Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One Crazy Month!

This has been a crazy month – the first – for the new administration. In some ways, there have been happenings unlike those of any other time in the memory of the perpetrator of this corner. There was nothing new about the attempts to make inappropriate appointments to the bureaucracy – people like tax-cheats Geithner, Daschle, and Killefer to Treasury, HHS, and the new one, something about policing all the bureaucrats, respectively, as well as Richardson, now under investigation for...well, name it. Only Geithner slipped through but the whole enterprise reminded of the first days of Bill Clinton and, to a lesser extent, George Bush.

Actually, some craziness began to crop up early last year when the democrat-controlled Congress decided to dole out $300 per qualified citizen and/or children. This was supposed to help the economy but didn’t make a dent. The mortgage improprieties were at the root of the slipping economy and all the solons knew this, so instead of correcting the problems, they handed out cash to everybody – much easier, just help everyone pursue happiness, as the Declaration would have it.

The craziness continued into October, when the democrat-controlled Congress, with little help from republicans, decided to give away $700 billion to the misbehaving miscreants and their lending/banking institutions in order to save the nation, as the Anointed One might have it. The objective: help people borrow money to buy houses or anything else. Problem: No one knows exactly where the $350 billion already allocated is right now, but it’s well known that neither borrowing nor buying has been enhanced. Result: unemployment standing at 7.6% and rising, as people listen to the Anointed One constantly warn that the nation is in free fall and don’t dare turn loose of what little they have left, the Stock market (and their savings) having tanked and consequently been wiped out, respectively.

In the mix has been the strange wanderings of the elite officials. Holbrooke and Mitchell have gone to the Middle East to settle all the problems there, as if any mortal could do that...but it’s great theater. Speaker Pelosi has been to see the Pope and who knows where/who else. Senator Kerry has wandered around Syria and Gaza lately making the usual sounds and, of course, upstaging Holbrooke and Mitchell, when and where possible. State Secretary Clinton has been doing the Far East tour – smiles all around – with no armed attacks on her such as those she repeatedly said she suffered in Bosnia in 1996, when she was met by the little girl carrying flowers, not an AK-47. The Orientals are still laughing, like everyone else.

Pelosi had to meet her schedule to lecture the Pope on abortion, so there was no time for lawmakers to read the 1,100-page “stimulus bill,” recently passed by the democrat Congress with no help from republicans. Counting interest, it amounts to $1 trillion worth of earmarks and handouts in the vein – at least as propagandized – of FDR back in the 1930s. Lately, though, the president has sounded more like JFK in the early 1960s, as he begins to understand nationalization of this and that, such as the banks, lending agencies, auto companies. Maybe the railroads will be next as per HST of the 1940s. Those pesky unions are about gone, though.

So...how crazy can it get? The prexy invited the known “brains” in for some breakout sessions this week to figure a way to save the country, especially since the banks and auto companies are screaming for more money to save the country. Since Treasury Secretary Geithner doesn’t seem to know what to do with the money he has – that other $350 billion – and since hundreds of billions more seem to be the asking price of most anyone and everyone – especially those with lucrative golden parachutes – to save the nation, what’s a president to do?

Maybe the Chinese will make some more loans, although they’re well aware that in just four months the democrat-controlled Congress has spent twice as much on domestic issues as has been spent since 2001 on the Afghanistan- and Iraq-actions...with, of course, nothing to show for the outlay...but, not to worry, since most of that spending will someday pay off...all those new bridges that take a few years to build. If the Chinese won’t lend – and they already hate the U.S. for the deflating dollars they already own – well, just print money and let the Chinese eat cake.

In this corner, it has been hard to accept the fact that the government is now reduced to handing out money to its citizens and nationalizing entire industries. This is the opposite of the free enterprise that has made the nation what it is – the envy of the world, but no more perhaps, as other countries see the blatant dishonesty, governmental and private, that has made the U.S. a laughingstock. The average citizens are paying a heavy price now, not to mention the one passed on to the coming generations. Printing money has unutterably bad consequences.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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