Michigan, along with most of the states, is bankrupt. The unemployment of the state is also spiraling out of control and may now reach 20 percent
California has a $26 billion budget shortfall.
Currently, forty-one states in the U.S. are facing budget shortfalls.
Welcome to Europe.
I wonder if it's a coincidence that the states in the worst financial shape are big-time union states and impose a state income tax?
Right to work states which are more friendly to workers, corporations, land owners, etc..., are faring much better than their counterparts.
However, as job seekers finally leave states like Michigan, you can bet they'll be headed all over the place looking for jobs, which will raise the unemployment level of other states.
Meanwhile, we have Congress and the White House spending more money than ever while also borrowing more money than ever. And when I say more money than ever, I mean in the history of man kind.
What good is it doing?
People in towns experiencing growth of any kind should be on their knees thanking God and praying it continues. No one knows how this will play out, but I suspect growth of any kind while maintaining reasonable unemployment rates is impressive.
With the economic gloom hanging around and the government breaking it's neck trying to "fix" everything, questions are finally being asked about support for small businesses. As a small business owner trying to keep his head above water, this interests me greatly.
While everyone agrees that small businesses are "the backbone" of the economy, they've only been mentioned at a minimum by the Obama Administration.
Outside of some interest-free loans from the Small Business Administration, many of these businesses, which are usually not in the business of wanting or needing government assistance, are just as deserving as the larger business up the food chain in which they depend on.
In other words, if your business makes GM specific auto parts and Government Motors is no longer buying from you because of measures THEY took, what recourse do you have?
Government intervention in the business world has repercussions we'll be feeling for decades. Talk about a lack of an exit strategy.
Anyhow, back to small businesses: the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) originally had $700 billion appropriated. Of that amount, the SBA has the authority to provide $17.5 billion in loans for 2009. Through June, the SBA had loaned $6 billion.
Of course the vast majority of small businesses have received no funds and will probably never receive any. Many may not want it.
What most small business owners are concerned about is taxes on their bottom line. That's certainly what will help determine the number of employees I have.
Businesses are taxed in a variety of ways. With the overall tax burden on a small business as high as it is, it evaporates the profit margin. Throw in large jumps in the minimum wage and a poor economy, and something has to break.
In 2005, a study concluded that individuals and businesses spent an estimated 6 billion hours and $265 billion dollars complying with their tax obligations. Compliance costs are predicted to grow to $482.7 billion by 2015.
As more Americans turn to entrepreneurship to start a new career or to boost their incomes, our 3.7 million word tax code is brutal for small businesses and home-based enterprises that operate on thin profit margins.
Which brings me back to my original thought: A huge government really does not solve much. It is expensive and continues to get in the way of itself.
Right now, at this moment in history, what we need is a thrifty government which operates lean and efficiently and sees a smaller tax burden as a sound investment leading to job creation and lower jobless rates.
Officials try and blame lack of oversight as one of the problems leading up to the collapse of the economy. I don't think it was a lack of oversight. It is probably because imbeciles like Barney Frank were doing the overseeing.
Democrats continue to Blame President Bush for the economy. That's fine and dandy. But, they have been in power in both the House and Senate since 2006. If Bush is to blame, so are the parties in power.
I think it's times like these where common sense is supposed to prevail. I'm guessing the one who coined that phrase was probably thinking the majority of our national elected officials had some to begin with.
Copyright 2009 by Christopher Blackburn