Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Cool Million per Family?

The Sunday morning talk-shows on 15 March were loaded with bureaucrats, government officials, and Congresspersons discussing the economy and little else. The Anointed One, while not looking good with respect to what has been happening with all the billions of dollars the government doesn’t have that have been allocated to every entity imaginable – state governments, local governments, private entities, and – of course – those precious earmarks, is at least not being bombarded with questions regarding the war on terrorism and why he’s still allowing Americans to be killed.

All kinds of figures have been thrown around with respect to the cost of the stimulus packages, bailouts, whatever, but the fact is that nobody seems to know much about them. Last fall, the Congress passed a “bailout” of some $750 billion or so for the financial institutions based on a three-page bill that the Congresspersons surely had enough time to read. As it stands for AIG alone, for instance, the handout is at about $170 billion, and the head honchos of AIG are paying themselves multiple millions in bonuses to celebrate their failure. Strangely, they can and do just get away with it, which makes one wonder if they’re paying off the right government officials/bureaucrats.

Indeed, both McCain and Obama deserted their campaigns long enough to attack Washington with their wisdom and in the process, of course, practice one-upmanship on each other. Result: nobody, including those ham-actors, seems to know what the bill actually meant. Half of the money has been given away as the economy has worsened to the point that unemployment stands at 8.1 percent, foreclosures have been tripping merrily along, and Obamessiah’s Treasury Department has absolutely none of the 17 deputy-secretaries appointed/nominated and in place. Secretary Geithner is left twisting in the wind as his Congressional-committee partners in crime scathingly scapegoat him on practically a daily basis, never mind their dereliction in oversight responsibilities.

This is what House Finance Committee chairman Barney Frank said last July on a Fox News program: “I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under.” This is the kind of leadership under which the nation suffers. Even as he spoke, the FMs had already died long before but the bodies had not been discovered, at least not until after the government crooks who partly ran those disasters had reaped (or raped the taxpayers for) tens of millions and both the Obama and Dodd campaigns had received hundreds of thousands.

Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Christina Romer, said on Meet the Press that the government was buying up failed loans, or something like that, with the taxpayers paying the freight. This brings up an interesting question. Why didn’t the government just give away money to citizens instead of giving it away to people and institutions who/which have proven indelibly that the money went either to crooks or to hopeless incompetents?

Consider! The figure that seems to rise to the fore as accurate for all that’s being wasted is $3 trillion, when all is said and done, including interest and another “stimulus” later this year. That amounts to $250,000 per person in this country, or a cool million to a family of four. Give a family $1 million with the stipulation that 20% must be saved, 20% paid in taxes and the remainder spent. Besides filling the federal coffers, that would fire up the economy to the extent that the unemployment rate would dissipate overnight. If that had been done in the beginning, most of the foreclosures would never have happened, and there would be two cars in every garage. The $300-per-person windfall was simply much too little a year ago.

Too simple? Maybe so…but it’s at least as logical as giving money to institutions, with virtually no accountability and then whining about not knowing where it is and what it’s doing. One thing is certain, to wit, that huge segments of the giveaways are going into private pockets…those of the smooth operators who know exactly how to work the system. It’s graphically apparent now that the people would have spent the money wisely, while the operators either don’t know the score or are out for what they can get.

The tragedy is that this once proud nation, with regard to its GDP and overall individual prosperity, has been reduced to taking taxpayer money – or just printing it or borrowing it from lovely China – and GIVING it to people and institutions for no better reason than that the officials and bureaucrats sent to Washington are either too dumb or corrupt or both to do what they’ve sworn to do, i.e., look out for the public welfare. Disgusting!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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