While the Associated Press and NBC excitedly report on an incipient and miraculous economic recovery, the real signs of a turnaround have yet to be seen by those outside Washington. Consider:
• Bankruptcies just hit their highest monthly total in four years, 126,434 in July. This represents a 34% increase year-over-year and an 8.7% increase from June.
• Unemployment is rising, despite the slight drop in the official U-2 rate (9.5% to 9.4%). As the accompanying Calculated Risk graph illustrates, the employed percentage of the population continues to drop like Michael Moore in freefall.
• Job losses continue at a horrific pace: "Over 400,000 people disappeared from the workforce last month - they gave up, dropping the participation rate. That's where the 'improvement' in the jobs number came from."
• Government Spending Has Skyrocketed: "Annualized, the $181 billion deficit increase in July alone is approaching one half of the full year 2008 deficit - in one month - and Treasury has announced it is going to sell almost half that much again this week in new Treasury issuance - that is, yet more deficit."
• Meanwhile, Tax Revenues Have Plummeted: "Tax revenue for the first three quarters of 2009 has fallen by approximately $350 billion, or 17 percent compared to the same period last year... Unemployment benefits have more than doubled, Medicaid spending has grown by a quarter and Medicare spending has increased by 11 percent."
• The S&P 500 is wildly overvalued using any conventional measure: The S&P 500's price-to-earnings (PE) is over 140 today. It was over 100 during the first quarter of 2009, "a level never before reached in the index's history".
• 'Cash for Clunkers' is a Disaster: While the sycophants of stimulus are crowing about an 11.5 million unit annualized sales rate for (for July and August), 80% of the top-selling models are foreign. Typical of Politburo-style, centralized planning efforts, the unintended consequences of the program have yet to be felt; "..what of the lower-income Americans who depended on those cars - the clunkers - to be able to afford any transportation at all? Are they supposed to walk - or starve? When I was younger I was one of those individuals; today, this program would have left me unable to afford a car so I could get to work. I'm sure all the college students and recent grads, struggling to find a job, are saying 'Thanks Mr. President for destroying all the cars we could afford to buy.'"
• The 'Green Jobs' Myth: "...experts in economics and the energy industry say having more people work in alternative energy will actually lower our standard of living, by making energy more expensive." James Hamilton, a professor of economics at UC San Diego, calls the assertion that funding green jobs will improve employment a "pretense".
The following is not an overstatement: the current Democrat leadership is on course to bankrupt the United States of America.
No cuts in the size of government: it keeps growing. No cuts in federal spending: all of the programs just keep growing. No cuts in federal hiring, salaries, bonuses or benefits: their workforce just keeps growing, on the taxpayer's dime.
Democrats are destroying the economic future of this country, piece by piece; mortgaging the next generation without permission of those affected; nationalizing industry after industry; spending like drunken liberals; and issuing edict after edict, regulation after regulation through dozens of unaccountable 'czars' who are literally strangling the real economy.
The hard left wing of the Democrat party must be politically punished in 2010 if we are to save this country.
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