The jobless rate remains above 9% nationwide, with a projected 17% of the U.S. populace either unemployed or underemployed, and is expected to remain at that level through November. On ThursdayObama signed a bill that extended unemployment benefits to (according to the AP) “several hundred thousand” people whose benefits have expired. They will be receiving payments retroactively. In the same week, new jobless claims rose for a second straight week, boosting the “seasonally adjusted” rise in claims to 484,000. Although there are some indicators that the economy has inched towards recovery, with consumer spending up with factory production, these are modest gains which are setback by the continual layoffs.
As the tax base further erodes, (current estimates are that 47% of the tax base pay no taxes at all, and with the Earned Income Credit (those making less than $48,000 annually) are able to receive refunds that allow for an additional $3,000 to $5,000 “bonus”. Add to that the 9.7% nationwide average of those receiving unemployment benefits (and not counting those who have fallen off the “roll”), the number of those not paying taxes into the system (tractable) rises to 56.7%, leaving the balance of taxpayer to attempt to foot the bill. The word “unsustainable” is appropriate in this case, as with recovery uncertain, this percentage of those paying taxes, will further decline.
Unless and until government spending is brought under control and incentives to larger corporations as well as small businesses to once again invest in the United States are instituted, this trend should continue unabated. The solution that has worked in the past, from Kennedy to Reagan to George W. Bush – tax cuts across the board, must be reintroduced in order to provide such incentive to both those that employee and the consumer. Dolling out earned income credits once a year to almost half of the population will indeed, see consumer spending spike temporarily, however, this is spending based on monies from the Federal pocketbook, rather than sustained earnings from the private sector.
The options before the American public are clear, as the path grows increasingly uncertain – exercise the privilege of voting in November and research the candidate to be sure that individual is a true fiscal conservative, and one that is not so far vested in their political party (so-called Blue Dog Democrats that almost to a man(or woman) voted for the Budget Reconciliation Act that brought the Health Care Reform Bill and the takeover of the Student Loan Industry to fruition in one fell swoop) that they will not fear bucking the status quo by voting down increased spending, voting for tax cuts, and pledging to their constituents that “pork projects” will be put on hold indefinitely. The addition of a pledge to attempt to overhaul the IRS, cut the fat, and make the code “simple” and fair across the board would be another test of sanity in a prospective office holder. (Additionally, those in favor of sending the Health Care Reform Bill back to the drawing board, to make sure it includes specific real cost savings measures such as tort reform and allowing citizens to purchase coverage across state lines – are worth more at the ballot box). Unless and until voters are willing to send a strong message, and choose candidates that will deliver, this situation will continue unabated. How to research: Simply
Google who is running for (name your congressional district, and or state house or senate district,) in 2010, should that not produce any results, go to the Federal Election Commission website to find out who is running in your state. Another useful tool is Open Secrets.org a site which allows one to research where a candidates money is coming from. This information allows one to better understand who their Representative is most popular with, the people or the special interest groups. Further, to research how a member votes, merely visit: Thomas Library of Congress