As the domestic economy has improved in recent months, so too have the major Wall Street indexes. The Dow Jones industrial average soared yesterday, closing at its highest level since before the start of the Great Recession. The Nasdaq composite index, meanwhile, closed yesterday at its highest level in more than 11 years.
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) offered a unique take on these developments yesterday, telling Fox News' Neil Cavuto the recent upswing may be tied to the 2012 presidential election.
WEST: Well, I would think maybe the markets are maybe looking five to six months down the road, when we have a change in leadership in this country –
CAVUTO: Wait a minute, you think that this is built on a Republican either capturing the White House or Republicans capturing the Senate? … You think that the markets are getting bubbly in anticipation of a Republican taking the White House?
WEST: Oh, absolutely.
Let me get this straight. In the Republican congressman's mind, investors are overlooking improved job numbers, improved consumer spending, and improved economic confidence, and are instead investing based on expectations that a new, unnamed president might take office 10 months from now?
Is this really going to be the Republican line on an improved environment for investors?
For what it's worth, much to Republicans' chagrin, Bloomberg News recently reported that the stock market invariably performs better under Democratic administrations.
In 2004, a Bush cabinet official said job creation and GDP numbers don't really matter because "the stock market is ... the final arbiter" of economic success.
If that's still true, Republicans appear to have some explaining to do.