28,535 Jobs Created In Tennessee In 2011
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NASHVILLE —  Governor Bill Haslam presented his State of the State / Budget Address to the General Assembly this week outlining his proposals for promoting job growth; improving education; enhancing public safety; providing a more customer-focused, efficient and effective state government; and, keeping taxes low.  Asking citizens to believe in better for Tennessee, the Governor said, “We can believe in better for how state government serves Tennesseans.  We can believe in better when it comes to the education of our children, and we can believe in better when we talk about a stronger, healthier economy for our state.”
 
The budget provides funding for the governor’s legislative proposals announced earlier in the year that include tougher sentences for certain gang-related crimes and gun possession by those with prior violent felony convictions along with mandatory incarceration for repeat domestic violence offenders.  The proposals also call for raising the exemption level on the estate tax in Tennessee from $1 million to $1.25 million to lower the tax burden on family farmers and family business owners; and lowering the state portion of the sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent with the goal of reducing it to 5 percent during the next three years.
 
On jobs, the Governor said he is continuing efforts to attract new businesses to Tennessee by creating the right business climate, with the goal of making the state the number one location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs.  The budget provides an additional $10 million in FastTrack Infrastructure and the Job Training Program.  In addition, the administration is continuing a review of burdensome and business-inhibiting federal and state regulations.
 
The proposed 2012-2013 budget, which will begin on July 1, spends $31 billion, nearly $1 billion less than the almost $32 billion estimated for the current budget year.  Tennessee has worked hard to ‘resize’ state programs and services to reflect a much smaller budget, especially with the uncertainty of potential cuts from Washington.
 
Highlights of the budget include:

• Restores more than $100 million of the $160 million “core services” funding that was designated two years ago to be cut such as the Coordinated School Health program; extended teacher contracts; alcohol and abuse treatment programs; juvenile justice grants; diabetes prevention; and matching dollars for state employee 401k programs.

• Full funding for the Basic Education Program.

• $264 million is proposed to fund long-deferred capital outlay projects in higher education including a  new science building at Middle Tennessee State University; a science lab at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; a new patient diagnostic center at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis; plus planning money for new buildings at Nashville State Community College, Northeast State Community College, the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

• A 2.5 percent pay increase for state employees.

• Adds $50 million to the Rainy Day Fund, bringing it up to $356 million.

• A continued commitment to the West Tennessee Megasite with $25 million.

• More than $23 million to fund a new veterans home in Bradley County.
 
The complete text of the governor’s speech and an archived video of his speech are available at www.tn.gov/StateoftheState
 
Senate floor action includes final passage of Senator Beavers’ Meth Registry Bill and legislation to name National Guard Armory for First Lt. William Eric Emmert
 
The full Senate approved legislation sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) to tighten a loophole in the state’s Meth Registry.  Senate Bill 2190 adds those convicted of promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and those who initiated a process intended to result in the manufacture of meth to the state’s Registry.  In addition, the legislation requires the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to collect a driver’s license number or another identification number from those listed on the Registry so innocent citizens with similar names and birthdates do not run into a roadblock when they purchase pseudoephedrine.
 
In other floor action, the Tennessee National Guard Armory located at 2350 Armory Drive in Murfreesboro would be named the "First Lieutenant William Eric Emmert National Guard Armory" under legislation approved by the full Senate this week.  Senate Bill 2159 honors local hero, First Lieutenant Emmert, who was killed in the line of duty on February 24, 2009 while serving his country in Mosul, Iraq.  Emmert was a cum laude graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served as a counter intelligence agent during tours of duty in Korea, Germany, and Cuba.  He was also a Tennessee State Trooper in Lincoln County and a member of Governor Phil Bredesen’s security detail before joining the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as a special agent in the Criminal Investigation Division.
 
Report shows 28,535 jobs created in Tennessee in 2011
Best record of job creation in five years
 
A report released by the Tennessee Department of  Economic and Community Development (ECD) revealed good news this week on Tennessee’s job front.  The Department’s 2011 Annual Report showed 28,535 new jobs were created in Tennessee last year, accounting for more than $4 billion in investment. This is the state’s highest mark in job creation in the last five years.
 
The news follows the passage of several bills in the General Assembly last year aimed at attracting and retaining jobs by enhancing Tennessee’s business climate. This included offering businesses more predictability and a way to quantify risk through tort reform.  It also included new laws to improve education outcomes and a top to bottom review of the state’s business regulations with the goal of removing any unnecessary bureaucratic barriers which have stymied entrepreneurship.
 
Governor Haslam has stated his mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The Governor and key staff have traveled the state to meet with more than 2,000 companies and over 700 economic development stakeholders.
 
