Friday, May 21, 2010

Reality Check: Not time to celebrate just yet

Some positive news was reported yesterday about job growth and while we here at The Capitol View are happy to see more people going back to work, we’re not na├»ve to think we’re out of the woods just yet. In fact, also being reported yesterday was the fact that jobless claims rose by the largest amount in 3 months. While we may be perceived as being the bearer of bad news, we believe it is important to remind the general public that times remain tough.

Despite gaining jobs in April, which the Governor Patrick and his sidekick Tim Murray are taking credit, we think it’s important to look at this in the context of other economic indicators.

• Since Governor Patrick took office (January 2007), 163,800 jobs were lost
• Total merchandise exports have gone down 0.4% from the last quarter (Fourth Quarter 2009)
• Business and consumer bankruptcies are up 8% from the last quarter (Fourth Quarter 2009)
• Average Single Family property tax bill increased by 10%; from $3,962 in FY07 to the current $4,354

These are not numbers in which Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray should be proud. Before the global economic crisis began, Massachusetts was a state in which it should have been able to weather even the most horrific storm. Unfortunately, it was still sunny when Governor Patrick began his all out assault on a nearly $2 billion rainy day fund. Now it’s pouring and there’s very little left in what was a very comfortable safety net.