Economic hiccup: Gas prices, nonexistent tax cut are going to slow growth -- if we let them
OK, so the news is not really all that encouraging.
Although Americans saw their take home increase in general because of a withholding change, fewer Americans are actually responding to that income shift by spending more.
And the reason is simple -- nobody trusts that all this talk about an improving economy actually means anything -- especially when they look at what their state officials are saying.
There is going to be a comeuppance of sorts in the next few months. We are going to be confronted by the fact that all this stimulus spending, jobless benefit extensions and unfunded government pension plans are going to have to be dealt with -- and quickly.
There is no question that the gas prices shooting up in a week is not good news. And the fact that Americans are holding on to their money means we are all still way too nervous to venture into new projects.
But that does not mean all is lost.
What we need now is some reality. It is time to look hard at where we are spending and at some of the sacred cows we have ignored for all these years. We can cut back a little here and there and change how we look at government benefits, and save ourselves a lot of money.
Getting ourselves stable financially and getting people back to work is top priority -- and that means making sure business has the chance to boom and that waste and overblown government spending comes back into line.
That is how you turn negative news into a booming economy -- even if it hurts for a little while.
Published in Editorials on February 28, 2011 10:46 AM