I suppose the easiest thing in the world would be to go after President Obama and the whole so-called “stimulus” bill (which most analysts now agree is nothing more than a spending bill that won’t stimulate anything except our nation’s deficit) and other disconcerting actions he’s taken during his first few weeks in office, but these days any criticism at all about our hallowed, omnipotent Commander-in-Chief will only get you called a racist.
So I’m not gonna do that.
But I am going to take a few moments to express my concerns over everything going on in Washington right now. And I mean everything. After all, you don’t have to be a Republican or conservative, or a Democrat or liberal, to sense something is terribly wrong out there. And it’s not just from looking at your latest 401K statement (although that’s enough to make anyone blanch) or the Dow’s ongoing slide towards 7000 – something, BTW, yours truly predicted the day after Obama’s election – it’s just, I don’t know, a feeling that everything is sliding away.
Here’s what I don’t get.
1. Do our elected leaders in Washington truly believe they can just spend our way out of this mess? I mean, what’s a trillion between friends, right? If they were truly serious about stimulating the economy, why screw around, make it $2 trillion and divvy it up between every household in America – that’s no more ludicrous an idea of what’s come down thus far.
2. Does anyone out there really believe the President and his advisors have a clue about how to get out us out of this mess? And what happens in six months or a year if things are no better than they are now? What do you do, toss another trillion at the problem? And where are you going to get it from? Targeted tax increases for the wealthy (whatever that means)? Comfiscating the earnings of PGA Tour golfers and Hollywood actors? Is that what we really want to do – become like England where there is no incentive for people to work?
3. I’m opposed to bailing out corporations – any corporations. Let them go bankrupt and the courts divvy up the spoils. What makes the government think that tossing billions at the U.S. auto makers is going to make a bit of difference? Let’s say they take that money (and I’m being totally unrealistic here) and pour that into creating the cleanest, greenest, meanest cars around. If the recession deepens and the accompanying job and wealth losses continue, who’s gonna be able to buy a new car? What will the government do then – give them away to people? Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid may not understand this, but commerce requires two parties, a buyer and a seller.
4. Every day I can’t help but shake my head and wonder why George W. Bush allowed us to get into this mess. Democrats I can understand – they never met a tax increase they didn’t like and someone’s dollar they didn’t want to take for their own or redistribute to someone else. That’s a given. But Republicans?
5. Why is the government pouring money into helping people you wouldn’t even dare rent property to keep their homes? Look, I’m a compassionate guy. And maybe I’m just being old-fashioned, but back in my day, if you earned x number of dollars, you didn’t buy a house you couldn’t afford – you found a place to rent that you could afford and stayed there until you could afford something nicer, and perhaps a better one after that. And then, if everything worked out, you bought yourself something you could own. In other words, you climbed the ladder one rung at a time. There was no shame in it, that’s just the way you did it. And if you shot too high or events took a turn, you took your beating and started out all over again. I know, because I’ve done it – I know what it’s like to go to a closing and have to bring a check to cover your loss.
6. Look, I’m not stupid – I know why the government passed that so-called “stimulus” bill. And I know why they want to bail out outdated and outmoded corporations who haven’t devised a new idea in forty years. And I know why they want to keep people in homes they couldn’t afford but bought anyways and still can’t afford them. No one wants to throw people out of homes and have them go empty. But I also know the road to hell iis paved with good intentions. Failures happen. Bad things happen. And they don’t always to bad people – good, well-intentioned people get hurt too. That’s life.
I guess what bothers me more than anything else is the lack of vision in Washington. Obama was elected because people saw him as some kind of visionary hope-and-change leader. But what’s so visionary about spending trillions of dollars you don’t have? Trillions of dollars in spending when you’re slowly losing your tax base with all these “baby boomers” starting to approach their retirement years? Isn’t anyone bothered by our leaders acting as if the impending Social Security crisis doesn’t exist? Or runaway government entitlement programs like Medicare? I mean, it would be one thing if we were starting from a balanced budget or a surplus, but Washington spent the last four years of the Bush adminsitration spending like a drunken sailor.
I’m worried for this country and its economic future. I’m worried that no one in Washington seems to either have a plan or a clue as to what’s going on or what to do about it. I’m worried that there are millions of people out there who really think Barack Obama is some kind of savior when he’s nothing but another ruthless Chicago pol concerned primarily with feathering his own bed and consolidating his power. I’m worried about the kind of country these leaders are leaving for future generations. And more than that, I’m worried about other nations seeing our exposed weaknesses and taking advantage to plunge the Middle East and the world into major conflict.
Sooner or later President Obama will find out that the Presidency is not just a cool new toy to show off – he’s going to have to make real tough decisions that will make him unpopular with the millions and the media who think he’s so perfect and superhuman. The time will come when you can’t just print more money and tax and regulate your way out of this crisis; at some point, the number of people you’re handing money out to will overwhelm those you must tax and regulate to support them. And then what do you do?
But what would I know? I’m just a disenchanted, mean-spirited, and racist conservative.