The U.S. economy is failing. Family debt is on the rise, benefits are disappearing, the deficit is skyrocketing, and the mortgage crisis has exploded. So the Bush Administration and its GOP henchmen are attempting to draw attention away from the upcoming crisis, by blaming the media's negative coverage and STILL insisting the United States is not headed toward a recession, despite what most every economists is predicting.
The Bush administration's latest move is to simply hide the data. Even as Forbes Magazine awarded EconomicIndicators.gov one of its "Best of the Web" awards, explaining the government site provides an invaluable service to the public for accessing U.S. economic data:
This site is maintained by the Economics and Statistics Administration combining data collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, like GDP and net imports and exports, and the Census Bureau, like retail sales and durable goods shipments. The site simply links the data of relevant departmental websites. While this might not seem like a big deal, try "doing it yourself "- Try to find retail sales data on the Census Bureau's site and tie it into the GDP figures, it will convince you why this website is so valuable and important.
Yet the Bush administration has the audacity to claim "Budgetary Constraints" have forced them to shut down the site March 1st ! It's a bit more than ironic that the Economic and Statistics Administration is facing such constraints considering Bush just submitted a record $3.1 trillion budget to Congress for FY ‘09.
The site's Economic Indicators were automatically tabulated from several sources and emailed to anyone who signed up. People received a free email as soon as new economic data from government agencies became available. While the data will still be available online at various federal websites, it will now be the users responsibility to ferret out the information buried deep in dozens of government websites. It will be much less readily accessible to the general public.
In its e-mail announcement on the closing of Economic Indicators, the Department of Commerce acknowledged the "inconvenience" and offered a "free" quarterly subscription to STAT-USA/Internet instead. BUT once this temporary subscription runs out, the public will be forced to pay a fee.
So not only will economic data be more secret,
it will now also cost money just to see it.