Economic recovery seems to be the hot topic right now, but is this actually happening or is the government being overly optimistic in order to prevent panic? When the recession officially ended the public was told that things were turning around. Many doubt this view though, and point out that years later there are still many Americans who can not find work and a record deficit that ballooned due to stimulus measures and government spending. Investors are extremely cautious and a large number believe that things have not turned around yet. There have been some signs of improvement, but these are not as extensive as they should be. There are also questions about the data released by Washington, with some claiming that the administration is playing fast and loose in order to boost the numbers.
One area of concern is the new jobs created and the number of those who are still unemployed. When monthly reports are released these are portrayed to be accurate, but then the following month the figures change due to updated information and system tweaks. Those who have given up and left the job market are not counted in the unemployment tables, and that means that many are not represented in the official totals.
The Affordable Healthcare Act has also been blamed for a sluggish economy and little evidence of recovery. This bill was so big that Congressional and Senate leaders talked about passing it just to find out what it contained. There are provisions which raise tax rates, and an insurance mandate that has financial penalties for those who do not have current insurance coverage. Companies may be taxed or fined, depending on whether they offer coverage to employees or not. A number of businesses have started to cut back on the hours an employee can work in order to avoid these triggers, and most are not hiring until they know what will happen in the near future.
Gold as a retirement vehicle and an investment choice has become very popular, in part because of the intrinsic value that it offers. The Federal Reserve has been enacting stimulus spending that has not boosted economic activity or consumer spending, and this just adds to the deficit that Americans face. Right now Washington DC is completely dysfunctional, and the view that the leaders have on the economy would be funny if it was not so frightening. Instead of focusing on the good of the country and the people both sides seem determined to get re-elected by any means necessary.
In spite of the fact that media reports and statistics show that we are still in big trouble the current administration continuously talks about the recovery we are seeing. Maybe in the capital they see things differently, because for the middle class and those who work hard for a small income there has not been a change for the better. If anything the recent payroll tax hike and other measures to raise revenue that President Obama approves of may have hurt what little economic improvement we have seen so far.