The Washington Timespublished an article today about how state governments are looking to impose higher taxes on consumer goods as a means of balancing their budgets in the midst of all the economic tomfoolery we Americans have been experiencing lately. You can read that article here:

Sound familiar? It should, because it’s awfully reminiscent of aNew York Timesarticle yours truly referenced in the following blog entry just last week:

I mention the newWashington Timesarticle not to say `I told you so’ but to illustrate a point: For every seemingly unpredictable financial disaster of the past year there will be a series of wholly predictable aftershocks. Joe Average with a conventional, fixed-rate mortgage may not have seen the housing market crumbling around him under the weight of too many high-risk, non-conforming home loans, but I promise you he (like the middle class in theWashington Timesarticle) already feels the pain of proposed tax increases on goods and services, which will likely be the norm throughout the U.S. by this time next year.

For my last blog entry of the year, I’ll leave the rhetorical questions alone and for once make a statement: It seems the next thing to collapse will be the part of the American middle class that only had a tenuous grip on stability - let aloneprosperity- to begin with. And I’m not just talking about what is commonly referred to as the lower middle class, either; this includes those of us who got away with living like rock stars on $50,000 a year thanks to Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

Some would say it’s better not to know what sort of trouble lurks around the corner, but I prefer it. Knowing what we’re in for allows us to both brace ourselves for those ugly aftershocks and better understand what we’ve already been through. And if we’ve learned anything from the past twelve months, it is this: We don’t want to see the bad parts of 2008 ever again.