After losing 63,000 jobs in the 29-day month of February, the current occupant was finally forced to admit there’s a problem with the economy. Gee, the total collapse of the housing market, the weakest dollar in modern times, and consumer confidence at 33 percent might be good indicators too.
“Losing a job is painful and I know Americans are concerned about our economy. So am I,” Bush said during a hastily arranged White House appearance on the heels of a gloomy government economic report that said employers slashed jobs by 63,000 in February, the most in five years.
The Labor Department’s report, released Friday, also showed that the nation’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.8 percent as hundreds of thousands of people — perhaps discouraged by their prospects — left the civilian labor force. The jobless rate was 4.9 percent in January.
“Turn out the lights. The party’s over. We are in a recession,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief U.S. economist at IDEAglobal in New York.
Don’t count on debt-laden households to spend their way back to growth. As for banks, they are preoccupied with cleaning up their balance sheets after seven months of credit turmoil, which means they are unlikely to throw open the cash spigots. The federal government is mired in debt as well.
Like I said, no one with any sense would think a tax rebate will do anything but deepen the hole we’re in. But Bush is a one-trick pony. Got a problem? A tax cut must be the answer.
“I know this is a difficult time for our economy,” he said. “But we recognized the problem early and we provided the economy with a booster shot.”
Congress passed and Bush signed a stimulus package that will send tax rebates to many families and businesses. But some fear it will come too late – or that people will use the money to save or pay off debt, rather than go on a spending spree that will boost the economy.
Bush gently urged people to do the latter. “When the money reaches the American people, we expect it to boost consumer spending,” he said.
Sorry Georgie. I’m putting it toward my car payment. The sooner I pay that off, the more I can put against my mortgage.
How about you? Are you planning to buy more cheap crap from China with your tax rebate or pay down your debt? Leave a comment; I’d like to know.