The Governor’s Jobs4TN economic development plan, announced in April 2011, has focused efforts on key sectors where the state holds a unique competitive advantage; along with a renewed emphasis on assisting existing Tennessee companies that create the vast majority of all new jobs in the state.  In addition, ECD was able to significantly lower the average cost of incentives per new job created compared to the previous decade.  In 2011, the average incentive cost per job was $2,640 versus $5,586 for the years 2002-2010, a reduction of more than 50 percent.
 
To read more or download a copy of ECD’s 2011 Annual Report, please visit tn.gov/ecd/pdf/2011AnnualReport.pdf.
 
Judiciary Committee approves bill to make criminal acts conducted by appointed or elected public officials ineligible for judicial diversion
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) has unanimously approved legislation which makes state or local officials who have committed a crime during their term of office ineligible for consideration of either pre-trial or judicial diversion.  Senate Bill 2566 would simply add a criminal offense committed by officials in the executive, legislative or judicial branch to the list of those which are ineligible for judicial diversion, if the crime was committed in their official capacity or involved the duties of their office.
 
Judicial diversion is a process in criminal law where a person pleads guilty to a crime and can later have the charge removed (or expunged) from their record following a period of probation.  It is granted by the judge, hence its name “judicial.”  A person is eligible for judicial diversion in Tennessee if the person does not have a previous class A misdemeanor, felony conviction, or never received diversion or had his or her record expunged before.  Those charged with a class A felony, a class B felony, a sexual offense, or a DUI are not eligible for judicial diversion under state law. 
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February 03, 2012 at 12:11am
How many of these jobs were created in Cannon County?
February 03, 2012 at 8:29pm
Easy answer none! I would say more lost than any created!
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February 03, 2012 at 8:46pm
Maybe, maybe not. I'd think Senator Beaver's office or the state ECD office could provide that information if someone wants to contact either one. Whatever the figure is, Cannon County has had the lowest unemployment rate of the 14 counties in the Upper Cumberland the last two months and ranks in the top 15 of those with the lowest rate.
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February 03, 2012 at 10:03pm
I wouldn't get too excited about lower numbers because a lot of those "new jobs" were created during the holiday season and were nothing more than temp jobs.

The numbers always flux during the first couple of months each year. Sometimes better, sometimes not.
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February 04, 2012 at 6:40am
You may, or may not, want to express your concern to Rep. Pody that a decline of 2.2 percent in the unemployment rate from Dec. 2010 to Dec. 2011 represents only a "flux" in that he campaigned on a mostly jobs platform.
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February 04, 2012 at 8:28am
I don't think the 2.2 percent only reflects Representative Pody's district do you?

I haven't seen where Representative Pody has had much help from the people who are in the position to help create jobs in Cannon County over the last two years he has been trying to help us.

You may, or may not, want to express your concern to them that they could do a better job of working for the people of Cannon County considering that is what they are elected and paid to do.
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February 04, 2012 at 1:14pm
Rep. Pody has been on the job a little over a year. The Cannon County unemployment rate has decreased 2.2 percent during that time. In that he will be running for another term this year, I imagine he is happy it has gone down, and not increased.

I've seen a lot of effort spent the past two years on the part of both the Mayor of Woodbury and the Cannon County executive trying to bring business and jobs here. I've written several stories about those endeavors. So far only one has been successful.

It is only one part of the job they are elected to do. They have received little assistance on the part of the local business community. It hasn't been at the top of the agenda of either the town's or the county's governmental bodies. Perhaps that's because its been all they can do to keep their budgets in the black while recovering from a recession.

Rep. Pody worked hard a few months back to help add a substantial number of local jobs. So far he has been unsuccessful in getting state or federal help for that company. The mayor and county executive arranged for what local assistance was available.

There have been a number of small businesses open in Woodbury and Cannon County the last two years. Hopefully there will be more if the economy continues to improve.

The adding of a substantial industry to a community requires a local, state and sometimes federal partnership. Neither the state nor the feds have been much of a help. Perhaps that will change now that Gov. Haslam has shaken up the ECD.

Both the mayor and the county executive have told me they would support funding efforts to entice industry, such as a spec building. They are only one part of the equation as other elected officials must also back any efforts, as well as taxpayers. Money from an increase in the local option sales tax, but at least one person I know has been very vocal against that effort to have money to plan for the future.

