» Oh yeah: The next temporary deal could include restrictions that limit how and when the budget can be used – such as, for example, no money spent on the new health care law. Hrm.
» Not all is rosy in Bailoutville: One of the biggest issues we still face are the dual sinkholes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have reportedly cost taxpayers $150 billion and we like to think of as dual sinkholes. And some legislators feel that the effect has set us up for having to bail out unsuccessful companies in the future.
» But don’t get too excited. While lower taxes may sound nice on paper, the real reason for this drop isn’t as much due to policy changes as it is the recession. See, people (and corporations) are making a whole lot less money than they were a few years ago; hence, they’re paying less in taxes. And that sucks for just about everybody involved. However, Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota places a lot of the blame on our nation’s tax code itself, calling it a “simply indefensible” policy that’s “hemorrhaging revenue.” Still, our primary focus should probably be on pulling our economy out of the toilet. Then we can fix the tax code.
» Explaining exactly what happened: We’ve seen three perfectly valid arguments for why this disparity between slow job growth and deep unemployment decline took place. The first is pointed out by a Gallup chart that shows that non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment is actually at 9.8 percent – suggesting seasonal adjustment is skewing the numbers. The second suggested reason is much more sinister-sounding: Unemployment benefits for so-called 99ers are starting to run out, and they aren’t looking for jobs, meaning that they are no longer covered as part of the total amount. Finally, the weather sucked in January, with snow covering most of the country, so that could be a possible explanation too. So, which one is the case, anyway?