... and there's not a lot of great news.
The White House has raised its official 2009 budget deficit estimate to $1.84 trillion, which is almost exactly four times the FY 2008 budget deficit of $459 billion. Or to put another way, $1.84 trillion is more than the combined total of 2001 - 2007 budget deficits. $1.84 trillion also represents a 50% increase over the $1.2 trillion deficit first estimated by the Obama White House in January. Obama and the Congressional Democrats bear full responsibility for this deficit -- even the Associated Press has figured this out.
It seems that our current unemployment level is precisely where it was forecast to be without that $787 billion stimulus whirlwind that blew through Congress in February. Wow, it's almost as if the Stimulus Bill was mostly pork and little stimulus.
An early analysis of the stimulus money that was to be immediately allocated to "shovel-ready" projects has revealed that most of it is going to counties with relatively low unemployment, while the counties with the highest unemployment are ending up short-changed. The reason? Simple -- poor counties don't have the resources to draw up the massive amount of Federal government paperwork necessary to establish a "shovel-ready" project. Of course in my opinion, the whole Stimulus Bill was "shovel ready".
Even though Congress allocated $135 billion in stimulus money to prevent layoffs at the state government level, those layoffs are increasing in many states.
The stock market is up, but was it a "sucker's rally"?
The stock market still has big hurdles to clear. You can have a jobless recovery, but you can't have a profitless recovery. Consider: Earnings are subpar, Treasury's last auction was a bust because of weak demand, the dollar is suspect, the stimulus is pork, the latest budget projects a $1.84 trillion deficit, the administration is berating investment firms and hedge funds saying "I don't stand with them," California is dead broke, health care may be nationalized, cap and trade will bump electric bills by 30% . . . Shall I go on?
Unfortunately, we seem to have a President who believes in the inherent evil of profits.
Gasoline has jumped to a 6 month high, rising an average of 16 cents per gallon during the last week. It's up about 20 cents here in Oklahoma City. Waiting for Congressional investigations to begin any day now ...
After meeting with health care officials, President Obama announced a plan to save $2 trillion in health care costs over the next ten years, which somehow is supposed to pave the way for his proposed "major health care reform" (i.e. nationalized medicine). This sounds a lot like Obama's now-infamous promise to "cut the deficit in half" ... after his administration quadrupled it.
Finally, the Obama Administration has published a detailed summary of its new tax proposals, including measures aimed at reducing "lost" tax revenue. There are, of course a number of tax rate increases, but the biggest burden imposed by these new rules is the amount of red tape and paperwork that will be required of businesses, both large and small, including rental property owners, and the self-employed. The additional money collected through these measures will be used to fund a new $630 billion "health reform reserve fund." On the bright side, at least the Obama Administration is figuring out how to pay for this spending boondoggle. Now for all the others ...