Don't Believe the Hype

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I, for one, could use a break from all the bullshit the government is trying to pass off on us. It’s toying with the American psyche and causing mass confusion from top to bottom. Every person, every corporation and every layer of government is living off the fat of the stimulus package and acting as though everything is OK.

Americans clearly believe that things are looking up, as consumer spending rocketed back for the month of August. Despite near-double-digit unemployment, factories running at fractional capacity, historic foreclosure rates and an expensive double-down bet in Afghanistan, the American consumer peeked out of the hole and didn’t see its shadow.

Congratulations America, the recession is over! Why do we think it’s over? Because the Fed said so. How clever. Look what our government can do when it pumps $800 billion of our children’s dollars into the economy in just a few short months—instant confidence. Don’t get me wrong, bully for the retail sector, but in the meantime, local, state and federal government are sneaking up behind us with black masks on and revolvers at our backs.

Take, for example, Nassau County, which now taxes energy consumption in our homes, gives us tickets for rolling right on red and fills in budget gaps with federal stimulus money. County Executive Tom Suozzi claims he can now magically hold the line on taxes even though budgeting to increase spending (amazing) while waiting on revenue-generating items that require approval from the (incompetent) New York State Legislature. Here’s the worst part:  Most of us are going to buy into this and probably put this guy back in office in November.

Not only did Suozzi raise our taxes an egregious 19 percent at the start of his term, but he stepped into the largest sales tax receipts in Nassau County history. In short, the two biggest reasons for revenue growth during the past eight years were from the same source: the taxpayer. Even though he campaigns on having reduced waste and abuse, he spends far more than the Gulotta administration did in 2001, and has taken on so much debt that it can no longer be serviced. During the good years, when he was flush with and drunk on our tax dollars, he blew it all.

Giving Suozzi this money was like giving your pension to your degenerate uncle and sending him to Vegas. He put it all on black but it came up red and now we’re fucked.

Instead of paying down debt, he took on more. Instead of addressing the broken tax certiorari process, he let it ride and made law firms rich on our backs. His answer to everything is to point the finger at Albany, which is like blaming the stupid kid in class for making you dumber. Albany’s answer to the crisis: tax our fishing permits, soda, bottled water, cell phones, bridges, tunnels, stores, gas, smokes; whatever they can get their grubby hands on. Now that state and local government have exhausted the taxpayers’ stash, they look to get a fix from the federal government and inject stimulus money into their collapsing municipal veins.

Unfortunately, Congress is a little strung out itself from arguing over a $900 billion healthcare bill that does everything but address the real issues with the healthcare system. A bill that screws doctors, small business owners and patients who already have health coverage in order to protect pharmaceutical companies against generic drug manufacturers and keep private insurance companies busy processing paperwork. Maybe they should have a death panel that euthanizes every Senator that passes this piece of garbage.

Hopefully the healthcare bill will fund treatment for our addiction to stimulus money because it’s dulling our senses and making us immune to some outrageous happenings in government. When $800 billion in bailout money and $900 billion on bad healthcare seem like no big deal, you know we have lost touch with reality. When local government starts taxing the energy we use in our homes, the fish we pull from the sea, and water without a peep from the taxpayer, we have slipped into a coma.

And if we believe that this recession is over because the Fed said so, just sign the DNR form now.

Author: Jed Morey

Jed Morey is the publisher of the Long Island Press, LI's Cultural Arts and Investigative News Journal. The Press has a monthly circulation of 100,000, and www.longislandpress.com, welcomes more than 500,000 unique visitors every month. He serves on the board of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Nassau County, as well as the President's Council of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island. In addition to the contributions on this blog, Morey authors a column for the Long Island Press titled "Off The Reservation" and is a staunch advocate for Indian rights. The column was voted Best Column in New York by the NY Press Association in 2010 and third overall in the nation among alternative publications by the Association of Alternative Weeklies in 2012. Morey lives in Glen Cove with his wife, Eden White, and their two daughters.

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