Monday, July 6, 2009

It's Essential You Get That Which Does Nothing


Back in January when President Barry was getting ready to take office, he had already made the members of the House and the Senate giddy with joy at the prospect of getting that Recovery Plan underway. Money, money everywhere! Because if there's one thing that makes our elected Representatives happy, it's money.

A lot of people, myself included, were not sold on the whole stimulus package idea or on the whole TARP idea. Actually, I'm rarely sold on a program that is going to cost $750 billion dollars for a problem that could have been largely avoided if the people who were proposing a solution had actually done their jobs in the first place and provided some regulation and oversight of the housing and mortgage industries. Yeah, I'm pretty much ALWAYS against throwing money at a problem when you don't even know what the problem is.

Enter Joe Biden.

Who?

You know, Joe Biden. He's the Vice President! That white haired guy that President Barry was always traveling around with during the campaign. No, now you're thinking of John McCain. Not him. John McCain was the guy who traveled around the country with Tina Fey. Joe Biden is the Vice President. He's the only one standing in the way of Nancy Pelosi becoming President if something untoward should happen to President Barry. (And if there was ever a better reason for a Vice President, I haven't heard of one, that's for sure.)

Joe Biden goes on a show called "This Week" on ABC and he's being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos and he says, "The figures we worked off of in January were the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there. We misread how bad the economy was, but we are now only about 120 days into the recovery package." This according to
The Huffington Post. Um, OK. Sooooo.....what are you saying, exactly?

Biden said that "...the 9.5 percent unemployment rate is much too high." The administration had predicted unemployment would stay below 8 percent with its stimulus plan. Wait!

The prediction! I remember the prediction! They had a graph to show their prediction! And if I recall correctly (and I do because...well, I know how this is going to turn out), the graph of THEIR PREDICTION showed what the unemployment rate would look like with a stimulus package and what it would look like without a stimulus package. And the graph showed these differences between now and the first quarter of 2014. I clearly remember this because in the end, with or without spending the gazillion dollars, the unemployment rate would be the SAME in 2014 if there WAS a stimulus package or if there was NOT a stimulus package. Behold!


At the time of this lovely graph, I distinctly remember saying that perhaps we should just NOT spend the $747 billion dollars and see how things work out on their own. Because the way that economies have traditionally worked throughout history, they correct themselves. Why must we be in such an expensive hurry?

And lo and behold (brother and sister of flora and fauna), not only has the stimulus package failed to do anything other than stimulate the diabolical minds of members of Congress as they try to figure out how to get their hands on some of this free flowing cash, but unemployment is now only slightly worse than it would have been if the stimulus plan had not been enacted. Oh, and when I say "enacted" I mean "paid for through higher taxes paid by you and me". Nice.

But wait! Again, according to The Huffington Post "Biden noted that the plan was set up to spend the money over 18 months. Major programs will take effect in September, including $7.5 billion for broadband Internet service, plus new money for high-speed rail and the nation's electrical grid." Um, wait. What?

Internet service? Because having everyone in the country being able to access free porn on a moment's notice (or urge) is going to help the unemployment rate? Free porn contributes to the unemployment rate. Why do you think so many people are content with being unemployed? That's right! Home all day with free porn! Fire me! Fire me next!

And if I have to hear one more damn thing about a high speed rail system, I'm going to lose it. Sure, that would be just grand if a) we were the Jetsons and b) if there was a need for it. Seriously. Do you know how long these yo-yos in California have been talking about a bullet train that goes from here in the Bay Area to Los Angeles in something like 2 hours? For years! Do you know how many times voters have approved funding to study the damn thing? A gazillion! Has there even been one ounce of dirt moved in order to make this thing happen? Hell no! The thing is, they study everything about this project except for the most important factor and that is how many freaking people do you think are in the Bay Area that need to go to Los Angeles? RIGHT NOW! Not enough to warrant their little bullet train dealio. And all of the folks like Joe Biden who are advocating transportation like that are so enamored with the idea of it all that they conveniently forget that we DON'T NEED IT! Gadzooks, what is wrong with you people?

But what do other members of Congress have to say about this? Oh, just wait. Here's my favorite line. It comes to us courtesy of a one Steny Hoyer, D-MD, who is the House Majority Leader. He said "...no one is satisfied with the results of the stimulus so far...." Good. Way to go there, Steny! You tell them! "...but we believe the stimulus was absolutely essential." Wait. What now?

You believe it was absolutely essential?! Essential for WHAT?! It hasn't DONE anything! It hasn't even come CLOSE to DOING anything! Unemployment hasn't even gone down a LITTLE bit! No, it's gone UP! What was it "essential" for? You sir, seem like a maroon when you make statements like that.

We're so doomed. It hasn't done anything, but we needed it? If that is the general consensus among the collective House and Senate, we're totally doomed. Do I need to point out that if something hasn't done anything then clearly we did NOT need it? ::: sigh ::: Apparently, I do.

Hey, Joe Biden. I don't give a fat rat's arse if you "misread" the economy. (What the hell is a "blue chip index" anyway? Are they corn or tortilla?) Now that you've admitted that you've made a mistake, are you going to fix it? Are you going to re-do your figures and your calculations and figure out what the impact of your all mighty stimulus package is going to be now? Because so far, you've spent tons of money and I've spent zero money and we've both achieved the same not-so-stellar results, economy-wise that is.

I'll tell you what. I dare you to stop spending money and to stop trying to artificially fix this thing. Come on! It'll be like an experiment! It'll be fun! What's the worst that could happen? Really? From what I can tell, the worst that could happen is that no money would be spent and the economy would do what it's going to do anyway, regardless of the stimulus money. But I see what's coming.

You're going to pump all of MY money into a bunch of pet projects for a bunch of blowhard Congressmen and Congresswomen and THEN when the economy begins to recover AS IT WOULD HAVE WITHOUT THE MONEY you're going to take the credit for it being your glorious stimulus package that is responsible for it all! Arent' you? Of course you are! We are so doomed.

I'll give Joe Biden this much: At least he said that they "misread" whatever it was that they did. I would have preferred a "we effed up", but I'll take "misread" for now. However, I'll only take "misread" once. If I have to hear in a couple of months about how something else was "misread", I won't be quite so impressed.

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