December, which, of course, was a great month for job creation as well. We're now seeing in this national report across the whole economy, blowing away expectations, and I think it's -- it's something of a reality check, not just for the secular stagnation crowd that likes to say we can't grow as fast as we used to and we're already at full employment; we can't create any more jobs. but also a lot of peers in our industry have been writing for the last month and a half about how devastating to the economy a partial government shutdown is. I think, you look at this job creation -- a lot of Americans are going to be saying, 'Hey can we have another one?'
VARNEY: Well, I like to hear that --
FREEMAN: It's fantastic. And you mention all of the reasons it's great in terms of wages going up, jobs going up. The prime-age working force, 25 to 54, those people who have been on the sidelines -- they're not retired, they've been just discouraged -- coming back into the market. We're back almost to the pre-financial crisis, pre-Obama levels of people in their prime working years in the work force.
VARNEY: Quick question to John Lonski, economist, The Wall Street Journal people surveyed economist who said in this the first quarter -- and we're in first quarter -- we'd only grow the economy 1.8 percent. How does that stack up against 300,000 new jobs?
JOHN LONSKI (CHIEF CAPITAL MARKETS ECONOMIST, MOODY): The January employment report has suggested that this forecast is wrong, that it's too low, and we might actually have growth in excess of 2 percent for the first quarter. As Jim said, who needs the federal government? Let's not forget: It's only a partial federal government shutdown, too, not a total shutdown.
VARNEY: That'll ruffle some feathers: Let's have another shutdown.