Tag Archives: Consumer spending

Government or Business?

thomas-jefferson-big-government-quote

A review of history shows that smaller government and lower tax rates consistently prove more fiscally sound and achieve greater success at stimulating economies than do the big government, big spending policies of the current administration and fellow “progressive” Democrats.

The White House’s agenda is disastrous for economic growth and stability. Much of what the Oval Office occupier calls “tax cuts” are rewards for participating in an unproven, inefficient, unreliable “green energy” fairy tale.  To a large degree “green energy” has proven to be nothing more than a thinly veiled means of redistributing wealth from taxpayers to the administration’s “progressive” political cronies.

Despite misinformation coming from the White House, faithfully parroted by their willfully complicit co-conspirators within the “progressive” Party Pravda, a one-time annual tax credit of $5,000 to hire an employee that will cost a business far more in salary and benefits is not a tax cut.

When “properly” spun by the misleader in chief, reductions in the payroll tax for working people sound good, but in reality are further defunding the nearly bankrupt Social Security Ponzi scheme.

The government loaned hundreds of billions of dollars to banks. In exchange for those billions the government received preferred shares of stock in those banks. Holders of preferred stock are first in line for any dividends paid to shareholders. Since the banks must pay the government back, holders of common stock will be receiving no dividends. Everyday investors will not buy stock in those banks; instead they will sell their shares in order to use that capital on investments that pay a dividend. This is de facto nationalization of the banking system.

Stress testing banks requires them to maintain balance sheets that are deemed “acceptable” by unelected, unaccountable government regulatory bureaucrats.  In order to maintain those balances, banks are reluctant to lend money to small businesses, many of which are dependent on small loans from local banks to compensate for periodic income shortfalls experienced during normal business cycles.

If re-elected, the current White House occupant will continue to use class warfare as an excuse to reduce and eliminate taxes on political groups inclined to elect proponents of nanny state big government programs.  As envisioned by “progressives”, eventually a majority of Americans will no longer pay any taxes. Meanwhile, the administration will increase the tax burden on successful businesses and individuals; the rich who do not pay “their fair share”.  The majority of people will not care how high tax rates rise.  Since they will no longer be paying taxes, higher tax rates will not affect them.  As businesses fail under the added tax burdens, more people will be laid off and require government assistance.  This will create a huge underclass of Americans dependent upon government for survival who will exist under government control.  This is not coincidental.

Corporations don’t pay taxes. They pass the cost of those taxes on to consumers. The elimination of corporate taxes will lower the cost of goods to consumers and incentivize investments by individuals and investment groups. It will also eliminate the need for corporations to finance Congressional lobbying in pursuit of more favorable tax structures or the creation of additional tax loopholes.

A cut in business tax rates will leave more money in the hands of businesses that succeed, and help those businesses grow through the reinvestment of profit. A growing business has a need to hire new employees. Growing companies that are hiring workers instead of letting people go make employees more secure in their own economic future and thus more likely to engage in consumer spending.

A cut in personal income tax rates will help stimulate consumer spending, thus improving the demand side of the economic equation without cumbersome, inefficient, wasteful government spending that requires borrowing with interest or printing money, which fuels inflation.

It is abundantly clear which direction should be taken by the United States.  Will America recover by electing a successful businessman?  Or will the U.S. continue lurching “forward” in fits and starts until it collapses under the “stewardship” of an unqualified community organizer with a sketchy, predominantly hidden past who’s only business experience prior to seizing power was one real estate deal between himself and a convicted felon?

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U.S. Online Holiday Shopping Season Reaches Record $37.2 Billion for November-December Period

RESTON, Va., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — comScore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported that retail e-commerce spending for the entire November – December 2011 holiday season reached $37.2 billion, marking a 15-percent increase versus last year and an all-time record for the season. Ten individual shopping days this season surpassed $1 billion in spending, led by Cyber Monday – which ranked #1 for the second consecutive year – at $1.25 billion.

2011 Holiday Season To Date vs. Seasonally Equivalent Days in 2010

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

 

 

Millions ($)
2010 2011 Percent Change
November 1 – December 31 $32,359* $37,170 15%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) $407 $479 18%
Black Friday (Nov. 25) $648 $816 26%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 26-27) $886 $1,031 16%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) $1,028 $1,251 22%
Green Monday (Dec. 12) $954 $1,133 19%
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 16) $942 $1,072 14%

* 2010 data incorporates seasonal adjustment factor to account for different number of weekdays and weekends in 2010 and 2011. Actual (i.e. non-seasonally adjusted) 2010 number was $32.589 billion.

“The 2011 online holiday shopping finished with slightly more than $37 billion in spending, up about 15 percent versus year ago,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “With brick-and-mortar holiday retail estimated to have grown about 4 percent this year, it’s clear that e-commerce continues to gain market share from traditional retail due to the attractiveness of the Internet’s convenience and lower prices. Consumers were especially attracted to the deals and discounts available through digital channels – particularly free shipping, which occurred on well over half of transactions this season. Despite their continuing price sensitivity, consumers felt a bit more comfortable opening up their wallets this year, although this appears to have occurred as a result of a decline in the savings rate. Nonetheless, it’s clear that, at least on the basis of top line growth, this was a Merry Christmas for many online retailers. What will remain unknown until retailers report their financial year end results is whether the aggressive pricing and free shipping offers came at the cost of lower margins.”

