What a weird day watching the news. According to the news today, some independent agency says that the President’s Economic Stimulus Package doesn’t have ESP at all. It couldn’t predict that people wouldn’t believe in it.
According to the bi-partisan or non-partisan group, the stimulus package has produced or saved 1.2 million jobs. The odd thing is that most Americans apparently don’t believe it. Their sense: Bankers got the deal while we got the shaft.
While I agree with the first part, I don’t agree with the second. It could just be me, but I know quite a few construction workers who have jobs because of the stimulus package. I can’t count the number of ways Jodi Rell, our governor, used the money — to extend benefits, to finance schools, and more. Every time I turn around, it seemed she’s using the money for something. Still, of course, there’s not enough to do everything that needs to happen. But the money certainly was spent here.
And yes, the various CEOs are still getting HUGE salaries for running companies poorly. And yes, the credit card companies are already figuring out new ways to mess with the American consumer (hi, Val!) after this latest attempt to stop them from doing so. The only difference is now we actually care about it. Remember the movie Wall Street: “Greed is good”? That was in what, the 1980’s? Unions have been complaining about CEO salaries for years as their memberships’ jobs disappeared. People with shares in those companies thought it was great. But, now, suddenly, it’s bad because Obama’s linked to it? So, what, we can screw ourselves and that’s OK, but if the government tries to stop us from hurting ourselves they’re the problem?
Remember the President’s State of the Union speech where there were few claps, whistles, or anything? The man can’t give it away. Why? Because he doesn’t get angry enough, because his people believe in decorum and don’t yell crazily like the broadcasters on the networks, especially (but not only) Fox. The man has had uninvited visitors to the White House, seen the nation attacked by a terrorist, had his health care reform attacked mercilessly, attended a conference on global warming that, until Al Gore, most people didn’t believe existed either and eked out something, anyway, and who gets the credit for anything? People who spent billions to derail him, politicians without a plan of their own, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin. How much can one man handle?
This is not to say even I like all of his policies — more on nuclear power later — but, if we’re not in a depression, the stimulus worked. We hit an economic iceberg with the boat of capitalism last year and he rode in with a welding crew to keep the whole thing afloat.
I remember when the banks failed and I would have been just as happy to let them do so because things had gotten so corrupt. It took a long time for us to get this way and I expected a long time to get out of it. I was surprised when the House was going to let them drown in their own red ink. I personally would have liked to see a Roosevelt-style New Deal and people see the economy and human beings’ rights to exist as separate issues, but it didn’t happen. We only got an overhaul of the banks, cars, and a shot at health care. OK.
But, no, in came Obama (still in Bush’s term!) making plans to save the perishing. He hit the ground running and here we are. We didn’t hit bottom, but we didn’t drown either. There aren’t any more “foreclosed” signs on my street. The automakers are doing OK (well, except for Toyota, and I don’t understand what happened there, either). My clients tell me that the economy is looking better around here. The step-father of one thought he’d have to move South for a good period and then saw 6 or 8 jobs in his area nearby.
I understand that this is just anecdotal evidence, which isn’t fact, but even when facts (see above) are in evidence, nothing happens. People want to hate this President. Maybe because he seems to let them bully him. He doesn’t come out swinging until he’s really cornered. The thing is, his not defending himself all that well doesn’t mean that it’s not the bullies’ faults.
Our President, in the odd sort of world we live in, is a victim — a victim of huge, rich, media bullies, while they tell us we’re victims of his power. Obama doesn’t have any more power, folks. It’s gone and in many ways, his party’s acting like he’s a lame-duck President.
Have insurance rates gone down yet? Maybe we should have health care reform. Should we have more government inspectors, so we know when a car companies threatening us? That would require more government and we’re “all” against that. What about plowing in the South after this week? I bet the governors of those states want money from the Federal government. They may even take it from the Stimulus Plan. It’s time we started believing the man we elected and recognize who the bullies really are.
But, hey, that’s just me.