Pump the Breaks and Drive Slow, Homey
Recent news stemming from the White House has been about as gloomy as the weather around here lately. From Good Morning America I recently learned that, despite stimulus efforts, the US unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression and that the poverty rate is at the highest it’s been in 11 years. Essentially, the government bailout has been more of a bail of hay than anything.
Last November, as Wall Street imploded, Big Daddy rushed in with billions of taxpayer dollars to save the day. Nearly a year later, it seems like all $750B can get you these days is enough money to secure year-end bonuses for the very folks who brought the financial world to its knees. Chairman Bernanke took steps to lower interest rates so banks could loan money at lower rates — but while bank profits have soared in recent months, they still refuse to lend. Try to get a small business loan today — maybe when Hell freezes over. Or try refinancing your mortgage — Wells Fargo told me I had to call back in 10 weeks. They simply don’t want to deal with folks who are trying to make good on government programs.
Right now, the 39.8M individuals living under the poverty level and 5.5M unemployed can’t access lower interest rates. The value of the dollar is decreasing which inversely causes the cost of bread and milk to rise. The stimulus plan has put us trillions of dollars in debt and the current administration’s solution to paying down this tab is to tax the hell out of US companies and small businesses. This hinders the free market and birth of new ideas, companies and job opportunities. So the unemployment rate continues to plummet, we can’t borrow at lower interest rates and are forced to pay more for basic necessities. Throw healthcare reform into this toxic soup and it would appear that this administration is attracted to the calamities of Pandora’s Box like moths to a flame. I’m of the mind that they need to pump the breaks (yes, it’s a Kanye West song) and use longevity as the measure of their work.
Short-term solutions are just that and the backlash for ill-planned proposals (I.E. government bailout, stimulus checks, cash for clunkers) is often career-ending. My advice to this admin is to nurture the virtues of patience, hunker down and let reason — not ambition — lead to viable and sustainable policies. You inherited a lot of crap, but if you’re not careful, this will be your Iraq War.
PS: I voted for the Pres and still have high hopes for him but at the end of the day, I’m an equal opportunity destroyer.
Posted by Elizabeth