As the emperors in the U.S. Congress fiddle along trying to agree on the debt ceiling and a sustainable plan to cut spending and raise revenue, the economy continues to crater.
The Commerce Department released new data today that the U.S. economy has slowed down considerably when compared to last year. The GDP only grew at a sluggish rate of 1.3% for the second quarter of 2011.
Catherine Rampell, reported in her New York Times article today about the report, “Data revisions going back to 2003 also showed that the 2007-2009 Great Recession was deeper, and the recovery to date weaker, than originally estimated by data from the Commerce Department. Indeed, the latest figures show that the nation’s economy is still smaller than it was in 2007, when the Great Recession officially began.”
Rampell also quoted John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics as saying, “The word for this report is ‘shocking’…with slow growth, higher inflation and almost no consumer spending growth and it is very tough to find good news.”
As commented several times on joltleft.com, the government has previous made claims about the stability of our economy with magical statistics, that one, the Great Recession ended in 2009, untrue; two, that jobs programs provided by the stimulus packages over the past three year created significant numbers of new jobs in the economy, untrue, the stimulus programs only created enough jobs to keep the unemployment figures below 15% on the official government scorecard but did not help the true, today’s numbers of those people who are unemployed, underemployed, have stopped looking for work, approximately 24 million citizens or 18% of people who can’t find meaningful employment.
In San Diego, according to the Employment Development Department figures, the unemployment rate here was 10.4%, up from a revised 9.6% in May 2011 and below the 10.5% of a year ago. Remember these are government statistics; unemployment in San Diego County is larger than the Feds of the State officially report.
The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego fell 0.2% in June. The report explained that the sharp economic decrease in consumer spending, continued higher gas prices, declines of building permits, initial claims for unemployment and local stock prices were that factors consider. This decline came at a time where normally positive data, such as, the increase in help wanted ads that occurred in June 2011.
When compared to a year ago between June 2010 and June 2011, total nonfarm employment in San Diego County increased by 16,300 jobs or 1.3%. Professional and business services recorded the highest number of the total job increases with government employees and construction workers leading the losses of jobs in the county. Maybe the Great Recession hasn’t ended and nobody wants to be foolish enough admit it?
The battle in Congress over the past few months about the national debt, the debt ceiling and budget has not contributed positively in any way to help the economic miasma. Pretty clearly showing that our crack political representative care more for the new plutocracy the helped create, where the rich, big business, big insurance, big pharmacy and all the lobbyists live and not the middle class and poorer classes in this country.
If you looked at the overall situation, recognizing that the economy is in trouble with a pair of reality sun glasses, you’d wonder if our representatives in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento really give a big hoot about the budget. The meaningless explanations by the senior members of the House, Senate and White House about how important an agreement to raise the debt ceiling so that the U.S. doesn’t default and defer making promised payments to Soldiers, Social Security recipients, Medicare and Medicaid patients, Medicare physicians, federal workers, Veterans, and businesses across the country that do business with the federal government seem so vacuous and empty.
The Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, indicated on talk shows last weekend that none of Social Security or Medicare payments would be affected; however, he didn’t appear that convincing while he sat squirming as he answered questions by moderators on the tube.
Well the week is about to end, the stock market is down 96.87 points, gold is trending at about $1,630.00 an ounce, help wanted ads continue to increase in numbers but hiring continues to lag. What’s a person to do? Call your crack Congressional Representatives and tell them to get their act together, the dog and ponies shows they keep presenting are bogus…time to get real.
“The American citizen must be made aware that today a relatively small group of people is proclaiming its purposes to be the will of the People. That elitist approach to government must be repudiated.” William E. Simon, former Secretary of the Treasury for Richard Nixon.