Good Times for Business.

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How much of Congress' unwillingness to do anything on the economy has to do with the fact that business owners aren't exactly feeling the hard times?

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or non-inflation-adjusted terms.

Corporate profits have been going gangbusters for a while. Since their cyclical low in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history.

Business owners aren't all rich people, but a large portion of rich people are business owners, and since Congress is most likely to respond to the interests of rich people, it shouldn't be a huge shock that they aren't too worried about the economy. After all, their business friends are doing just fine!

Also, remember this the next time a business owner complains in The Wall Street Journal that Obama isn't being nice enough and that's why the economy is suffering. At the very least, I will openly laugh at anyone complaining about the administration's mildly anti-Wall Street language; Obama might not love rich people, but he's done everything he can to shield them from the worst of the recession. If only we could say the same for the unemployed.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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