Yesterday I read that there are almost 20,000 homeless teenagers in New York City alone, so how many is that nationwide? Colorado Springs is turning off streetlights and sold their police helicopter and fired the pilot and mechanic. The default rate on jumbo mortgages is near 10%. Jumbo mortgages are at least $250,000 and ranged up to $729,750 but the stimulus bill reduced it to a paltry $625,500. Big fish with big loans and they're going belly up just like the rest of us.
These economic hard times are not isolated; they are widespread and growing daily. Financial experts have said, "Thank God for the census hiring thousands." Except census takers count households and we have millions that have no house to hold. Asking them if they have a high speed Internet connection or how many toilets they have misses the mark at this point. At this point the questions should be: are you getting enough to eat? Are your children attending school; do you have money to wash your clothes?
They don't ask us and won't ask us because they won't like the answers, so it's best to just ignore us. The President, in his State of the Union Address, announced a new jobs bill. Oh goody! More god-damned tax cuts that made the last stimulus so successful. Let me ask you, if I offered a 50% tax cut on the purchase of a new Ferrari or Rolls Royce, would you buy one? You won't buy what you can't afford no matter how big the tax break. Employers won't hire workers to drive a truck if they don't have orders to deliver, even with a tax cut.
Politicians love playing games with numbers. Obama can say, "My jobs program has 10 gazillion dollars in job incentives," but they are all tax credits that might help 1% who were probably going to hire anyway. So what have we gained? We gain nothing except that the politician can smile and wave from the lectern. He's free and indemnified when his critics ask, "What are you doing about unemployment?" He can answer with pointed finger, "Why, my administration is spending gazillions to fight unemployment. Haven't you seen my jobs program?" But, but, but, if employers can't take advantage of the tax cuts then you've spent nothing, and even worse you've done nothing.
The new jobs bill is the vehicle the administration plans to use to reauthorize the Patriot Act. With a heart of stone and eyes of lead, they are throwing lifejackets lined with fishhooks to the desperate. It is beyond cynical; it's shameful and disgraceful. I have a finger between my index and ring finger that says all that needs to be said about that. Except perhaps that this bill is just more politics when our people are suffering, and politics should be put aside.
Don't you dare say, "I would but" the Republicans." Maybe if you'd punch a few of those Republicans in their political nose and start playing hardball instead of trying to hold encounter group sessions to try and get in touch with their feelings you might begin to gain traction. But you don't fool me, pal. You're the guy that's leaning and grunting, but you ain't pushing the car. You're only pretending to push the car.
Untangling the unemployment numbers is like untangling canned spaghetti. It's a mish-mash in tomato sauce with attempt to defraud. First-time claims down by 43,000. There is a saturation point, isn't there? A sponge will only hold so much water; you can't expect it will suddenly hold 10% or 20% more. So you have an economy that is enfeebled like a geriatric pie crust. There are no new great mass layoffs because there is no one left with huge numbers of employees to lay off.
"Labor Department figures showed today in Washington... The total number of people getting unemployment insurance and those receiving extended benefits decreased." Because they are no longer unemployed? Or because they have exhausted their available benefits? They don't say because they don't care; that information doesn't fit their agenda.
"The Obama administration today projected payrolls will grow by 95,000 a month on average this year, indicating it will take a long time to recover the 8.4 million jobs lost since the recession began."
Well, considering there are 150,000 more employees each month entering the workforce, I'd speculate that date to be somewhere around the twelfth of never. Yet these high-paid, over-educated economists always seem to forget us or to bury us in the footnotes. It makes for great headlines and the President can claim that his little-or-nothing jobs program is working.
You reach a point where you've just heard enough and you just don't want to hear one more word from one more politician. I'm angry enough, thank you, I no longer need your services.
"Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) President Barack Obama said he and his administration have pursued a 'fundamentally business-friendly' agenda and are 'fierce advocates' for the free market, rejecting corporate criticism of his policies."
"Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- A majority of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index increased cash to a combined $1.18 trillion while simultaneously reducing spending, keeping a jobs recovery on hold."
"Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. foreclosure filings rose 15 percent in January from a year earlier and exceeded 300,000 for the 11th consecutive month as modification programs failed to keep delinquent borrowers in their homes."
"Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said he is 'agnostic' about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.