For the second straight week, the jobless rate has risen, confounding liberals and the media. The recession was supposed to be over, but I guess the people who do the hiring didn't get the memo.
I "doubt" that the recent health care legislation, with its new and confusing regulations and taxes on businesses has had any impact on the business sector and their decisions to hire, not hire or even lay off employees. Of course, we know that health care reform is going to balance the budget and save everyone tons of money.
A year ago, Dick Morris (whom I respect, but don't always agree with) predicted that the jobless rate would rise in response to the Generational Theft Act (stimulus) to around 10% nationally. He also predicted that it would stay near that rate for 2010 and perhaps beyond. Furthermore, he predicted that as we move into 2010 and 2011, we would begin to see an increasing rate of inflation that would trigger a second recession before we've even recovered from the first one.
While we've yet to see a significant amount of inflation, Morris' predictions usually tend to be pretty accurate. We've already seen gas prices rise, and the price of other goods and services usually trend upwards when gas prices go up because almost everything we buy is affected by the cost of fuel.
I'm not optimistic about our future. With the passage of health care reform, it appears the recession is going to extend into the foreseeable future, despite proclamations that it is over. We might as well get used to double digit unemployment. Unless we can reverse the damage O.B.A.M.,A. has done, it is likely to become the norm. Pollsters and other experts are backing off of predictions that the Republicans will take back the House and Senate. At best, they will neutralize the Democrats' majority, but it is highly unlikely they will get enough seats to pass their own agenda, let alone repeal any of what O.B.A.M.,A. has done (including health care).
Even looking forward to 2012, prospects aren't much better. Assuming we can get a Republican back in the White House, many of the front runners (including Huckabee and Romney) are far from conservative. They are in favor of many of the same programs and spending polices of the left, just to a slightly lesser degree.
Sorry for the "negative" post, today, but given that it's April 15 (Tax Day), perhaps some honest evaluation of where we are at economically is in order.