I must be stupid.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. Clearly, I am just too simple minded to understand the efficacy of the so-called Stimulus Bill. I run the idea past my Common Sense center in my cerebral cortex and all I hear is a dial tone. And if I get really quiet … I can hear a distant scream.
I’ve watched President Obama make his case on national television. I keep waiting for the entire Washington press corps to bust up laughing. I keep waiting for news anchors to crack up mid-sentence and not be able to continue, doubled over. I keep waiting for an incensed public to storm Pennsylvania Avenue and demand their money back.
But then … I must be stupid.
I am reminded of two scenarios from my past. The first one was when my older brother fell in love. A beautiful Costa Rican girl, thick accent, beautiful face and figure; my brother was over the moon. The rest of my family fell, as well. This girl had the ability to make us all laugh. Until I started to discover that she was actually not a very nice person. Nasty, in fact … though I seemed to be the only one who caught it.
When brother announced their engagement, I decided to send up my first trial balloon warning. It was discounted by him and the rest of the family. “Oh, it’s just her accent, you misunderstand her.” Half-believing, half-hoping they were right, I paid even closer attention to this girl’s words, and more importantly, her actions. After several weeks, my honest assessment was that the woman, beneath her beauty and charm, was venal, narcissistic, selfish, and cruel. It was all about her, little else mattered, and she was looking to tie her boat to my father’s small fortune through my brother. I confided as much to my brother, and implored him to make a closer evaluation before he proceeded to tie the noose. Again, my warnings were laughed off.
So… he married her. She looked beautiful and charming coming down the aisle.
Seven years and three children later, she had turned my brother’s life into a living hell. I’d give you details of her exploits but I’m saving them for my horror novel, “Nightmare From Costa Rica.” But I can tell you this, she looked beautiful and charming every step of the way.
The second scenario was when I went in to buy my first new car. After struggling through a series of used junkers, I had worked my butt off, saved my money and was determined to slap it down on a brand new, tricked-out VW bug. It had the hot race steering wheel, the cool Blaupunkt, the chrome wheels, the fat meats on the back and every little fun, hip accessory I could imagine. But the salesman on the showroom floor blew it for me. Any fool could see I wanted the car, but he told me I had to buy today, because only today would the special sale price be in effect. Only today would the extended warranty be enacted. Only today could I buy this car and be happy about my decision. I had to ‘buy now!’ I thought long and hard about it, realized I don’t like to be pressured into buying anything, even if I want it; and this guy was almost bullying this nineteen-year-old, first-time new car buyer.
I walked out of the showroom.
I ended up buying the same car at another dealership two weeks later, with more extras and at a lower price. Wouldn’t it be nice if Congress had the same sales-resistance?
But enough of that, I want to feel good about myself, and I want to feel good about America. I don’t want to think; thinking’s hard, and my head is starting to hurt. I just want to feel. I want to feel good, like my brother did with his new Costa Rican girlfriend, and I want to fall in love. And we are in love… with Barack Obama! He is beautiful and charming. My gosh, the man has taken charm to an art form. I thought Bill Clinton was smooth. Forget about it! Great smile, nice energy, wonderful sense of humor. Charms the pants right off of me.
So I was listening to the President’s first press conference yesterday, sans pants …thrill up the leg… and it occurred to me: He didn’t spend 20 years in Rev. Wright’s church to learn Black racism or ‘Black Liberation Theology,’ No, no, no! He spent 20 years in Rev. Wright’s church to learn how to preach! And I have to admit, the Reverend Obama is even more amazing than President Obama. Forget his uncanny skill at reading a teleprompter, going from left to right and back so smoothly is looks, not like he’s reading, but that he’s simply ‘inclusive.’ And his raised-chin pauses for emphasis … masterful. He exudes authority and poise. And sincerity. He cares, dammit. And he knows what he’s talking about, just look at him. What’s that, you say? What is it he is actually saying? Well…I can’t really tell you, but he is saying it so beautifully … so charming …does it really matter?
Well… yes, actually. It does. A lot.
I listened to as much of the Hurry-Up-and Let-Me-Spend-A-Trillion-Dollars-of Your Money sales job as I could take. Which I must admit, wasn’t all that much. But I did catch an interesting little gem as the president addressed those who suggested it would actually be more economically prudent to not spend a trillion bucks and just let market forces work, period. The non-partisan CBO, specifically.
“What I won’t do…is return to the failed policies of the last 8 years…that got us into this crisis in the first place.” – Barack Obama, Feb 9, 2009
Even though Congress was controlled by the Democrats from 2006-2008, I am going to go out on a limb here, and assume that the president is talking about failed Republican policies. (Is that a fairly safe bet, you think?)
