- - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Almost every month, another story is released saying the economy is doing better.

I know, legalized marijuana is spreading across the country like billowing smoke sucked out of a giant bong, but, please, members of the media, quit smoking it before you write your stories.

Each month, government reports show a growth in one sector or another, usually a sector tied to government handouts. The only sector I really care about is American families, and I can tell you, the majority of families are hurting, hurting badly.

What shocks me is the very same media reporting this “good mews” from this administration so full of lies, is the same group absolutely devastated by growing technology and the failing economy. Newspapers are forced to lay off reporters to stay in business, television station newsrooms look like ghost towns, and my beloved industry, radio, fights to hold on by a thread. Local hosts are a dying breed. The days of a big radio station, standing up to local politicians and giving the people a voice, are quickly becoming forgotten memories. Formerly great local talk-radio stations are being dismantled piece by piece. Corporate big shots in New York or Atlanta are deciding local politics are not worth the trouble, so stations are limited to syndicated radio shows or changing the format to sports or Spanish-language programming.

With so few reporters, the government happily feeds us a steady diet of junk news, so horrible that if it were food, liberals would move to ban it or tax it out of existence.

Even on the Internet, the world of scoops and reporting is being replaced by Websites lazily copying from another, rewriting a few words here or there … and so on and so on and so.

The only real media growth appears with sites like Netflix, where you can choose a diet of what you want. And YouTube, where everyone who’s been kicked in the groin, has a cute kitten or can make silly he faces into the camera can ride the overnight success train. Advertisers are now replacing traditional media and moving their revenues to the Internet, destroying professionals who have worked a lifetime in the business, only to be replaced with videos by guys who make comments while playing videos games. In the future, will Google and Amazon be the only companies allowed to make money in broadcasting, since they control so much of the Internet and its ad revenues?

The silver lining? The joys of each day driving around town and watching the gas prices go down another penny or two. Filling up a tank that used to cost $80 and paying less than $40 has boosted the morale and the pocketbooks of Americans.

But don’t worry my fellow citizens: The government is working hard to take that joy away from you too. The talk by Democrats and even some Republicans of raising the gas tax makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. We get a month or two break from all time gas prices, and already elites class and members of Congress can’t wait to take it away from you! Those who sneer at the savings we little people get at the pump have lost touch with reality. This is real money. Real people need a real break right now.

The stories I hear each day, of people just trying to make it are heartbreaking. Taking food stamps for the first time in their lives because of shorter work hours or lack of available jobs. Most companies now require online applications, with no way to speak to a human being. They never hear your voice, learn your personality and phone skills, or respond to inquiries. If they select someone else for the position, you never know why. People are demoralized and broke — not a good combination. Pile on with an additional gas tax and we may see oil barrels being tossed in the harbors.

Gas was $1.81 when George W. Bush left the White House and in some places we are almost down of those levels. Congress, let’s make a deal: You hold gas prices under $1.80 for another six years, and then let’s talk about raising the gas tax. Until then, and until you can fix this dang economy, get out of the way of business. Get out of the way of the entrepreneur. Get out of the way of Americans.

Oh, and get off the ganja.

Maybe we can fix this mess you got us into.

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