Wednesday, January 6, 2010

State Tax Revenues

If the U.S. is experiencing economic growth (the end of recession by necessity is determined by economic growth) then why are state sales and income taxes down by record amounts in the first 3 quarters in 2009?

For the same reason you should let ME keep score should we ever play a round of golf together - never let reality stand between you and what someone wants to hear.

Economic growth and declining states tax revenues? These are mutually exclusive events, if one outcome is true than the other outcome cannot be true.

If you read on in the story you will find where most of the "stimulus money" went - it went to pay off state budgets in states that supported the current administration. This is not an attack on Obama - had McCain won he would have done the very same thing. This is an attack on our system (and those that actually believed that Obama had the chutzpah to really change anything).

The states are going broke because their tax revenues are declining while their payroll and pension benefits for municipal employees are rising. This is not a hard X and Y graph to configure, and its outcome is ineluctable.

And the hits keep coming...

The price of Oil is now back above $80. I read many reports that $80 is the magic number that will cause the U.S. to tip over into recession... well, sort of. The number the journalists where trying to put their pea brains around was the percentage of GDP spent on petroleum. As any reader of the AEC knows, total availability of Oil is down around 10% peak to trough (if you include ethanol as petroleum), and it was true that at the peak of availability $80 Oil would do the trick... my bet is that that number is now $88 per barrel or so (and if actual supply is not the culprit).... Oil is $83 now, so we are certainly in the danger zone.

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Every where you turn in the film media there is a new film, documentary, T.V. production... on the apocalypse. The History Channel has been running one depressing show after another all week about this, that, and the other thing one should do when the system breaks down. Its "2012" and "The Road" in the movies (2012 was good for some pop corn popping silliness; "The Road" did not do justice to the book and was so very disturbing and depressing - don't bring a date to that one as it will certainly kill any and every carnal desire).

It seems to me that there certainly is something in the air. A catch in the back of our collective throat, some kind of primal or animal instinct that is finding its relief in the media... What a fitting way for a fat, soft, bunch of weenies to express themselves in order to cope with some very adverse upcoming circumstances coming our way.

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Sorry, back to the data...

Tax revenues don't lie.




9 comments:

kathy said...

I was actually one of the people interviewed for the after-the-pandemic show air on the HC on Tuesday night.I don't generally watch that station. Is it always like this? They could just rename it the apocalypse station.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I am sorry I missed your cameo!

Is it on youtube anywhere?

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Maybe I did see it between diaper changes and bottles and baths and just did not connect it...

Greg T. Jeffers said...

But how cool is that that you were interviewd for that program?

kathy said...

It was a lot of fun. I guess I was the only one interviewed who was not comlpetely pessimistic about the future. I think it will be on again on Saturday night at 8:00. They tend to recycle these shows.

bureaucrat said...

Gee, I'm #6. And I thought you had 5 distinct commenters before me. Nope. :)

Three things ...

1) Yes, we Obama supporters that gave money to the man's campaign have been, thus far, bamboozled. We did not elect him to expand the wars and bailout the rich. We did not expect him to exile all the progressives in his administration to various bureaucratic Siberias and allow the Wall Streeters to take over the White House. We are sorry .. so far. But, Bill Clinton could really "change" on a political dime, so we have hope. :)

2) Please notice as time goes by how the need to find someone to blame for all this financial/energy mess becomes louder and louder, and no one is easier to blame than well-paid government employees (like me). Mish Shedlock has been mentioning his hatred of us every other day. Hitler had his Jews, and modern day talking heads have their public servants. We get paid a lot not to say anything. But just remember .. WAY MORE government money is going out to old people `(SS and Medicare) & rich people (Interest on Debt & Defense) from the Federal government, and to young people (Education) and disabled people (Human Services) from the state governments, than is EVER paid out in salaries and benefits to us poor civil servants.

3) People in general have absolutely nothing to do these days, escpecially the older and highly religious among us. The idea of the end of the world (so long as it doesn't REALLY happen :)) is tremendously exciting to those of us who kinda secretly hope the whole planet blows up. At least we'd be able to sleep more. :)

Anonymous said...

Bur,

The whole thing is cracking up. Rationalizing government employees' pay and pensions to economic reality would go some distance to prevent total collapse. That's about as likely to happen as restructuring of your 5 favorite spending programs. Hell, the 535 bozos on capitol hill are inventing new ways to spend even more money that NOBODY has every day. Mish is angry at them, their state and local counterparts and the government employees' unions. Not you, Bur. Geez, you are getting a complex.

Regards,

Coal Guy

bureaucrat said...

Yeah, I'm being paranoid. That's what everyone says just before they come after you. :)

Politically, everyone is just trying to get thru the day. That's pretty much the consensus for average people as their strategy too. Haha!

Anonymous said...

Bur,

Don't worry. You're one of them good bureaucrats.

Regards,

Coal Guy