Would you like some fries with that stimulus package?

February 21, 2009

I don’t know whether it’s the extremes we’ve been having in the weather up here in the Northeast that have been fucking with me or if the Republican mind-fuck is working it’s magic on me, but I have completely had it up to here with billion dollar bailouts and stimuli.

$780,000,000,000.  That’s a lot of fucking scratch, folks.  This “money” is supposed to stimulate the economy. Yeah, maybe right now, but what about our grandkids?  How are they going to feel inheriting this kind of debt?  I’ve known plenty of people who live their lives like this.  It’s called living beyond your means.  Being house poor.  Living on credit.  Having lots of shit around – nice car, nice house, nice clothes, nice everything – but not really owning any of it.

Do I feel sad that people are getting their homes taken from them?  Well, quite honestly, it depends.  Were you honestly making your payments every month without fail and then your spouse died or the factory closed and you are really stuck?  Then yes, I feel sad and would agree that you got dealt a lousy hand.  But – did you get in over your head in debt because you were too busy sucking at the teat of the promise and euphoric wonder of “the American Dream” to read the fine print on the contract that the predatory broker convinced you to sign?  Then no, I don’t feel quite as sad.  Does that make me a bastard?  Perhaps, but hey – I own my home, don’t carry any credit card debt, car payment, or school loans.  Debt free, baby.  And I’ve got money saved.  Call me un-American – but that’s how this mind chooses to roll.  And I wasn’t born into money.  I had to work my ass off to get to where I’m at.  But I wasn’t born into any sense of entitlement, either.  Just because I’m an American doesn’t mean I’m entitled to a piece of the American dream.  I gotta work for it.  I’m a frugal Maine-iac.  If there’s some little trinket that I want that I can’t afford, I save until I can.  If I ran my checkbook the way this country does, I’d be in white collar prison.

Even little ol’ Maine is supposed to get nearly a billion dollars out of this stimulus deal.  Sure, some roads and bridges that badly need it will get fixed, and a few schools won’t have to have as many bake sales.  But then what?  Seriously, THEN WHAT?  Everyone’s lives will suddenly be better?  Jobs will miraculously be created?  Why?  Oh yeah, to start generating tax revenue in some feeble attempt to pay back a trillion dollars in debt.  Obama et al seem to suffer from a distinct strain of Democratitis, the kind that leads people to believe that if you throw money at something, then it will get better.  Sure, maybe right now, but what are the LONG TERM side effects of a stimulus package like this?  And isn’t this forcing us all to put a tremendous amount of faith in the government to help us?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust the government to do what’s best for me.  I really don’t.  Supporters say it’s a lot better than doing nothing.  Is it?  I just heard on NPR that despite all this money wrangling, unemployment is still expected to rise to as much as 8.5 to 8.8 percent!!  That’s unacceptable!  So yeah, let’s throw a bunch of borrowed money at the problem and let’s see if that works.  I’ll admit that the Republicans are too quick to poo-poo the entire idea (save the 2 “moderates” from my own state) but I almost have to agree with them.  Are we really thinking this through?  What if you or I lived like this, constantly borrowing money and living on credit?  There is always a day of reckoning, and I fear the same will happen on a national scale with the package that is being implemented now.

But what the fuck do I know?  I am just one of many middle class stiffs who are footing the fucking bill.


7 Responses to “Would you like some fries with that stimulus package?”

  1. Mardé Says:

    Wow, Minds, you think all the debt of this nation is coming from the mere eight tenths of a trillion of Obama’s stimulus package? What about the five trillion in debt that Bush created with his tax cuts for the rich, his war in Iraq, and his deregulation of Wall Street? And that five trillion wasn’t even intending to create more jobs for the working class or to pay for their unemployment insurance, whereas Obama’s less than one trillion is at least trying to do that and more, just like FDR’s going into debt did in the 1930’s. If our economy recovers sometime, someday, the increased government revenues will begin to pay down the debt, just like it did after the enormous debt created in WW2. Hey, the precious grandkids might not even have to have their taxes raised!

    I could go on and on here, but why argue? It’s clear you’ve got your Minds made up, Minds.

  2. Minds Erased Says:

    Hey friend, I am knocking big debt all around. I’m picking on Obama’s plan because it’s timely. We all know Bush was and is the biggest fucking idiot around who is about as fiscally conservative as Paris Hilton in a shoe store. We all know that the war in Iraq is probably the main reason we are in the mess we are in, monetarily speaking. I am saying that as much as I think Obama is a better person than Bush ever could dream of being, he’s a big spender just like his predecessor. Yes, I’d rather see money being spent to help people than to harm people, but this help, in a lot of ways, feels like enabling. Enabling big banks and businesses to keep carrying on in the old inefficient ways. Now THAT I don’t like.

