As we approach the nation’s birthday on Saturday, it seems we have little to celebrate this year. The Bush administration focused more on the war on terror and on foreign policy, ignoring domestic affairs and we have been in a deep recession since late 2007.
The worst recession since the 1930s, as a matter of fact. A lot of families this 4th of July holiday will be strapped for cash. MSNBC reported today that the jobless rate in the nation fell to a 26 year high. On Wall Street, the employment news pulled stocks lower. The Dow Jones industrials lost about 175 points in afternoon trading, and broader indices also fell.
Things in California, where we live, are pretty bleak. Under Republican rule, the state declared a fiscal emergency to force lawmakers into a special session to tackle a state budget gap that has widened to $26.3 billion from $24.3 billion. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger, who promised that he would fund education at all costs, has allowed this to happen on his watch. Vendors and local agencies, who instead of payment will get “IOU” notes promising payment must be exasperated. Taxes have gone up.
On a personal note, things became clear to me how bad they were getting when summer school was slashed at Cal Poly where I had planned to spend part of my summer. Things have to get worse before they get better, but what will it take? Another stimulus by the federal government? Hilda Solis and President Obama should seriously consider it, people are having a hard time making ends meet.
Happy birthday America.