Economists think we'll see something of the neighborhood of
155,000 jobs created through the month of December. That would be a small improvement form the
month before, but probably not enough to change the 7.7 percent unemployment
Friday's numbers may confirm what many Americans already
think -- that the economy is more or less treading water.
And the payroll tax hike that's about to hit nearly all of
us will make matters worse.
People spend less, businesses hire fewer workers.
And if many households are about to feel that their balance
sheets are out of whack... They have nothing on Washington, where a new Congress
was seated yesterday and House Speaker John Boehner was reelected.
"Our government has built up too much debt. Our economy
is not producing enough jobs. These are not separate problems," said Boehner.
As the President asks Congress to raise the debt ceiling
next month, there will be a furious fight over spending.
The President, on vacation in Hawaii, made it clear before
he left that he will not budge.
"I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether
or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up."
The White House, though, pushed for a lot of that
spending... But if congress doesn't
raise the ceiling, we could default... On the other hand if something isn't
done to bring down the debt, the country could be rocked with a credit
The warning just came from the ratings agency Moody's:
"The debt trajectory resulting from this process is
likely to determine whether the Aaa rating is returned to a stable outlook or
downgraded to Aa1."
And if that happens, if we're downgraded even one notch, our borrowing costs will go up. Meaning the debt would gobble up even more of the budget every single year.