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.
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.
Sorry, back to the data...
Tax revenues don't lie.
Posted by The Short Story Man at 5:11 AM