Monday, December 29, 2008

The economy I

The final week of 2008 has arrived. Actually, including today, there are only three days remaining. What a year it has been! Our economy, both nationally and locally, has all but gone into the sewer. Banks and other lending institutions have failed or gone into bankruptcy. Record setting fuel, both for our automobiles and our homes, have devastated our family incomes. We’ve elected a new President, and an historic selection that was.

In Maine, the state government has not received the money it expected in fees and taxes and so state agencies are faced with millions of dollars in shortfall revenues over the remainder of this fiscal year which ends June 30th and hundreds of millions for the next biennium.

Hundreds, probably thousands, of jobs have been lost in our state which further complicates the state’s revenue stream. Naturally, as the state is forced to cut its budget, the cuts trickle down into the local community budget. As local school and municipal budgets lose money from the state, both entities, the state and local, are faced with a bad choice: cut their local services or raise taxes.

That trickling down doesn’t stop with governments. Rising fuel costs caused rising prices in just every aspect of our lives. As a result, we’ve had to adjust our living standards to pay for those necessary goods and services we need for existence. We don’t have the ability to raise additional money.
This is all too complicated. Gator Golden believes all situations can be easily solved with just a good belly rub.

As our families have to adjust, their abilities to pay even slightly more taxes decrease which exacerbates the problems facing government. Maine is already among the highest taxed states and most of us simply can’t afford any more. Perhaps the overwhelming defeat in the ballot box of the last Legislature’s huge tax increase on beverages and insurance has sent messages to our state and local leaders that we cannot afford new taxes.

I doubt it.

Our socialistic Democrats love giving away your money to virtually anyone who seeks it. Over the years that’s how they’ve developed the voter base to keep getting elected. They will find it very difficult to cut those services which now are used by more than half of the state’s population and growing daily. They’ll have to raise taxes/fees to feed the ever increasing hunger for handouts.

Those increases will cause more and more businesses to cut back or close, causing more and more people to lose their incomes, causing more and more people to turn to the government for help. It’s a vicious cycle that will end when the source of funding ends.

There’s a lot more to this story, and we’ll continue tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I missed my personal blogging milestone last Friday. It was the one year anniversary of my posting. I’ve had 320 postings since I began and only missed designed Sunday posting and have made abbreviated ones on holidays. We’ve ranged from political rants to personal health, to little trips into the past, and to tales of my family. The biggest benefit to me has been the ability to keep my mind working; and when one reaches the advanced years, keeping the mind busy is as important as keeping the body busy. So, on we go.