But again, Sen. Beavers' office might be able to provide additional information to her report about the job's report. I'm sure she too would like to know if any new jobs were created in Cannon County in 2011.
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February 04, 2012 at 2:07pm
Say what you imply and stop beating around the bush. If I am who you refer to when you talk about one person who has been vocal against the sales tax then come on out with it because I will gladly admit it with pride.
The idea of raising sales tax when we would knowingly hurt the poorest members of our community and only get to use half of that revenue to build a spec building is ludicrous to put it nicely!

The money should not come from the poorest of the community before we look at ways to cut costs which is now beginning to be seriously looked at under the new leadership of the Cannon County Commissioners. Something that was somehow lost in translation in the past!

Believe what you want about the lack of support from the local business community, but if the power to brings items to the county governmental body that
holds the power to make the changes and sign the contracts and build the spec buildings is never done then the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the person elected to do that job.

The last time I remember anyone bringing the idea of a spec building to the commissioners was when Harold Patrick was County Executive.
February 04, 2012 at 2:33pm
Goods news that was all over every newscast yesterday except FOX--creation of jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a near three-year low.

Nonfarm payrolls jumped 243,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, as factory jobs grew by the most in a year. The jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent - the lowest since February 2009 - from 8.5 percent in December.

And even the Dow Jones average has begun its recovery.

Should this trend continue on thru 2012 (and let us hope it does) it will be welcome news for Democrats on the national scene.

Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats.








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February 04, 2012 at 2:46pm
The poorest members of our community also benefit from the raising of taxes. If an increase in the local option sales tax provides funding to build a spec building, and that brings jobs, the poor will benefit.

So far the new leadership of the Cannon County Commission has not saved one penny in terms of the day-to-day operations of county government. The only cost-cutting has been in the area of future interest on loans. The budgets of no departments have been decreased. The budgets of some departments have been increased. When the budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is set this summer, I doubt that one department will be operating on less money than they are during 2011-2012.

Believe what you want, but I don't think most voters elect a county executive to build spec buildings. A lot of people would be opposed to having their money spent on speculation to begin with.

If you want to argue that our current county executive has not been a successful leader that's your opinion, but doesn't necessarily make it so. Instead of living in a county with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, we could live in Pickett (14.9%), Jackson (10.9%), Clay (10.8%), White (10.7%) Van Buren (10.6%), Cumberland (9.9%), Fentress (9.5%), Warren (9.6%) and so on down the list.
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February 04, 2012 at 2:53pm
You left out an important number MMW, that the liberal mainstream media has ignored: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in December. Sort of makes that 243,000 pale in comparison.
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February 04, 2012 at 4:38pm
I am not here to argue anything Kevin, but I do believe the people of Cannon County and any other counties across the State of Tennessee elect a Couunty Executive to submit ideas to the Commissioners such as a spec building. To not submit ideas such as that goes against the very idea of what they are elected to do. If the job duties of that position have an expectation of doing everything possible to help your county grow and they don't do it then something is amiss to say the least.

I will let you explain to the poorest members of our community how raising their sales tax on the food they buy when they have no money to spare will be a benefit to them. Please let me know when you plan to hold that discussion with them.

As far as the new leadership is concerned, I think giving them the benefit of the doubt and realizing they can't undo or change everything that has been done or not been done in a short period of time is reasonable. However, in my opinion there is a night and day difference in how things are run now.

For instance the commissioners meeting once a month instead of every three months was a gigantic leap forward from the past. Holding committee's responsible for meeting that were not meeting, creating advisory boards to look at ways to save the county money, asking the budget committee to begin work on the 2013 fiscal budget now instead of waiting until May to start like past practice always was, the transparency in the amount of information given to the public concerning commissioner meetings instead of labeling everything as "other business" and having 5 or 6 items that no one knew was going to be on the agenda, etc. etc. I believe the savings to the taxpayers of Cannon County the new leadership is working on will speak for itself with time.

I also think that a lot of people are oppossed to having their money spent on speculation, but I also believe that most people are smart enough to realize at times you have to spend money to make money and our government has been speculating for a long time with little results to show from it!

I ask you how many of the 2.2 % reduction in unemployment were jobs that were created inside the borders of Cannon County?

I would bet that 98% of the 2.2% reduction of unemployment in Cannon County were people who found work OUTSIDE our borders and not inside them! I am glad those people were able to find jobs, but if my belief is correct then I would hope we would focus on reversing that number.

Thanks for the conversation. It helps me learn everytime I read something new.

P.S.

I just have to say MMW that no U.S. President in the last 50 years has been re-elected when the unemployment rate was above 7.2% so you had better hope that it drops another 1.4% in the next nine months so your hero has a chance.

Plus the current unemployment rate of 8.6% isn't even as good as it seems. That's because a big part of the rate decrease is due to more than 300,000 discouraged workers giving up entirely on their job searches and simply dropping out of the workforce. It's not due to job creation.

