There is no way to sugarcoat this. The expectation of rotten times ahead colors purchasing and hiring decisions, leading to a further contraction of the economy. Low confidence begets low growth which in turn begets low confidence.

The president and the Democrats keep promising more spending and taxing. But that’s not a recipe to improve the outlook of investors, consumers and employers. . . The trap for many conservatives is to likewise fall into the habit of talking exclusively about budgets, debt and government spending. The missing element is growth. What should government be doing (or not doing) to promote the private sector job creation and bolster confidence? I don’t think Obama has a clue. Maybe one of the GOP presidential contenders has some ideas.

Let’s hope.