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The bell tolls for the Eurozone

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The situation there is grim, and the financial and social systems there are buckling:

The worst nightmares of [...] Euroskeptics have been exceeded. The United States carried the luxury-goods industries of France and Italy and the engineered-products industries of Germany on its back for decades, but it will not and cannot do it anymore. Decline is reversible; more complicated is a death wish as thoroughly installed in the attitudes and practices of whole peoples as that of most of Europe.

If Europe cannot spark a demographic renewal, with a work force comprising fully half the people, flexible labor markets, tax rates that encourage savings and investment, an end to stealthily galloping inflation, and a reactivation of the economic and military muscle that alone confer credibility, it will quietly perish.

These are the results of cradle-to-grave statism, and Euro-socialist economic policies.  There is no reason why this cannot happen here in the United States, in fact it probably already is happening.  The laws of economics and common sense apply in our country as well as in Europe.

Depsite Obama storytelling, the facts remain—the rich already pay more in taxes

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

So much for the “rich don’t pay taxes” meme:

The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

[...]

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

Facts are difficult for the left to embrace.

August NFP report shows net zero growth in jobs, the “great goose-egg economy”

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s a brutal print:

A dismal labor report Friday showed the economy added zero net workers in August, intensifying pressure on President Obama to unveil a major jobs initiative during his speech to Congress next week.

The Labor Department report showed the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.

Meanwhile:

In a nutshell, this is the great goose egg economy — a big zero, a big nothing — and this better be one hell of a speech next week.  There is a plethora of bad news. You have what is going on in Greece, you have lawsuits potentially coming today or Tuesday against the banks. You have the Fed in a Wall Street Journal article overnight asking Bank of America if they are going to be OK if things get really bad.  There are a lot of confidence issues in the marketplace, the jobs number only made things worse and people wonder about this jobs number and its correlation with Philly Fed.  That is scary.”

Consumer confidence in Obamanomics slips; lowest since Carter administraton

August 12, 2011 Leave a comment

More hope and change:

Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slumped to 54.9 from 63.7 the prior month. The gauge was projected to decline to 62, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

The biggest one-week slump in stocks since 2008 and the threat of default on the nation’s debt may have exacerbated consumers’ concerns as unemployment hovers above 9 percent and companies are hesitant to hire. Rising pessimism poses a risk household spending will cool further, hindering a recovery that Federal Reserve policy makers said this week was already advancing “considerably slower” than projected.

We’re really at the bottom of the barrel right now,” Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, said before the report. “Americans are feeling an increasing level of frustration with their leaders in Washington. We’re also seeing a slew of weaker than expected economic reports.”

But don’t worry.  President Obama’s  just as frustrated and worked up about the economy that he and the Democrats have created as we all are.  Doesn’t that make you feel sooo much better?

S&P downgrades US credit rating to AA+

August 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Dear Mr. President, happy birthday and thanks for nothing:

A cornerstone of the global financial system was shaken Friday when officials at ratings firm Standard & Poor’s said U.S. Treasury debt no longer deserved to be considered among the safest investments in the world.

S&P removed for the first time the triple-A rating the U.S. has held for 70 years, saying the budget deal recently brokered in Washington didn’t do enough to address the gloomy long-term picture for America’s finances. It downgraded U.S. debt to AA+, a score that ranks below Liechtenstein and more than a dozen other countries, and on par with Belgium and New Zealand.

The unprecedented move came after several hours of high-stakes drama. It began in the morning, when word leaked that a downgrade was imminent and stocks tumbled. Around 1:30 p.m., S&P officials notified the Treasury Department that they planned to downgrade U.S. debt and presented the government with their findings.

Nearly four years of full Democratic control of our government, and we have 9% unemployment, anemic GDP growth, longer unemployment lines, record numbers on food stamps, and now, our credit rating is in the toilet. 

Heckuva job guys. 

 

Don’t believe the White House hype on the July jobs report

August 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The report came out this morning, and while the media and the White House give it the expected fluff, it was actually not so good news:

The economy in July generated 117,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined from 9.2 percent to 9.1 percent.

This is nice until you remember that the economy needs to create about 150,000 jobs just to keep pace with the growing work force. The decline in the unemployment rate was not due to the new jobs, but to people giving up searching for jobs. They are then not counted as unemployed, since they are not even looking.

Now, July was better than June, and the numbers were better than expected. But overall, we’re in worse shape than we were.

