Clearly, we need to explain the economy to our junior senator

Feb. 9—Please, someone tell Sen. Shelley Moore Capito that you can’t have a recession without higher unemployment, and right now the jobless rate — at last report by the federal government — was at a low not seen since 1969. Yes, for those asking, that came before Donald Trump’s one term in office.

Trust us. She knows better and is simply carrying the torch handed to her by higher-ups in the GOP Senate food chain. She’s always been a good foot soldier and does as she’s told. But she’s not much of a leader.

So that the rest of us are all on the same page, know this: As long as employers keep hiring more employees, as is happening across the country, the economy will keep growing because more and more people have jobs and paychecks to spend.

And how is the economy doing on the employment front?

Well, it added, on average, a healthy 400,000 new jobs a month in 2022. And since the turn of the calendar year, hiring has been even stronger across the country with employers adding 517,000 workers to their payrolls in January.

Regardless, West Virginia’s junior senator is running from one conservative talk show mic to the next, warning — like Chicken Little — that the economic sky is falling and that a recession is just around the corner.

Well, with the Labor Department reporting that the number of job openings had climbed at the end of last year to more than 11 million, double the number of vacancies of a few years ago, Capito’s fears are obviously invented.

Added to her vernacular to scare us about President Biden’s economic policies, Capito is now saying the middle class is being squeezed. She says West Virginians are telling her that “they’re feeling it and they’re constraining buying. They’re constraining their activities. And if you look, they’re making choices between, you know, purchasing medicines and purchasing foods.”

Well, we’re not buying it. The wealth gap in West Virginia has always been deep and wide and blue-collar workers have always been challenged to make ends meet, but right now the state’s jobless rate is at 4.1 percent — and that’s pretty low. On top of that, the stats clearly say consumer spending is driving the U.S. economy — and Americans are spending on travel, eating out and entertainment.

Those are the facts that are at odds with our senator’s invented narrative.

But then we remember when she was trying to sell us on the Trump tax cuts that disproportionately favored the rich. So, yeah, nothing new to see here.