I am becoming disheartened with the recent rash of bailouts coming from the United States government. Although it never seemed like a good idea, people like the secretary of the treasury convinced us that it would be the lesser of two evils. Yes, taxpaying Americans would now be forking over money to financial institutions who made bad decisions and paid executives millions in a heyday that was not too long ago. Some of these institutions were deemed too big to fail. Yet we have seen the results of what has happened when companies like Enron, WorldCom and others went bankrupt. It impacted a lot of people, some went broke, some went to jail. And America survived.
Now taxpaying Americans are being asked to fork over money to automobile corporations who made bad decisions and paid millions in executive bonuses in a heyday that was not too long ago. The United States should not be without domestic automakers. However, they must change the way he did do business and the way they handle their money. The American auto industry cannot and should not go the way of the American television industry. Names like Zenith, Curtis Mathes, and others proudly graced quality television sets over a generation ago. Now, everything is imported. Although, we have grown accustomed to this, I don't believe it would be in America's best interest to let this happen to the auto industry. I'm not really a fan of Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, or the rest. However, there may be a day when this would be all I would have to choose from. Whether I liked it or not, I will be driving an import.
In a few short weeks, all of the excessive ballyhooing from the Democrats who claim that George Bush is the worst president ever may soon have their own crow to eat. The reprise of a Democratic administration may have the characteristic of our most recent Democratic president-the continual scandal. There was a prediction made by a prominent media person in Milwaukee who has claimed that whenever a Democrat runs on a platform of reform, they turn out to be more corrupt than what they believe they would be flushing out. I thought this was a gutsy move by predicting this, however I do not find myself disagreeing.
This weeks news story concerning filling the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama is showing us that ethical politics do not often come out of Illinois. It doesn't make sense anymore to rehash the Tony Rezko, Rev. Wright, and the rest which were ignored largely during the campaign. However, like these individuals, scandals have a way of distancing themselves from Barack Obama much like a Nostradamus prediction. Once the scandal breaks, Obama makes a statement saying that he had no contact or communication with the wrongdoer, and the meetings, conversations, and everything else gets expunged from the public's mind. Although nobody sees it coming, the rape thing seems to have gotten done in hindsight. Figure that out.
In what most must consider a surprise move, Barack Obama has denied all wrongdoing from his staff in the senate seat for sale scandal. This must come as is shock to anyone who has even a passing fancy with politics. One can almost visualize how this story rolled out: Obama calls on his transition team to gather in a room, Obama stands up and says, "If anyone is involved raise your hand." No hands go up. Obama then asks for his office of the president-elect placard and the press release begins. It becomes as anticipated as a Nostradamus prediction.
And what's up with that Caroline Kennedy appointment? There are actual reports questioning her qualifications for U.S. Senate. This seems somewhat unbelievable, after all, she's going after Hillary Clinton's seat. Isn't the Kennedy name qualifications enough? What do Senators do anyway? After reviewing the accomplishments of the last couple of congresses, it is apparent that they do not do very much. If she is unqualified for office and has no experience, she should fit right in with Obama.
With re-worked bailouts, stimulus packages, and the re-awakening of credit, it's clear someone wants you to spend your money. Just a few months ago, when credit was really tightening up, Americans were becoming scared to spend money. Payments could not be made, interest rates were too high, owns for hard to get, and job losses were looming. The media had scared us all into thinking this was happening to everyone everywhere. And when we were convinced, we did not like the result. The stimulus checks that had come to us from the government did not get spent on things that we could not afford. Instead, some of them wisely got put towards retiring old debt, or possibly even saving. While living within our means is good for us individually, the economy as a whole suffers. So now, the task at hand is to get consumers to believe that they have unlimited income potentially, in unlimited time to pay off debts. Asset appreciation will soon be on its way back. It's time to forget about the tough times already. Thank goodness we somehow survived.
On the aggregate, government is once again perceived as the savior to the economy. President elect Obama, with placard in hand, will try to convince Americans to spend their way out of this recession. And of course government wants to do its part. Deficit after deficit will be piled up higher and higher in about half the time. The United States government will spend $1 trillion more than it has in one year alone. It used to take three years to reach the trillion mark even in bad times. The United States government wants to revisit the depression years and the huge deficits racked up by President Roosevelt believing this brought us the prosperity we remember so nostalgically. Displaced workers from the auto industry, financial industry, and retail will all be lined up to apply for jobs building bridges and laying highways. Once they're completed, how will they be used? Will we still have cars?
I have finally settled on what I think will be my Christmas wish for 2008. Or should I settle on what my Christmas wish should be for 2008? Oh, if there was just enough money for everyone to be happy. As we know, what we wish for does not really make a whole lot of difference. And of course, there is no way of determining how much money everyone would be satisfied with. And if I thought it would make everyone happy, I would be dead wrong.
Earlier in the fall, Americans were convinced that the government should give obscene amounts of money to private corporations to keep them financially stable. If we didn't, we were scared into thinking that the whole financial system as we know it would collapse. Whether or not it would, we really don't know. But we didn't rush through Congress a huge bailout bill with few strings attached and few questions asked. One thing we did not want to, was that this bailout money would go to the executives of these failing companies in the form of bonuses. And of course, that happened.
As we cross the threshold from 2008 to 2009, the time comes for many people to write down some New Year's resolutions. And of course, they always include the perennial lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking, swear less, etc. etc. etc. And because these New Year's resolutions primarily focus on our bad habits, the things we wish to change about ourselves to make us better some how, usually last for about two weeks. Whether that is good or bad, I don't know. Focusing on bringing ourselves of bad habits is usually doomed to failure. So why even do it?
I don't advocate making New Year's resolutions however, if you would allow me to toss out a suggestion that may set an attitude, a word of caution, to set a tone for 2009 albeit it is still negative. Here it is: beware of the tax and spend liberals. Yes, they were all happily elected a month or so ago and now in January, the new government sessions began in the tax-and-spend liberals will be glad as can be to raise every tax that they can.