As we’ve seen again and again, it’s not so much that the administration is ambiguous and outright deceptive about these economic reports, it’s that the media is complicit in their deception.  Par for the course from the left.

Retail analyst: “Obama depression continues to explode”

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Even the dollar stores aren’t immune to the failures of Keynesianism on steroids, porkulus, Obamanomics and Decmocratic economic stewardship:

While the demand at stores like the 99-Cent Store or Dollar Tree is still relatively high, the biggest chains in the nation have fallen short of Wall Street’s expectations for several months, a trend that may prove even more ominous for the economy at large.

“I think what’s going on in those stores is that we are in a depression for 80 percent of Americans,” top retail analyst Howard Davidowitz told KNX 1070.

America’s three largest discount chains — Dollar General Corp., Family Dollar Stores Inc. and Dollar Tree Inc. —  all recently missed their quarterly earnings targets.

Davidowitz pointed to the weakness of the dollar and a gloomy consumer outlook as some of the factors behind the stores’ slump.
“In other words, the economy is continuing to be worse, the Obama depression continues to explode,” he added.

Here’s hoping Peggy Joseph was able to get her mortgage and gas money before the cash runs out.

Goldman Sachs lowers earnings expectations for S&P companies

July 8, 2011 Leave a comment

More depressing economic news:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the bank with the highest equities-trading revenue, said its rivals are too enthusiastic about second-quarter earnings prospects for Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies.

Operating profit will total $23.75 a share for the period, or 2.3 percent less than the average Wall Street estimate, said David Kostin, an equity strategist at New York-based Goldman Sachs. He said 2011 and 2012 earnings-per-share forecasts will be reduced by 2 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

[...]

U.S. corporations are set to report the slowest earnings gain since the recession ended as companies from Ford Motor Co. to McDonald’s Corp. struggled with rising oil and commodity prices and a slowdown in consumer confidence that may continue to hamper spending this year.

 If people wouldn’t use those darn ATMs so much, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

June’s employment report is not so good, smells like recession and…QE3 coming?

July 8, 2011 Leave a comment

There was nothing good in June’s job report released this morning.  The unemployment rate inched up to 9.2% and the economy added about 18,000 jobs for the month.  And what’s that odor  in the air?

It’s the foul stench of recession:

The U.S. economy generated just 43,000 jobs in the last two months, perhaps taking the world’s largest economy skating closer to recession territory.

It was difficult to find a bright spot in the U.S. Labor Department report. Many key labor market signals deteriorated, and the jobless rate rose unexpectedly to 9.2 percent even though the work force actually shrank.

Shaun Osborne, senior currency strategist at TD Securities, summed it up: “The number stinks.” Watch for forecast revisions to second half U.S. gross domestic product.

The Obama administration has run out of silver bullets, as the Democrats perverse experiment with Keynesian economics has failed miserably.

So what to do?  The experts are leaving the door open for the Fed to fire up the printing presses again:

[The Labor Department's report] could raise questions about whether the Fed should take additional actions to support growth.

Yes.  Because it’s worked so well with QE1 and QE2.

Politically, the Obama campaign administration has got to be in full panic mode now.  Time is of the essence, but even over a year away from the election, the economy will have to show some strong monthly employment gains to bring that rate down.  Some broad tax cutting would be in order to accomplish that, along with some bold moves to cut spending.  But I wouldn’t bet on that coming from this White House.

Speaking of panic, the President is holding a press conference to speak about this morning’s employment report at 10:30 this morning.

Portugal is the new Greece

July 6, 2011 Leave a comment

The proverbial dike is buckling:

Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday became the first rating agency to cut Portugal below investment grade, causing the 10-year Portuguese government bond yield to leap more than 1 percentage point to euro-era highs.

The agency cited worries that administrative problems and slow economic growth might prevent the Portuguese government from hitting ambitious targets to shrink its budget deficit over the next three years under a 78 billion euro international bailout.

But Moody’s also said efforts by the European Union to have private investors bear part of the burden of supporting Greece, through a “voluntary” rollover of maturing Greek debt, threatened investor confidence in Portugal as well.

If investors believe the EU may follow the Greek model and pressure them into bearing part of the cost of future aid to Portugal, they may become less willing to lend to Lisbon, reducing the chance that it can resume borrowing from markets in 2013 as planned, Moody’s said.

Saner heads in Europe are sounding the alarm:

 

Government bureaucrats in centralized Euro-capitals, picking winners and losers in a so-called free market never works.

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