Free Markets, Free People

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Economic Statistics for 3 Jan 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.3 points this week to -31.8, an 8-month high.

Chain stores are reporting December sales today, and it seems to be a mixed bag, as some retailers are lowering earnings guidance, while others are raising it. Many report the month got off to a slow start, forcing retailers to offer greater discounts.

The MBA reports that mortgage applications fell -21.6% last week, with purchases down -14.8% and refinancings down -23.3%.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report shows only 32,556 layoffs in December, the lowest since August.

The ADP Employment Report shows a strong 215,000 gain in private payrolls for December. We’ll see if that’s reflected in tomorrow’s Employment Situation.

Initial claims for unemployment rose 10,000 last week, to 372,000. The 4-week moving average rose 3,250 to 360,000, Continuing claims rose 44,000 to 3.245 million. The improvement last week is now gone due to a sharp revision upward 12,000  to 362,000.

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And now the “rich” will pay…

I hate to say “I told you so”, but it isn’t just the rich who will be paying increased taxes. And what should be clear to anyone with the I Q of a turnip, is that this will cost people their jobs.

The compromise called for taxes to rise to 39.6% from 35% on personal income above $400,000. In a 2011 study, the Treasury Department found that raising taxes on incomes over $500,000 would affect roughly 750,000 small businesses organized as S-Corps, partnerships and other small entities.

Of course, you remember the Democrats claiming that this wouldn’t affect small businesses. Well, that was a flat out lie. But then we live in an era of lies which, if there political apparently, we’re willing to overlook. While most of us are. I just had to be one of those who isn’t.   Not that Democrats are the only political liars, but they seem to be the most prolific and the most blatant. Especially when it comes to budget, deficit, and financial matters. They are the quintessential “snake oil” salesman.

And they have sold us are huge bottle of snake oil.

Couple these tax increases with the Obamacare taxes that kicked in on the 1st, and you have two reasons for 750,000 small businesses not to hire. And you can bet none of them will go over 50 employees, and some may even reduce staff to get under that number.

These are your “rich”. They happen to be the “rich” would generate jobs, or what have, if they hadn’t been hit by two new taxes this year.

Your government at work.


Economic Statistics for 2 Jan 13

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a below-plan 2.9% increase from the previous year. ICSC-Goldman reports a relatively strong weekly sales increase of 0.6%, and a 2.7% increase on a year-over-year basis.

Construction spending in November fell -0.3%, though it was still 7.7% higher on a year-over-year basis.

The Markit Economics’ final December PMI Manufacturing Index is 54.0, up 1.2 points from November’s 52.8.

The ISM Manufacturing Index is a relatively weak 50.7 for December, but is still up more than a point from November’s 49.5.

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“Fiscal cliff deal”: 41:1 tax increase to spending cuts. Great job! [update]

In case you’re looking for an “fiscal cliff” bottom line, here it is in one sentence.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.

If there’s any good news in this “compromise” bill, it is that the Democrats will get their tax on the rich, and it will make absolutely no difference in the debt.

As we’ve been saying for years, it’s not a revenue problem, it is a spending problem.

In  fact going over the fiscal cliff is not been avoided, the chasm has just been deepened. Or said another way, the can has been firmly kicked down the road.

The word of the day?


UPDATE: In case you were wondering what this means in nice round numbers in terms of debt:

The fiscal cliff deal approved by Congress will increase deficits over the next decade by close to $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Like I said, in full sarcasm mode, “great job!”


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