Friday, October 30, 2009

Random Rants--A Friday Feature

Consumer Spending is Down Proving my Point on the Elusive Recovery

“Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand”
Cardinal de Retz

Yesterday, the politicians were falling all over themselves to claim credit for the third quarter GDP growth of 3.5%, claiming the growth was proof the Administration's stimulus plan had worked. The President claimed,“the steps we’ve taken have made a difference.” Whoa there Big Fella.

As I reminded yesterday, the GDP growth was fueled by the Cash for Clunkers program which was borrowing demand from the future as consumers scrambled to make auto purchases before the program's deadline in early September. Automobile sales declined 23% in the month causing the large drop in September's consumer spending reported today. According to to the Wall Street Journal, "The 0.5% drop in spending was the largest since December 2008, when the recession was at its worst. "

And it is not about to get better any time soon. Washington policies like health care and "cap and trade" if enacted will add an enormous tax burden to consumers and small businesses ensuring slow--if any--growth and sustainabily high unemployment for years to come. We have only to look at Carter's policies for a benchmark of what's in store, if the leadership in Washington doesn't change. (See my blog entry for October 15th, The Misery Index All Over Again

People who don't have jobs, don't spend. Further proof? The WSJ reported September "personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.3%, compared to 2.8% in August." Those who are working are increasingly saving not spending.

Random Rants:

  • Nancy Pelosi's health care bill is 1,990 pages long and uses the word SHALL 3,425 times according to The Weekly Standard. How's that for choice?

  • The Ten Commandments uses the word SHALL eleven times.

  • October was the deadliest month for our troops in Afghanistan. Obama yesterday agreed to give General McChrystal 20,000 of the 40,000 troops he asked for on August 30th.

  • It was reported yesterday that the 30,383 jobs the stimulus plan/Obama Administration had saved/created with $16 billion of our tax dollars spent so far had been overstated by 20% or approximately 6,000 jobs. After I stopped laughing I recalculated the cost per job (see my letter to the President on October 17th, Stimulus Please--Obama's Stash Part 2). $640,000. What more is there to say?

  • And finally, Tuesday I happened on a Tea Party gathering in the next town over. Stopped at the stoplight I noticed a handful of protesters (protesting the Tea Party protest) carrying professionally made signs saying Yes We Can, and Support Health Care Reform. I rolled down my window and asked who was going to pay for the $1 trillion health care bill. They replied promptly, "We all are." I replied, "Not me thank you, I already pay enough." (I had just recovered from the nauseating realization that over 60% of our family income goes to the government in some form or another.) Immediately they shouted: Selfish. Selfish. Selfish.

  • Why does the Left always resort to name calling and finger wagging?

  • I guess because it is easier than sucking it up and doing the right thing.

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