Forget GDP. Tax revenue tells the real story.

Mish often points out that state sales taxes are flat to down year over year, even though rates are up, revealing that the recovery is all smoke and mirrors. Zerohedge has been reporting the federal income tax withholding data, which tells much the same story. Basically, if the economy were really improving, people would be earning more, spending more, and paying more taxes. Government spending is not economic growth — if it were that easy, the USSR would still be around.

Here’s the latest withholding data from zerohedge:

Mish says, “Hey man, nice recovery (NOT).”

Mish offers some graphical evidence that the recovery is simply not.


See his whole post here, as a well as some interesting comments on trends in concert ticket sales.

Here’s one more chart I pulled from Fred:

Civilian Employment – Population Ratio


If these were stock charts, I’d say that they had broken their positive trends, but are oversold. There certainly is no evidence of a recovery in the economy. GDP is just a BS number that includes government spending, and the way the government measures unemployment is a joke.