  3. seev78 Says:

    You mean to say what the businesses and banks are doing is immoral, unethical, and fattening? Our whole society is basically corrupt? Obama is just another big spender, recklessly throwing money at problems?

    FDR recklessly threw money at problems too (as explained to me by my parents, aunts and uncles, etc., at the time) but he gave a lot of people jobs back then and the economy improved — that is, until 1937 when the Repubs convinced him to try balancing the budget, then the economy got worse again, only to be saved by the war. Plus, if the Demos weren’t in control at the time there’d have been no Social Security (later LBJ, another crook, gave us Medicare). Ahh, but this is just throwing money at problems. And anyway, people are basically lazy, shiftless, and corrupt. (However, the debt did decrease after the war as the economy improved.)

    Our national debt is about ten trillion now! Obama’s reckless spending might increase that by 10% or 20%. The grandkids will have to pay all that back! Why? This country has lived with debt for many years now. The debt will get reduced — never eliminated — as the GDP increases some day and brings with it increased tax revenues.

    Oh, but some of your tax money will have to go to servicing this debt! Perhaps a significant portion of it, like now. Since the money is being wasted this is unfair to you. Why not try France? They have free and excellent medical care there, a much better infrastructure, plus much better broadband access for people than we do. But look at what your taxes will be!! And I’m not sure what their national debt is, but I bet it’s pretty high and part of people’s tax money is going to the interest on it.

    Oh, I apologize for this rant!! Looks like I’ve gone overboard. But I do feel strongly about this, as you can see, and I know you do too, and I try to understand what’s going on, although it’s not easy! Better take my meds and calm down!!

  4. Mardé Says:

    Hey, Minds, now that it’s another day and I’ve calmed down, I’ll admit I was too cavalier about debt in my previous comment. However, I believe it’s true that the debt never goes to zero in the case of nations. It goes up and down, relatively bad to relatively good.

    Nouriel Roubini, one of the economists who predicted this collapse of the American economy, made the following statement yesterday, “…long term large deficits could lead to a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. However, in the short term, the deficit isn’t a problem.” He’s one of the many economists, on both the left and right, who favored the stimulus.

    So, again, in my opinion anyway, it’s all relative.

    As far as the handout to banks goes, as Paul Krugman says, it’s been a heads they win, tails we lose situation. Temporary nationalization would get around this “lemon socialism”.

    But maybe you think all this is just blowing smoke or more hot air. Could be. But I don’t think we can live off the grid yet, so I try to study these guys.

  5. Minds Erased Says:

    Marde, I really am all for collective thinking, and collective problem solving, and the idea of things like socialized banking, medicine, etc., don’t really scare me all that much. In fact, I really am all for them. I am all for each and every one of our collective tax dollars going towards helping myself and everyone else. This stimulus package probably sounds a lot like *gasp* socialism to the Repugs, so they are (almost) all against it. It’s just that a lot of this package feels like one big enabling of banks and homeowners to just carry on with the hand-to-mouth living habits that have scraped them along thus far, and I don’t like that. I know we can’t pick and choose, necessarily, whom this package will help. Maybe I AM a heartless bastard, but like I said in my post, I would rather help someone who is truly helpless than someone who just bit off more than they could chew. The American Dream is such an aphrodisiac for many people, so intoxicating an idea that some people will sign any contract that comes their way that will allow them a piece of that dream. I think we need, as a nation, to reassess what the American Dream REALLY is. For me, it’s not necessarily or simply owning my own home – although that is something notable – but for me, it’s being able to pursue a living that is wholly satisfactory and fulfilling to me, having the freedom to express myself completely and without fear of punishment, and to share my life with the friends and partners that I so choose without that same fear of punishment. As far as I’m concerned, we’re sort of on our way in this country towards this type of dream, but if you’re gay, then tough shit.

    I know I’ve kinda gotten off topic, but I think there’s an undercurrent of sameness to all of this. It’s all connected.

  6. seev78 Says:

    I happened to see a presentation on the Millenials generation on CSPAN a few days ago that I just found again here. I may watch it again because I thought it was pretty good. It just occurred to me that you might be in agreement with them to some extent, Minds. They certainly are accepting of gays and appear to be very tolerant of “life styles” and free expression. They went overwhelmingly for Obama but one of the speakers at this presentation said something about holding him to their standards.

    Is this movement, if one can call it that, the future? This is off topic too, but I thought it might connect with what you had in Mind, Minds. Sorry again for punning on your name, but I just can’t resist! 😉

  7. seev78 Says:

    That link I left in my previous comment doesn’t work, but I think the presentation can be found here.

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