Does the president look like the recession is over?
All the ‘smart’ people in Washington DC, including the president,are telling us peons the recession is over. I don’t want to doubt Mr. Greenspan and Robert Gibbs, the pudgy press secretary, but when I see a different picture with my eyes it’s difficult for me to believe. I took a closer look at what they are saying and for some reason I just don’t come up with the same answer. For instance, home foreclosures in San Antonio are 25% higher than last year. Here is the kicker, Texas has the best economy in the Union. If we have 25% more homes being foreclosed on then what about the rest of the country? I saw where foreclosures in Ohio are at a dangerous level, likewise in parts of Florida, Nevada, Michigan and California. In some areas the Federal government is giving grants to demolish the vacant homes. Since I’m from the country and don’t know big city ways, it seems to me that those homes could be used for homeless families. Rather than spend the money to tear them down, deed the property to homeless families with children living on the streets. Of course what do I know, I live with cattle all day.
The most telling thing for me that the recession is not over is the drop in sales tax revenue. Texas sales tax revenue dropped 14.2% since this time last year. Read that again, we are down 14.2% in sales tax revenue. Again I’m just a broken down cowboy, but it looks like to me people are buying a lot less.
Christmas sales were down .03%, which I admit is not much, but this is the first time since records have been kept that sales have dropped. Much of the merchandise was deeply discounted. In November stores began running 40% off sales. This year for Christmas I purchased two high-definition HD televisions for the twins. I got them 42″ flat screen Samsungs for under $600 each. Both of the twins still had the old analog sets and there is a world of difference. Those TVs would have cost me $1,200 a year ago. I saw an ad in the paper that the store had a 40% off sale and cut a choggie to the store in San Antonio.
Texas school districts are dipping into their rainy day slush funds to meet operational costs. School tax revenue is way down. Texas gets 80,000 new students each year and 97% of those are from low-income families. I pay my fair share of school taxes even though I have none of the little fellers.
Over 50 art galleries closed in Santa Fe last year. It’s nice to say we are over the recession, but in truth things will probably get worse before they get better. Even the Obama people are admitting that unemployment will remain high and we probably won’t add enough jobs to make a difference. Obama is promising 95,000 jobs a month; however, we need 290,000 to get out of the recession. I doubt if we will get 95,000 jobs. I think that’s like when they voted the $800 Billion porkulus bill we were promised unemployment would not get over 8%.
I’ll believe the recession is over when I see the economy in recovery and real, not government jobs being produced. Let me leave you with this thought. Unemployment was 4.6% at the end of 2008. When we get the unemployment under 7% then I might consider we are in recovery. Till then I want Washington to stop spending and blowing hot air.