Remember when McCain said that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong”? And remember how America gave a collective gasp of disbelief? And remember when Obama’s camp said in response:
Today of all days, John McCain’s stubborn insistence that the ‘fundamentals of
the economy are strong’ shows that he is disturbingly out of touch with what’s
going in the lives of ordinary Americans. Even as his own ads try to convince
him that the economy is in crisis, apparently his 26 years in Washington have
left him incapable of understanding that the policies he supports have created
an historic economic crisis. (source)
After listening for months (really, much longer) to Obama chicken little on about impending catastrophe and doom, we are now being treated to his new message of hope . . . or actually, McCain’s old message of optimism and hope for this country. Obama’s top economic advisor says that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.
Sure, now that they’ve got their bazillion dollar bailout plan in place, of course Obama is going to trumpet the greatness of this country. Like a little kid who finally gets what he wants after much whining and pleading and threatening (why doesn’t Obama threaten to run away? I’d be okay with that), Obama is now in a good position to try (finally) to bolster the economy. Too little, too loaded with pork, too late?
And following all this jaw-dropping flip-flopping, Obama is now feigning outrage that AIG is going to use the monies from the second (or was it third?) giant sum of tax payer money they’ve been awarded to pay bonuses to its executives. He is trying to find some way to block the payment of some $165 million in bonuses for the executives in the very branch that is blamed for the economic mess we’re in now. Again, too little, too late. You know when’s a good time to block that sort of thing? In bankruptcy court. In the original agreement to send the money (we can tell carmakers what kinds of cars to make and in what numbers, but we can’t dictate that executives who had a part in creating this fiasco don’t get a few million bucks of our money for their trouble?).
The government-appointed watchdog at AIG is arguing that these payments need to be made (blah blah contract, blah blah keeping “top talent”!?); this isn’t AIG on its own saying “wheeeee!” and tossing millions of dollars around. It’s Obama’s appointed watchdog. And now he’s (the watchdog, that is) going to be martyred for the political cause because someone in Obama’s circle read a poll that suggested that Americans would be outraged by this payout. Uh huh. Couldn’t see that coming? I mean look at the outrage that executives who jetted in on private planes to beg Congress for money were met with. But no, they can’t figure out and preempt a similar problem?
And what about this economic bailout package (that Obama is still insisting is Bush’s business, though his signature is on it? Well, we think it is, he signed it in private, presumably so if the media ever gets over its love affair with him, they can’t whip out the video clip of his triumphant bill signing)? Apparently, there’s not much in it that will do much any time soon. I heard on television last night that something like 23% of the initiatives would occur in the next year. That doesn’t seem to offer much hope for the millions of people who are unemployed, being foreclosed, or both.
Parts of the bill provide for “infrastructure” rebuilding and renovation. So Obama’s plan, a part of it, is to build a few overpasses, pave a few roads, and shore up some crumbling bridges. That’s good. We need that. But not as a way to get the economy moving and people back to work. What revenue does a new overpass, smoothly paved road, or safe as houses bridge generate? Oh, none? And how long does it take to build these things? A few months, or with the government in charge, maybe a year? And then what are those workers going to do? These aren’t careers, they aren’t even permanent jobs. Just another stop gap measure.
Toss money at failed businesses, toss money at the education problem, toss money at healthcare, toss money at the unemployment issue . . . all this tossing money is not going to do a thing but postpone true financial and economic collapse. Where’s the strong, detailed plan that Obama had, that America backed? Oh, right, I forgot, he never had one.
On the bright side, at least Obama has approved federal funding for scientific research on embryonic stem cells. I’m truly glad of that. At least those tax dollars are going to do some long term good. Well, no one really knows for sure if it will, but let’s hope so.