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.

I say let ’em fall.

December 6, 2008

So, the Big 3 are still pleading their case for a slice of the bailout.  Infamously arriving in D.C. onboard their apparently very necessary private jets, they are begging for cash to save their precious industry which, they are quick to point out, provides so many millions of jobs, etc. etc.  They showed up on the Hill again on Friday, this time in cars – the CEO of Chrysler even shared that he drove from Detroit in a hybrid.  Well isn’t that special.

We’re inching closer towards socialism anyway with the federal government now taking up ownership of banks.  Not that I necessarily have a problem with socialism (if it’s done fairly and correctly, and that’s a big if), but the Wall Street bailout is another matter.

But I say, let the automakers fall flat on their SUV-building asses.

You know why?  Because I was always taught that you have to work your ass off to get to where you want to be, but you also have to have foresight and good sense about things.  I mean, why keep cranking out 12 MPG SUVs when the gas prices were hovering around 4 bucks a gallon?  I mean, what the fuck, Big 3 dudes?  Is it just that you like seeing all those big shiny new monstrosities rolling off the line?  Shouldn’t you have been paying just a little bit more attention to the economy and the needs and trends of consumers before the shit hit the fan these past bunch of weeks?   Or how about getting rid of the jobs bank?   I mean, why should the money I work my ass off for be used to bail out an industry that is paying people 90% of their already above-average wage to not fucking work??  (Apparently, the UAW is suspending the jobs bank, but is not revealing any details or timetable about such.  Hoping we might refocus our collective scrutiny elsewhere, Mr. Gettelfinger?)

Our government didn’t go rushing to the aid of the Delta or Continental or Fruit of the Loom or Texaco or Kmart.  Instead, these businesses filed for bankruptcy, reorganized, and cleaned up their act.  Figured out ways to become more efficient.  And guess what?  After a period of chaos and destruction, new jobs emerged.  Imagine that.  All this housekeeping.  Precisely what the automakers should be doing.

Instead, they’re pleading to the Hill about how they’re running out of cash, how millions of more Americans could be out of work.

Um, OK, maybe you’ll have to make fewer cars, which will probably mean fewer dealerships.  I can see some jobs getting cut but… am I missing something, or do I just not see how all these MILLIONS of people aren’t going to be working?  We are all still gonna need car parts, and mechanics, and all that sort of shit.  Even more so, since people in general are short on dough these days, they’ll be buying used beater cars instead, which will need a lot of nickels and dimes dumped into them.  Lots of trips to the mechanic.  So, maybe we’ll need more mechanics!

Or, maybe this will all inspire another look at public transit for everyone.  For instance, how can we make it happen for people like me in the middle of East Fucking Nowhere in rural Maine?  Sounds like there could be some jobs in that.

Or… what about getting all these out-of-work minds devoted to figuring out how to get us all into electric cars instead?  Oh, wait.  Heh.  Already tried that.   Who am I kidding?

Bailout rant, part 2

October 7, 2008

OK, OK… so I don’t understand this whole bailout thing academically, so perhaps my criticism of it is unfounded.

However – I think I understand it morally, and it just ain’t sittin’ right with me.

Perhaps I don’t understand what all the ramifications are of the bailout – whether we really need it or not, what would happen without it, etc. etc.  Would there really be another Great Depression?  Would people – heaven forbid  – have to start actually conserving a bit?  As in doing things like combining errands in order to reduce fuel consumption, or turning off the fucking lights when you leave the room, or turning down the thermostat at night, or baking bread from scratch rather than buying it in the store?  (Heh, these are things I’m already doing.  Go figure.)

Or am I being too simplistic here?  Are people losing their shirts and their life savings because of all this mess with the banks?  Did that man in California wipe out his whole family because of economics?  Or did he just have a screw loose in his head?

A part of me wants to see society, as we know it, come to a screeching halt.  I’m not sure why, but I think it’s more just a desire for some general shaking up of things.  Call me crazy, but I think we Americans, as much as we bloggers (and others) like to bitch about our country, we do have it pretty easy.  We’ve got our cable TV and our iPods and our box scores and our porn and our processed foods and we just don’t want to have to sacrifice a damned thing for the next guy.  “Do unto others before they do unto you, but wave the flag and put a magnetic yellow ribbon on your SUV and eat an animal that you shot with your own gun, or I’ll call you a socialist hippie bastard.”

But, Christ – $700,000,000,000 – look at all those zeroes – that’s a whole bunch of money to be tossing around.   OUR money.  Money for which many of us worked our asses off, so that these fat-cat banks can sell off their bad loans to the government.  Too many people are living above their means; they’ve bought into the “American dream of home ownership”, and now they don’t really “have” anything except for a mountain of debt they can never hope to dig themselves out of.  How dreamy is that?

Even though a majority of Americans didn’t want this bailout, here we are, staring down the barrel of 7 tenths of a trillion dollars worth of saving the fat cats from their greed-fueled, dim-witted lending practices. Oh, but the government will swoop down and save us.  That’s what the Democraps all want us to believe, right?  Government will help us (even when we don’t want the help).  And the Repugs, they don’t like all the government interference.  But isn’t it all of their resistance to oversight and rallying for deregulation that got us into this mess?

I need some direction here.  I feel like just saying “fuck it” and moving to Canada.  Hell, I live in Maine, which is so close it should be part of Canada anyhow.  Cessation from the Union, ah, now that’s another can of worms.

No confidence = no vote.

October 4, 2008

I think it’s official, folks – none of the bastards are getting my vote this fall. 

I can’t believe that these fuckers who are supposed to be REPRESENTING us – the 75% of us who categorically rejected this bailout in polls – actually pushed this bailout bill through in record time.  My blood pressure has been sky-high all day long.  It’s clear to me now that it doesn’t or won’t matter a damn WHO is elected – because, no matter who it is – Democrap or Repug – they will do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, whatever the mighty dollar and the lobby of this interest or that instructs them to do – and all of it will be over the backs of us poor working class stiffs.  No matter who is president, there will be bullshit wars, bullshit deficits, bullshit shortages in money for things that matter the most – healthcare, education, etc. etc.  Obama is a good talker, but that’s ALL he is.  He would’ve gotten my vote if I’d decided that the whole “democratic” system was even worthy of my participation.  But I can’t vote for anyone who, for example, urged support of this 700 billion dollar fleecing of Main St., and who also categorically opposes things like gay marriage.  I would expect as much from a neo-con like McCain, but Obama?  What is it about blacks and gays?  Why can’t they commiserate and share in each others’ struggles?   Does he really believe that marriage is for people with different private parts, or is he just saying that because many people think that, too, and he’s just looking for votes?  Either way, it’s despicable, and he doesn’t deserve my vote.  Whatever.  I’m done.  I’ve had it.  Actually, I probably WILL show up to vote – but it will be to check off the empty boxes and write NONE OF THE ABOVE in huge block letters (as big as the little golf pencil will allow, anyway). 

I apologize that this is not the most coherent of my posts – but I had to get this out of me in one fell swoop with no editing, or I wasn’t going to get it out at all.   I want to hear from others out there who are as fed up as me.    I think WE are the ones who will make a difference – not these assholes who are begging for our precious votes.