US Economy Isn’t Sure What To Do

Economic Questions

By some indicators, everything is heading in the right direction. From other perspectives, we’re no better now than when we were in a full-blown recession. The US economy is proving to be less of a bull or a bear and more of a chameleon as we approach the holiday season.

It seems to be a problem with trust. More people are working. More companies are hiring. However, neither the employers nor the employees are spending the money that they’re making. Investments for growth and prosperity are still hanging at dangerously low marks, prompting some economists to wonder what it will take to get the negative economic numbers to align with the positive ones.

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Government Shutdown Didn’t Kill Economy

Jobs Report

It was guaranteed. The Republicans destroyed the economy last month with the government shutdown. That’s what we were told would happen. Fortunately, it didn’t kill much. In fact, the numbers are much better than expected.

What effect did the government shutdown really have? It gave us something to gripe about. It pointed to the partisan nature of the way the country is run. It put the democrats in a bad light over decisions they made about what to shut down and what to keep up and running. It put the republicans in a worse light because they were to blame for tanking the economy…

…except it didn’t tank.

According to the LA Times:

Despite forecasts that job growth would be sapped by the budget impasse and government shutdown, employers in the U.S. stepped up their hiring last month by adding 204,000 new jobs across a wide spectrum of industries.

Read More: LA Times

A Letter from Sen. Corker to the President that Deserves a Response

Corker Letter to Obama

All of the points are legitimate. All of the statements are factual. With the American economy on the brink of collapse and the President doing everything he can to point fingers without performing the appropriate actions to fulfill the promise of good faith negotiations, this is one letter that absolutely deserves a prompt and public response.

View the entire PDF embedded on the Senator’s website.

Most Americans Seem Okay with Raising Taxes as Long as it’s Not Their Taxes

Squashing People

There seems to be a growing sentiment in the population that taxes are okay. The thought of raising taxes on the rich is arguably one of the primary reasons President Obama won re-election. Today’s America tends to accept an anti-business, semi-socialist mentality of redistribution of wealth in a way that is truly terrifying. Buzzwords like “fair share” filled the campaign and apparently made sense to the majority of voters.

It simply doesn’t make sense to me.

There is a combination of math, psychology, and common sense that goes into the thinking that cutting expenses and encouraging business growth increases the prosperity potential at all levels, but it’s tougher to sell to a population that operates in much the same way as the government. We are not the thifty, hard-working Americans who understood the need for frugality and embraced simple archaic truths such as “a penny saved is a penny earned” just three decades ago. This generation is entitled and unfortunately the concept is working its way up to older generations.

When given the choice of saving up for an iPad, not buying it at all, or throwing it on a credit card and paying interest on it, many Americans seem to mirror the actions that the federal government has been taking for a long time. It’s this mentality that sends many people into a frenzy over their own needs and makes the concepts of raising taxes on people who have more money than them absolutely appealing. Most in Washington today – the majority of Republicans and a good number of Democrats – realize with crystal clear clarity that this direction has zero chance of working mathematically, but the people on the right are not convincing enough and the people on the left who understand this are not willing to risk their own careers over doing something as insane as going against their party.

Some way, somehow, the people need to be educated on the challenging math behind fiscal responsibility. They need to be taught that raising taxes is a band aid that makes the wound fester underneath. It does much more long-term damage than the short-term gains that are had from it and creates a mentality of abundance in an atmosphere of decadence.

The problem we face is that the concept of taxing others is a way of indirectly buying votes. We have two years to buy back some of those votes with responsible actions and sound economic principles. It cannot come from the government and by the time the candidates get going for 2014 it may already be too late. We need to start educating the population now as citizens.

Obama Wanted to Reduce Interest Paid on Federal Debt

National Debt Clock

The challenges facing Barack Obama were apparent before he took office. A month into his term, he acknowledged that the problems needed to be addressed immediately and stated that he wanted to halt the growth of the national debt, including reductions of the $250 billion in interest that were paid towards it the year before.

Since then, the numbers have continued to rise faster than he had hoped. Much faster.