Countdown to Stimulus Stimulation!

In a moment of profound unpreparedness, our brand-spanking new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner spoke on Tuesday about the ‘details’ of the upcoming stimulus package.  After no ‘details’ whatsoever were declared, the stock market expressed their discontent by trashing the Dow Jones Industrial Aver­age by 300+ points.  Ouch-town, population you, Tim.  Maybe it’s best to have the information before you tell the press that you want to release the information.

As I write this, the House of Representatives is hard at work debating the particulars of the upcoming stimulus bill.  Senate is set to get their think tank a-rolling later this evening.  The latest page count for the bill is 1071.  To give you a base of comparison, reading this bill would be compara­ble to reading Pride and Prejudice, The Grapes of Wrath, and washing them both down with Machia­velli’s The Prince all in one day.  Only more boring.

Where are the Cliff’s Notes when you need them?

If my high school English class was any indicator, I’m guessing that many of our fine representatives won’t read the bill word for word.  At least some politicians are being honest about it.  U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, was quoted as saying, “Regardless of party, we will all cast our votes with one hand and cross our fingers with the other.”

So, you’re basically telling me that we’re spending close to a trillion dollars on… something that the people who made it really don’t understand?  Isn’t this how I, Robot started?  It didn’t work out so well for Will Smith in that one.

Simultaneously, Barack and his Obama-nauts are trying to hammer out a mortgage subsidy program.  To spare you the convoluted web of details, essentially what they are trying to do is come up with a standardized qualification and re-appraisal process that all banks can use to establish eligibility for loan modification.  The talk of the program alone brought the stock market roaring back over 200 points towards the tail-end of yesterday.  I’m a big fan of anything that government is willing to do to keep people in their homes and stop home price depreciation.  Rock on, Barack.

Another immediately problematic trend is America’s newfound desire to save money.  Between dwin­dling retirement accounts and severe job insecurity, consumers have retrenched and started to put their cash in their mattresses.  It has gotten to the point where some in the administration wish to change the phrase ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’ to ‘A penny saved is a penny you’re not spending to gener­ate commerce and jobs for your fellow Americans, you unpatriotic jerk’.  Yikes.

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