Greetings to our constituents, fellow Floridians, and indeed all Americans. It is Friday, October 19th and it is time to prepare our weekly update for dissemination.
Over the last few weeks, the nation has been focused on the events in Libya and the state of our nation's foreign policy. I wrote an editorial on that very subject published in Human Events on October 9th, entitled "Looking the Other Way: President Obama's Dangerous Foreign Policy." Please click here to read, as I dive into many areas in detail as to what the President is failing to do, and what I believe must be done differently to keep Americans safe.
Also this week, we have been once again reminded of some disturbing economic trends in America. First of all, we had an increase in first-time jobless claims up to 388,000. This is a clear indicator that we are far from out of the woods, and again makes one wonder how we went from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent unemployment in the last month while the workforce participation rate and U6 employment computation rate (unemployed, underemployed and discouraged) remained unchanged.
In South Florida, we have unemployment in Broward County at 7.5 percent (the only bright spot), Palm Beach County at 9.6 percent, Martin County at 9.7 percent, and St. Lucie County at 12.2 percent. If the same difference between the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national unemployment and U6 national figures of 7 percent was applied, we would be looking at true rates ranging from 15 percent-19 percent including unemployed, underemployed, and unaccounted, discouraged workers.
As well, recent foreclosure statistics have now placed Florida at number one in the country and our own St. Lucie County in the top two for the State of Florida. We have so much to rectify.
For those who still refuse to believe we are witnessing a massive growth of the nanny-state government, we learned this week that welfare spending in America has increased by some 34 percent during this Obama Administration. This is why I have said on more than one occasion that we are seeing the battle between the opportunity society and the dependency society. The former promotes the fundamental Constitutional Conservative premise of limited government. The latter is rooted in the beliefs of the liberal progressive socialist welfare state.
Another key factor that gives credibility to the notion that our economy is not recovering, is the horrific monetary policy being enacted. We are now in what is called "Quantitative Easing III" (QE III). Actually, we are in QE III.5 because in between two and three there was something called "Operation Twist" which involved the purchase and sale of United States Treasury bonds in an attempt to lower longterm interest rates.
At this moment, the United States Federal Reserve is printing money in order to buy up our own debt to the tune of nearly $40 Billion a month, with no declared end stated. I find it interesting that we can tell the Taliban when we are leaving Afghanistan, but we cannot predict when we shall stop printing more money.
I thought the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of 2008 was supposed to buy up the bad mortgage securities that poisoned our financial industry. Yet, here we are four years later still printing money to buy up the debt related to these assets.
In addition, we have interest rates at artificially low levels, just 0.25 percent at my last check. Yet, our financial institutions are not lending money to help small businesses expand and as a result our economy is stuck on an anemic 1.3 percent GDP growth.
It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize none of this is adding up. President Obama is just not equipped to articulate why, and he doesn't understand how to resolve this. It certainly is not about "taxing the wealthy."
This past weekend, gasoline prices in some parts of California hit $6.00 for Supreme Unleaded. Is this to be the new normal?
Remember, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) does not take into account fuel and food prices. If it did, combined with our printing currency, we would probably realize we are in a state of inflation.
The news is not good. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B West