TO QUOTE THE AP TODAY: THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The big surge was a setback to hopes that layoffs were declining.
There’s that word again. It is the most commonly-used word in the Obama era by the economically ignorant. Taxes, spending, debt, all these government policies have always and will always lead to economic stagnation. Government cannot spend, borrow or tax it’s way to prosperity. Wish folks would learn that.
AND, BY THE WAY, there is more negative economic news this week. The DJIA dropped 400 points today, reflecting concern about Greece and Europe. Do you want to see the American future under Obama’s policies? Look at Greece today. We are maybe 5-10 years behind. Another AP story from yesterday: ” The number of homeowners who missed at least one payment on their mortgage surged to a record in the first quarter of the year, a sign that the foreclosure crisis is far from over.” …Economic woes, such as unemployment or reduced income, are the main catalysts for foreclosures this year. Initially, lax lending standards were the culprit. But homeowners with good credit who took out conventional, fixed-rate mortgages are now the fastest growing groups of foreclosures.”
OH, AND MORE…THE MORTGAGE TAX CREDIT expired April 30, and mortgage applications dropped 9.5 % the first week, even as rates dropped as well. The CNBC report also said that as of May 1st, ten percent of all the properties on the market have had at least one price cut since they went on the market.
THERE’S MORE…THE FINANCIAL TIMES REPORTED today on the state of state pensions and retirement plans, such as Illinois, which has a mere $78 billion unfunded liability. By 2030, 31 states may not have the money to meet their pension obligations, requiring a Federal bailout of over $1 trillion.
I LOOKED FOR SOME GOOD NEWS ON THE NATIONAL front, and all I could find is that Congress is holding hearings on the “Potty Parity” Act, addressing the imbalance between men’s and women’s bathrooms in public facilities. Good news ladies, relief may be on the way as this relatively vital issue is addressed. Not to make light of it, but read the entries above this one, look at our economy, then reread this entry. Priorities, Congress, priorities. But then, I guess, when you lose your house, you may need access to bathrooms in Federal buildings, and at least there will be parity.
NEWS ON THE HEALTH CARE BILL, as many of us could say ‘ we told you so’, but we aren’t that kind of people. A study by WSU reported that a third of Seattle-area executives said the fines imposed on businesses not providing health care coverage to their employees might be cheaper than the coverage, a third said they didn’t know ( they’ll find out…) and about 15% said they didn’t provide coverage to begin with. The CBO added $115 billion to the cost estimates of Obamacare ( it’s now over a $trillion – told you so ), and White Castle, the hamburger chain, became the latest of many businesses to issue a warning about the costs of coverage versus the costs of the fines.
LOCALLY, GOVERNMENT INSANITY CONTINUES…there are 100 solar panels, at $4500 a piece, being installed on the roof of the Snohomish County Administration building in Everett. This $450,000 project, funded by Federal stimulus money, will power electric charging stations for the County’s might fleet of electric vehicles – BOTH OF THEM! Oh, yeah, they said they plan to buy a dozen more. Do the math. $30,000 per car ( after they buy the dozen ) just for the charging stations, plus the cost of electricity and maintenance. To save how much??
AND, |HOW CAN I FORGET THE 84 PAGE GUIDE issued by the State Department of Revenue to decide which candy bars are taxable and which aren’t under the new candy tax passed by the Legislature recently. That’s right, an 84 page guide. Twizzlers, Kit Kats and Three Musketeers are NOT taxable, but Hershey’s bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are. The Payday bar is, but the $100 Grand bar is not. Eighty four pages. Incredible. And they want to be re-elected.
ONE PRESIDENT FROM OUR PAST faced a serious recession and was presented with all sorts of grand schemes to deal with the crisis. He said: ” There is no instant step from disorder to order. We must face a condition of grim reality, charge off our losses and start afresh. It is the oldest lessson of any civilization…No altered system will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administartion of our proven system.” That was Warren Harding, faced with a serious recession right after WWI, 1920-21, who resisted the siren call to ‘do something’, let it work out and then had nearly a decade of economic growth. We should learn that no number of annoited or wise or arrogant men can successively substitute their judgment for the collective wisdom of buyers, sellers producers, consumers and investors working within the framework of a free market. Never has worked, never will.
THE ECONOMIC POLICIES WE NEED right now are those that promote growth and jobs – period. This talk of permanent unemployment rates of 9-10%, stagnant growth, reducing our future expectations, it’s all hogwash, but it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy if we don’t change our economic course.
A PERSONAL NOTE – a good friend of mine, a longtime friend, Greg Pang, recently suffered a stroke. Apparently, fortunately, no serious permanent damage was done, but rehab is slow. If you practice or believe in prayer, please include him in yours. Thanks.
BTW, join Americans for Prosperity. Go to www.americansforprosperity.org, click on “Join” at the top of the page. Costs you nothing, but you will be taking a step in fighting back and saving our country.