REALITY CHECK! Mr. Obama has been so busy concentrating on his campaign, his transition, and now his consolidation of power, that he apparently slept through the economic meltdown, so out of touch is he with what caused it. Earth to President Obama: It wasn’t the ‘failed’ Republican policies that took us to this point. What caused bank failures and the economic meltdown was the failure of the housing market which itself was caused by banks being forced to give out bad housing loans. That gem of irresponsibility, the Community Reinvestment Act (introduced and enacted by Jimmy Carter and the Democrat Congress and later bolstered by Bill Clinton) literally forced banks to abandon prudent fiscal policy and instead, hand out loans to people who otherwise could not qualify to buy a home. And Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac were right there leading the charge. Not to sound ‘partisan’ or anything, but the people running these two Government Sponsored Enterprises: yep … Democrats.
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner came on TV this morning, and told us ‘how we got here.’ His explanation sounded somewhat logical … but conspicuously missing was any mention of the above involvement of the Democrats forcing Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae to give out bad loans. That’s like trying to explain how an internal combustion engine works, and failing to mention anything about gas fumes igniting and expanding within a closed cylinder.
What Geithner left out in his address this morning was that George Bush, Alan Greenspan, John McCain and the Republicans in Congress, fearful that unsafe fiscal practices by Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae could lead to economic disaster, attempted to establish oversight on these GSE’s, but were rebuffed by … Democrats. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, et al. Anyone who isn’t aware of this hasn’t been paying attention. The Democrats, not the Republicans, are responsible for fomenting the economic conditions that lead to the housing bubble bursting.
Also missing in Mr. Geithner’s speech was any mention of monies paid out by Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, six-figure sums, to Democrats Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, and John Kerry. And payments for what? Cooperation incentives? ‘Performance’ bonus. Hush money? What?
And another thing: Geithner said the root cause of the meltdown was individuals and businesses borrowing funds they couldn’t pay back. And so the solution proposed is … to borrow and spend even more money, at an unprecedented rate — and not gradually, but aggressively?
Clearly, the lunatics have taken over the nuthouse.
So now we are supposed to let the very same people who took us into this economic mess … straighten it out. And use our money to do it! Which wouldn’t be so bad … if that sort of thing worked. The fans of Keynesian economic theories are lovers of history revision. (Just look at how they distort the history of the past eight years.) Democrats love to try to spend us out of recessions. It doesn’t work. And if you say, FDR I’ll tell you FTS!
FDR’s liberal spending policies extended the depression. It took WWII to bring this country out of it.
But now Congress is being pressured to pass this spending bill and do it now! There’s no time to lose, we don’t have time for further discussion, no time for debate. We have to pass the bill now, yank the lever, press the button … pull the trigger.
What the hell is the rush!??? I’m missing the soup lines. I look but I don’t see throngs of homeless people trying to warm themselves by the oil drum fire. I have not had to swat the flies off of a little starving child once in the past month. I must have missed the food riots in Los Angeles as starving hordes prowl the streets looting Vons and Ralphs stores. And have you been on the freeway lately? I would think that if the ‘crisis’ was as bad as our President says it is, the 405 would resemble a ghost town. But there I am, jammed in, trying to shuttle my butt over the hill to L.A. in the same old rush hour slog. Okay, I’ll admit that the banking and financial markets are in monstrous disarray. And that yes, it could probably be considered a crisis. But … the end of the world type of crisis? The we-are-screwed-so-let’s-throw-capitalism-out-and-become-a-socialist-nation type of crisis? Uh … not in my movie.
But we are told we have to go a trillion dollars into debt or the world is going to end, and we have to borrow it immediately! (Even though it will be two years before the money would even start to get spent.) And where do we borrow it? From China!! Am I the only one left who sees this as an absurdly stupid recipe for disaster?? Two words: Tiananmen Square. I was there two years before the tanks rolled over the peaceful protesters, and I can tell you … things haven’t changed in the ‘People’s Paradise’ all that much since. Oh, you saw the Olympics on TV and they all look so advanced and peace-loving and civilized? The people, yes. The totalitarian Communist regime, nada. So sure … let’s reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but increase our dependency on a Chinese Communist oligarchy??
This is insanity on such a grand scale … that no one can really believe it. So we refuse to. History is replete with examples of world events so startling that the populace was literally frozen with surprise, and stunned to inaction. Students in 1989 Beijing faced a wall of AK-47 rounds. The Soviet tanks rolled through the summer streets of Prague. The Jews were ejected from their homes and herded into Nazi camps. The twin towers tumbled in Manhattan.
And now … with the derisive laughter from my Leftist friends still echoing in my ears … my accusations of Obama being a ‘socialist’ have just been confirmed by … Newsweek magazine. For once we are in accord.
Tyrants and despots can only come to power through the pretense of crisis. Otherwise the people would not stand for it. It’s How to Boil a Frog, 101. If we are convinced of a crisis, we can also be convinced that ’emergency measures’ are in order. Sweeping executive powers must be invoked. Individual liberties must be compromised and ‘temporarily’ suspended. Dissension must be stifled and freedom of speech deferred; the media – newspapers, television, and radio must be managed, dominated, and/or censured. Individual business must be manipulated and controlled. Personal property stops having any meaning whatsoever. The State dominates. Only the State provides. The State becomes everything. So comrades… Socialism starting to sound better and better?
Maybe we should walk out of the showroom.