In the crazy world in which we live, a blog looking to make sense of it all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama And The Bailout Mess

If you're like me, you are probably tired of hearing about the federal government bailing out some financial institution that was going under due to its incompetence and/or greed. And while many blame these institutions along with George W. Bush for this mess, I believe much of the blame should be put on the folks in Washington DC as well.

Earlier this year, Missouri Democratic senator Claire McCaskill called Wall Street executives that took bonuses with federal bailout money "idiots." I think we really have to look at the "idiots in Washington DC." They are the ones that sent Wall Street the money in the first place. This exact same problem happened again this week with AIG. And both were from $700 billion bailout plans.

Congressional Republicans were mostly against both bailout plans (and despite former President Bush's support on the October '07 bailout). Though their reasons varied somewhat, it mainly pointed out that it was not the most efficient use of money to stimulate the economy. Since when did the government do anything efficiently?? Our Republican freshman Congressman and "boy wonder" Aaron Schock is already blasting President Obama and other democrats for the recent bailout plan, stating is has not worked. He sights the recent downturn at Caterpillar. Not only is Schock recanting from the GOP party line, but he also shows how wet behind the ears he still is.

Even if this last stimulus plan was perfect, it will still take more than a month's time for someone to see results. Schock supposedly studied finance in school; you'd think he'd understand. Maybe this is what happens when you fast track yourself through college.

At any rate, I do have to mostly agree with Republicans on this one. This $787 billion stimulus is undoubtedly not the most efficient use of taxpayer money and a much better package could have been developed. From what I hear, no lawmaker had even read the entire bill. And from what we can tell, it was filled with earmarks and pork barrel spending. It's probably a wet dream for many politicians. Instead, I feel this stimulus should have been much, much smaller and geared towards infrastructure needs. And I don't agree with any of the tax increase ideas being passed around. Recessions are not the time to enact tax increases. Though the intentions are good, over time, taxes have a way or working its effects to all segments of the population; not just the rich. When an economy becomes overheated and inflation needs to be controlled, then look into tax increases.

This stimulus is just the short term. My biggest fear is what catastrophe this is going to have in the long term. With one swoop of the pen, Obama just increased the deficit and debt three quarters of a trillion dollars. And wait until he gets his nationalized health care going. In a generation's time, I fear that our debt and deficits will be so high that all our tax revenue will go to pay interest and leave nothing for actual needs and services. Yes, the "idiots in Washington DC."

I have just as much fun as the next guy blaming all these problems on George W. Bush, but I think you also need to look at the whole bunch out there in DC. They are the ones crafting shitty legislation, creating earmarks, spending on needless projects, etc. In addition, we have a society that spends like there is no tomorrow, maxxing out their credit cards and taking out consumer loans to purchase things they mostly don't need. All just for status. And it has kept our economy going, until now when they have run out of money. And many feel the government needs to bail them out from their own stupid decisions. All I can say is, if you shit in your nest, you have to sleep in it.