Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans. It is time for my weekly update for dissemination to all of you.
For starters, we received yet another very disappointing monthly jobs report from the United States Department of Labor this past Friday, with a mere drop in unemployment from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent. I'm sure there are plenty on the other side who will look at this dismal drop as some kind of sign of success or economic turnaround, however the underlying truth is quite telling. The facts are that 368,000 Americans are simply no longer counted, and are considered "discouraged," and it is the only reason why the number dropped at all in the first place.
Our great nation created 96,000 jobs in the month of August, and we actually had a downward revision of 41,000 from the jobs report of June and July. This is an abject failure in leadership.
America is now coasting through 43 months of unemployment at or above 8 percent. We are at a 31-year low for workforce participation rate, at 63.5 percent. The true level of unemployment, based on the "U6 computation rate" (which includes unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged workers) is now at 14.7 percent, climbing more than 3 percentage points since President Barack Obama took office, at 11 percent.
In South Florida, we have unemployment rates below the national average. Nine percent of Palm Beach County residents are out of work, 9.8 percent of Martin County residents are looking for a job, and a whopping 12.8 percent of people in St. Lucie County are without work.
We are seeing gold prices skyrocket now that the Federal Reserve is about to initiate a third quantitative easing policy, after the first two were not productive. This means we will be printing more money with hopes of stimulating economic growth. The downside is that it will have an adverse effect on the dollar's value.
American families are seeing an atmosphere of inflation at the grocery store and the gas station. All of this, while median family incomes have dropped between 2.6 percent and 4 percent.
This is the middle class the liberal progressives state they want to protect:
The number of Americans on food stamps rose this past week to 47 million.
More than 9.3 million Americans are in poverty, a 46-year high.
The debt of America eclipsed the $16 trillion plateau this past week, including almost $5.5 trillion in new debt in just over three-and-a-half years under President Obama.
This is the worst economic recovery in the past 40 years. It is no time for excuses. Our Gross Domestic Product is growing at an incredibly anemic 1.5 percent. With scores like this, most teams would look at changing the quarterback.
Our deficits have not been cut in half as promised. In fact, our deficits have exploded from what was a record high under the last year of George W. Bush's presidency at $458 billion to $1.42 trillion, $1.29 trillion, $1.3 trillion, and an estimated $1.1 trillion for this year.
No more "shovel-ready" nation-building at home gimmicks are needed at this time. We don't the federal government hiring more teachers, which incidentally, I thought was one of the objectives of the nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.
Our national security and foreign policy is no better off either as we continue down the road towards the Obama Administration defense cuts known as "sequestration," which will decimate our Armed Forces. Canada's diplomats are leaving Iran and expelling the Iranian diplomats, a telltale signal. Egypt is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
A Russian attack submarine went undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for almost two months. Hezbollah has training bases in Latin America.
Many do not realize that 70 percent of casualties in Afghanistan have happened over these last three and a half year. Yet, we are just now declaring the Haqqani network as a terrorist group.
Our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, finds itself surrounded on all fronts by enemies and met with a lack a clear support from the Obama Administration.
These are critical times, these issues are serious and the picture is not rosy. There is an alternative plan and I have often presented it on these pages. The point is that we cannot continue on this road to perdition.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B. West