1831- TEA PARTY?
So the other day we had a few more primary elections- and the big news was the Dick Lugar loss [Repub from Indiana].
Lugar was the longest serving senator in congress- 6 terms.
He got booted by a Tea Party guy- and the media made it sound like D day.
I mean the nonstop talk about the country being taken over by the extreme right- that Lugar was such a fine man- who was punished because he voted [often!] with Obama.
It’s funny- whenever the Democrats have a big win- a ‘take over’ it gets described as a wonderful choice that the country has made- a true generational paradigm shift.
When the President got elected- and the Dems took the house and the senate- by huge majorities- you even had conservative media Folk describing it this way [Cokie Roberts].
Yet when the right side of the aisle do a sweep- it’s the country throwing a ‘tantrum’ [yes- the main line news described it this way when the Repubs took back the house in the mid terms].
I’m not a Tea Partier- or an occupier- but from what I see the Tea Party folk are simply people who want fiscal restraint.
They have no ideological social agenda- just for the govt. to not spend more than it takes in.
Okay- sincere people might have a disagreement on this- but to describe any organized grass roots group- who are simply fiscal conservatives- to talk about them as a dangerous movement that might bring the Republic down- well that seems to be a bit much.
Well- I hate to say it [not really] but I ‘told you so’.
Yeah- if you go back and read my posts over the last 6 months- I felt like too many financial guys were hyping the chances for a strong recovery this year.
I even mentioned that Larry Kudlow- a straight shooter [business guy] was talking 3% growth for this year.
I said I thought it would be more like 2.
Now- both of these numbers are actually terrible!
But 3 would be better than 2.
Last night he changed his prediction- yeah- 2.
To me there really should be no surprise- when the Dow was at 13,200- I simply thought people were ignoring the reality on the ground.
This morning it opens at a little over 12,800- and I think the ‘real’ number should be in the low 12,ooo’s.
When we kicked off the year- some analysts were hoping for new job growth to be at around 250,000 jobs a month.
You need this many- every month- for a few years before the economy can truly recover.
So- we did have a few months at this number- and there was some good economic news as well- so I thought maybe I was wrong- maybe the E.U. crisis will not be as bad- and if everything goes good- more power to ya.
But then the month before last something happened- the new jobs number was a little over 100,000- not good.
All the talking heads gave their views- and it was possible that the number was a fluke [Sandra?]
But no- the number for last month has come out- again- a little over a 100,000.
The reason you need around 250,000 a month to really move the needle is because every month we have over 100,000 new people enter the job market.
These are people that just turned working age and are new to the market.
So- if you are barley covering jobs for them- or are a little under- in reality the unemployment goes up- not down.
But we have seen the number go down [from 8.2 to 8.1].
How can this be?
The way we calculate unemployment is by the amount of people who are actually looking for jobs.
So- if 300,000 people drop out of the hunt- then the number goes down on paper- when in reality it should go up.
So- it looks like we might be stalling again.
The E.U. zone problems are still there- and they are our biggest market.
As a matter of fact- the 17 nations that make up e.u. are the biggest economy in the world.
So- if they are our biggest customer- and if they are in trouble- we are too.
Just this past week 2 E.U. countries voted out the leaders that wanted austerity [cut spending] and put in guys who want to spend money they don’t have.
What does this mean?
It means if they keep going down this road they will be facing a depression- and it looks like the ‘cut back spending’ people are all on their way out.
So- as we see a slowing down in our country- and a continuing disaster with our biggest trading partner- well these things are not the recipe for a real recovery- and the insiders know it.
‘John- do you think we will be able to deal with our debt/deficit’?
These past few weeks as I have flipped the news/business channels- I have seen the Dems go point by point thru the Repubs budget- and at every point where they wanted to cut- they said ‘they want to cut your kids from free lunch- the elderly from their food [meals on wheels]’.
I just heard Matthews [MSNBC] say ‘how can you vote for cuts that when someone’s mother goes to the hospital for an operation- and you cut their Medicare and the doctor says- sorry- because of the Repubs- you must die’.
Now- if the Dems keep playing this game- if they do not try and deal with a very real problem- if they politicize it like this- then yes- we will be just like Greece in a few more years.
Now- I’m not saying I support the Ryan plan out of hand- but we need something fairly close.
Some say his plan does not cut the debt fast enough.
Either way- the number 1 crisis facing the country right now is our exploding debt- and the most notable organized group- who has actually organized around this problem- is the Tea Party.
While I am not a hard right type of guy- and do have some social justice issues that I support [I do not want to kick kids and grandma out on the street] yet- if the most prominent ‘right wing’ group is actually nominating people who will do something about the number one problem our country is facing.
Then maybe we should stop throwing up our hands and talking about the end of the world- maybe- just maybe- it might be what the doctor ordered.
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