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February 04, 2012 at 5:01pm
I guess it depends on the approach one thinks is best. Our current county executive has told me multiple times he supports spec buildings, if there is a prospect in hand. He has not during the recent economic times thought it best to make the expenditure on the hope it might draw a business.

I would tell the poor, the not-so-poor and the well off that an increase in the local option sales tax will help prevent a loss of government services, of which many of the poor benefit.

I am not opposed to monthly meetings. I can't point to any one item of business conducted so far during one of them that could not have waited, but the jury is still out. For now, your belief that they have made or will make any difference is "speculation."

"I ask you how many of the 2.2 % reduction in unemployment were jobs that were created inside the borders of Cannon County?"

Again I will refer you to Sen. Beavers and/or Rep. Pody. She is the one who touted the jobs created numbers in her weekly report, and he is the one who campaigned on bringing jobs to Cannon County. The 7.2% unemployment rate speaks for itself.

While you may not be here to argue anything, it is apparent you are here to paint as bleak a picture as possible of the way Cannon County is being run. I am of the opinion you do so because of a personal vendetta and greed ("county employees haven't received a raise in five years") and political agenda (your belief that local Republicans will solve all of what you believe to be Cannon County's perceived ills.)

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February 05, 2012 at 12:01am
Well I will tell you like I told MMW. You know the old saying about what assuming does.

I have no personal vendetta, greed or any other motive. Trust me when I say that the people who know me understand that I will speak to them directly if I have something to say. If you don't believe me, ask them youself because it has happened many times.

As far as the Republicans solving all the problems, that also is your assumption because I am of the opinion that the majority of the Commissioners are not Republicans with several confirmed Democrats and Independents leading the charge to make the right changes in Cannon County now despite the continued efforts by some to stiffle it and to discredit it.

Anyone can say they support the idea of a spec building or bringing in new business or holding people to their commitments, but it is another thing to actually propose it, research it, try to create a RPM, create incentives or sign contracts. The proof is in the pudding and I haven't seen a lot of proof to what you would imply.

Your idea that raising the taxes on the poorest in the community will help them benefit is laughable at best. Great idea to raise taxes on the poor in an economy like this. Brillant may be a better word. I am sure they would love to hear you explain that theory to them and so would I. Let me know when you try to explain to them the idea of not eating, but enjoying the benefits of a school administrator receiving a $30,000 increase in pay over the last 4 years is a good thing.

The bleak picture I paint at times comes from the history of living here all my life and knowing what is was, where it is and what it will be if things don't change. Your opinion is based off of your whole two to three years here and the biased feedback from people who don't like hearing the truth and are trying to get re-elected so they can get paid to basically do nothing.

As much as you say my opinions are based off personal vendetta's I could say the same thing about you and the opinions you write and don't allow because they don't always paint certain people in the light they would want the people of Cannon County see them in.

I have no other goal but to see what is best for the whole of Cannon County. My goal is not to kiss the babies and shake the hands so I can get re-elected and then do as I please.

I really don't care who likes it or who agrees with it because facts are facts and lies are lies and to quote a Democrat "if you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen"!
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February 05, 2012 at 4:35am
It's all a matter of credibility. I believe those who have the most credibility when it comes to the operation of our county's government are the people who have or have had actual first-hand experience, knowledge and involvement. They are in the best position to provide useful information and insight. They have walked the walk.

When I have a legal question or issue I go consult a local attorney, judge or DA. When I have a law enforcement question I ask the sheriff or police chief. For business matters I talk to people who actually run one. If I have a tax question I consult people who have financial knowledge. If I am writing about a medical condition, I get information from a physician.

Sometimes I simply rely on my own experience and thinking process. When considering whether there should be an increase in the local option sales tax, I can point to scores of counties around the state which have a higher one than Cannon's and note that there are not concerns or problems with "starving" people because of it.
February 05, 2012 at 6:59am
Roosevelt got reelected with rates twice what we see now and I wouldn't hang my hat on 7.2%. If a downward trend continues into November then it enhances the president's reelection chances even if that number doesn't get into the sevens.

My guess is that there are some voters (even in this county) that are down on their knees hoping and praying that a downward trend doesn't continue.






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February 05, 2012 at 7:30am
I'd be pleased as punch to see the 7.2% number go down.