Top 10 Online Spending Days of 2011 Holiday Season
Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 28) ranked as the heaviest online spending day of the year at $1.251 billion, the second consecutive year it has ranked #1 for the season. The 2011 holiday season was highlighted by ten individual spending days surpassing $1 billion in sales, as compared to just one day reaching that mark in 2010. The second heaviest spending day this season was Monday, Dec. 5 at $1.178 billion, followed by Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 12) at $1.133 billion. Tuesday, Nov. 29 ($1.116 billion) and Tuesday, Dec. 6 ($1.107 billion) rounded out the top five.

 

Billion Dollar Spending Days for 2011 Holiday Season

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Rank Date Spending in Millions ($)
1 Monday, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday) $1,251
2 Monday, Dec. 5 $1,178
3 Monday, Dec. 12 (Green Monday) $1,133
4 Tuesday, Nov. 29 $1,116
5 Tuesday, Dec. 6 $1,107
6 Friday, Dec. 16 (Free Shipping Day) $1,072
7 Tuesday, Dec. 13 $1,064
8 Wednesday, Nov. 30 $1,025
9 Thursday, Dec. 8 $1,024
10 Thursday, Dec. 15 $1,018

 

Consumer Spending Index Falls in November

NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2011  — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index (Index) slid again in November, weighed down primarily by the housing market.  The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

“A high number of foreclosed homes and mortgage defaults continue to deflate real home prices and further lower consumers’ net worth,” explained Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index.  “In recent months however, consumers have sustained their spending and the savings rate has declined, while real wages and employment growth remain stagnant.”

The Index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices — fell to 1.75 from an upwardly revised reading of 1.96 the previous month.  The Index is at the lowest level since April 2009.

“Many consumers are showing seasonal cheer when it comes to holiday shopping; however, they are also well-informed and making calculated decisions before buying,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail & distribution sector leader, Deloitte LLP.  “Retailers are increasing their staffing levels to provide a positive in-store experience and help consumers with their holiday shopping lists.”

“The retail sector added more people to their payrolls last month, showing the strongest November increase in retail jobs since 2007.  With more associates in the stores to provide one-on-one customer assistance, retailers may be able to increase shoppers’ basket size and conversion rates during an otherwise competitive season,” Paul added

Highlights of the Index include:

Tax Burden: The tax burden rose slightly to 11 percent.  While a rising tax burden is typically a sign of an improving economy, in this case it is likely more of a drag on spending as state and local governments began increasing taxes to address budgetary shortfalls.

Initial Unemployment Claims: Initial unemployment claims moved slightly lower to 405,200 after hovering around the 400,000 mark the past six months.

Real Wages: Real wage growth was stagnant this month as energy prices eased.

Real Home Prices: Real home prices fell sharply again this month and are down on average over the past three months 5.9 percent from a year ago.  The housing market appears to be contracting despite record low mortgage rates and the Federal Reserve’s effort to drop them even further.

U.S. Consumers Expect to Spend Same or Less in 2011 Holiday Shopping Season Due to Economy

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — A telephone survey conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults by Ipsos Public Affairs commissioned by Offers.com found that, given the state of the economy, 87 percent of respondents are planning to spend the same or less during the upcoming holiday season than they did in 2010.  The survey also found that almost half of consumers have been looking for deals throughout the year when shopping for those on their holiday gift list, while just 18 percent are planning to wait to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Only 48 percent plan to look for online coupons or coupon codes to stretch their holiday spending dollars before making a purchase.

Other highlights from the survey asked specifically about holiday shopping plans include:

  • 52 percent of respondents spend more than an hour researching the best price for each holiday purchase, while 7 percent of consumers report to spend more than 6 hours researching each purchase they make for the holidays.
  • 27 percent have been keeping their eye on online specials and daily deals, and 50 percent turn to newspaper or magazine coupons for savings.
  • 69 percent of holiday shoppers would prefer to shop in a retail store rather than online if the merchandise and deals were the same, while 47 percent said they would shop online if the deals were better than in stores.

“With a majority of U.S. consumers being not likely to look for online coupons or coupon codes when they shop this holiday season, millions of consumers may let savings pass them by,” said Steve Schaffer, CEO of Offers.com.  “Online shopping can provide much better value, selection, and convenience than shopping at retail, and online coupons offer extra discounts that can’t be found elsewhere. The team at Offers.com makes it easy to save money and time while shopping at any time of the year, because we manually screen thousands of the best available offers and deals on a daily basis to ensure that they work.”

Offers.com provides consumers with easy-to-find online coupons, coupon codes, offers, and deals from thousands of online stores, and the Offers.com Holiday Savings Center provides consumers with unique and helpful content such as checklists, shopping tips, and survival guides.  Offers.com also organizes deals and provides guidance around specific holidays and trends such as Halloween, Black Friday 2011 Deals, and Cyber Monday 2011 Deals.

Additional demographic findings of the holiday spending poll include:

  • While just 16 percent of adults with a household income of $75,000 or more indicated that they were not at all likely to seek out online coupons or coupon codes, almost three times as many (44 percent) of those with a household income of $25,000 gave the same answer.
  • 73 percent of respondents aged 18-34 would prefer to shop in retail stores if the merchandise and deals were the same, but if the deals were better online, 50 percent would shop online instead.
  • Similar to other age groups, 51 percent of respondents aged 18-34 have used newspaper or magazine coupons in the last 30 days.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in September 2011.  For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,001 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus.  With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled.