Scary

That trend looks like it would sharply continue, doesn’t it?
Thankfully, that trend did not continue.

The chart shows job growth, if you haven’t guessed.
Lets look at GDP.

Normally, our two economies (UK and US) move together.
After the 2008 crisis and recession, though – UK’s economy grew much slower.
What about other countries?

So what was it that allowed us to reverse the bad job growth trend?
What has our economy growing faster, compared to the UK?

The UK enacted austerity measures in a foolish attempt to reduce their deficit – but by doing that they also cut their revenue and shrank their economy.
We only were able to pass a single jobs bill with the (R) insanity in congress.

Obama’s stimulus got 3 (R) votes, making it the only jobs bill (R)’s have allowed to pass in his entire presidency to this point.

Right Wing Nutty Yahoo

A new poll today on yahoo finance (not a thinker’s site).

“In the wake of the Washington state bridge collapse, would you support a tax hike for infrastructure projects?”

A reasonable person would say either a) “yes” b) “move some money away from our war machine”

Yahoo’s most common answer by a wide margin?

“We need to invest in infrastructure, but don’t raise taxes”

Right wing dumbasses never want to pay for anything.
Then they whine about the deficit those choices impact.

Are any of the right wing’s “scandals” based on reality?

IRS scandal – they are REQUIRED to do due diligence on organizations that want tax exempt status.
And in the end, they refused that status to no tea party groups.
That is against the law.
The real scandal is that the IRS does not follow the law.

Benghazi – this is entirely fox fake news and (R) hysteria. There is no scandal here.

some older “scandals”

Green Investments – only 5 of 63 loans have failed. better rate than many commercial investment lenders.

Born in Kenya – monumentally stupid.

Bowed to other world leaders. Oh no! (R) presidents never did that! snicker.

Apologized for America – Nope. Fiction.

How the deficit has progressed under Obama

FY2009: 1.4 trillion
FY2010: 1.3 trillion
FY2011: 1.3 trillion
FY2012: 1.1 trillion
FY2013: 0.6 trillion

Those numbers look even better when you adjust for inflation (which I’m not going to do for you).

And what do idiot conservatives parrot?
“Obama tripled the deficit”

LMAO.

The deficit before Obama took office was 1.2 trillion.
The stimulus which got only 3 (R) votes, added about 150 billion to that first year’s deficit, and a bit more to the next two years, for a total near 800 billion before adding tax revenue generated as a result.

The deficit is expected to be 0.6 trillion for this year.

The deficit has been cut in half using nominal dollars.
Its even better inflation adjusted or deficit to GDP (10% to 4.2%)

Right wing nutty yahoo

This poll was in yahoo’s financial section, which you wouldn’t think would be filled with morons.

What would you like to see out of any potential tax reforms?

Make a flat tax (57173)
73%

Steeper sliding scale (8171)
10%

Increase the sales tax (2625)
3%

Raise corporate taxes (9914)
14%

Lets let an economist explain why a flat tax would be worse for the middle class and poor.

PAUL KRUGMAN: A flat tax would either (a) be much higher for most people than the tax they currently pay or (b) raise much less revenue than the current system.

I probably don’t need to explain why (a) would be bad.
(b) means a bigger annual budget deficit, which cons have pretended to fiercely care about since 2009.

Of course, this is another case of the right-wing propagandists at yahoo doing their worst.
“steeper sliding scale” .. wtf do they mean by that? I expect that means raise taxes on the rich to a more historically normal rate, but its hard to say. This is the answer that any rational adult would pick.

Increasing your savings

If you’d like to increase the amount you save each month, you’d either increase your income or reduce your expenses.

If there’s not an obvious way to increase your income, reducing your expenses typically isn’t hard.

Switching to LED bulbs can reduce your electricity expenses.

Soon, solar rooftop systems will be less expensive than grid power and there are companies like Sunpower and Solar City that will help finance zero down systems.

Grow your own food.
I didn’t realize, but a typical family can easily eat $200 of tomatoes per year.

Get some decent heirloom seeds, some decent soil, and maybe build a sub-irrigation container (like the earthtainer) – you’ll use less water and fertilizer.
For fertilizers, it may be best to go organic, but I’m a fan of simple and the slow-release fertilizers (like osmocote plus) would likely only need to be used once in a year.
As an alternative, Jack’s Classic has a good water soluble fertilizer and their own slow-release.

Or get some apple trees, which should provide fruit for years. My family has apples, oranges, lemons and more than typically don’t even get fertilized after established.

Typically I like food that other people have prepared.
But I do like food that I’ve grown, even if its typically a food I don’t care for (spinach).

Anything you can shave off your expenses helps, and growing your own food assures you’ll only be poisoned by the insecticides you use.

In the realm of safe investments, check out solar mosaic.
The yield isn’t much at 4.5%, but that’s a lot better than what you’d get having your money sit in a bank.
I think the yield ends up being closer to 3.5%, actually, after the site’s fee.
Plus, your money would help fight pollution.

Reviewing Solar Stocks

Back in November, I recommended Sunpower (SPWR) and First Solar (FSLR).

At the time, SPWR was $4 / share.
Its now $15 / share.

If you’d invested $10,000 6 months ago, you’d have $37,500 today.

First Solar at the time was $24.
Its now $44.
You’d nearly have doubled your money, in 6 months.

These are american companies employing american workers and their product cuts down on the need to continue polluting.