However, the numbers I want to see go down the most are those found in the headings which include the words "Debt" and "Spending" at the following link:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

I will vote in November for the persons I think will be the most successful in making that happen.
February 05, 2012 at 7:40am
The big problem nobody is talking about is the fact that more people are on the goverment dole than ever before in history,which accounts for a lot ot the numbers you are quoteing and that is scarey.
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February 05, 2012 at 7:41am
MMW, I would be greatly pleased to see that number go down and not because I am worried about Obama getting re-elected. I have a job dependent on the growth of the economy so it benefits me to have people working and it benefits the entire couuntry.

And just to point out the obvious that you missed, I said no President in the last 50 years has been re-elected when the unemployment rate was above 7.2% and duhhhhhh Roosevelt was last re-elected in 1944 and if my math is correct that would be 68 years ago. You should remember because I think you said you voted for him once.

There is a lot I wouldn't hang my hat on if I were you MMW, obviously math is one of them.
February 05, 2012 at 12:48pm
Nothing in there about fifty years--only that a president did get reelected with high unemployment numbers.


Watch and see what the Republicans will be doing over the next few months--not all will be as pleased to see a downward trend.





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February 05, 2012 at 3:56pm
So now you can't see MMW? Go to the eye doctor.

Look directly under the part that says P.S. and tell me what you see?

Here it is once again. Have someone read it to you if you are having trouble:

"I just have to say MMW that no U.S. President in the last 50 years has been re-elected when the unemployment rate was above 7.2%"

Also, I am not sure how you think anyone in the Republican Party is going to manipulate unemployment numbers because they are what they are. If they go down there is nothing anyone can do.

I would be more inclined to watch and see how the liberal media tries their best to paint a rosy picture of how life is so great and we all are singing happy songs and blowing beautiful bubbles under the guidance of Obama and the democrats.

They will do everything within their power to keep him in office because they are controlled by bleeding heart liberals that think the government should give everyone everything in life just like you.
February 06, 2012 at 6:47am
"Roosevelt got reelected with rates twice what we see now and I wouldn't hang my hat on 7.2%."

That comment has nothing to do with fifty years only that a sitting president did indeed get re-elected twice with high unemployment rates. Sorry it was too much of a simple straitforward comment for some to understand.

Look for the Republicans in Congress to resist any Democrat programs that would lend itself to getting workers back on the job.

In the meantime the latest ABC poll has Obama leading Romney (the people firer, the Swiss banker, the Cayman Island business man, the let the poor sink on down into more poverty Republican assured nominee) by six points.
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February 06, 2012 at 6:58am
"Romney (the people firer, the Swiss banker, the Cayman Island business man, the let the poor sink on down into more poverty Republican assured nominee) by six points."

MMW, there is nothing illegal or untoward about the first three, simply your attempt at demonization. Attempts at character assassination are the one thing Democrats are good at.

The fourth is a complete mischaracterization on your part, the second thing Democrats are good at.
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February 06, 2012 at 7:57am
"Roosevelt got reelected with rates twice what we see now and I wouldn't hang my hat on 7.2%." was posted after I stated no President had been re-elected in the last 50 years with an unemployment rate above 7.2%.

Sorry it was so hard for you to understand MMW that the last 50 years was not 68 years ago. Perhaps if I mailed it to you it with intructions on how read English then you might be able to comprehend it. I know you met Roosevelt and helped build the specialized car he drove and everything, but try to pay attention to the entire conversation next time.

I will take any poll where a Republican is within the margin of error to beat Obama considering it is February and no debates between the final two nominees has occurred.

I think once that happens unless you are blind to reality or a complete and total freeloading liberal you will see that number change dramatically.
February 06, 2012 at 12:10pm
Kevin, the election hinges a great deal on perception. If the middle class and lower income voters perceive the Republican nonminee as a rich snobbish overseas banker, a Cayman Island tax dodger who cares lttle about the poor and the unemployed and likes to fire people, it matters little as to what the truth really is.

A cartoon this AM in one of the newspapers showed Romney in his chauffered limo driving up to the poor folks in a jalopy and asking if they had any DiJon mustard. What perception does that leave in the mind of the viewer?

Both sides are masters at this so it comes down as to whom can get across the message most effectively--right now Romney is continuing to give the Democrats snipets and phrases that play right into their hands.









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February 06, 2012 at 3:24pm
I will agree with you MMW that the election hinges on perception.

You can have the perception that things are so much better now than they were three years ago.

You can have the perception that 8.3% unemployment rates are where we want to be as a nation.

You can have the perception that the increase in price of a gallon of gas from $1.69 on January 20th, 2008 to $3.38 on February 6th, 2012 is a good thing. A 67% increase in the first 26 months of the Obama administration.

I think once the focus gets back to the realities of what is happening in America vs. the rosy, euphoric picture the liberal media is determined to invent then I think all your cartoons will take care of themselves.

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