Well, you caved to the Republicans. You included a bunch of tax cuts in the stimulus plan in the hopes that the Republicans would vote for the plan, and (surprise!) they didn’t vote for it anyway. See, they are pretty smart in a crafty sort of way. They know tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy – if tax cuts worked, we’d be rolling in greenbacks right now, after Bush’ 8 years of tax cuts to the wealthy and big businesses. His tax cuts came to something over a trillion bucks over the past 8 years and you see where we are. No, the Repubs wanted the tax cuts so that the stimulus wouldn’t work and they could say, in a year or two, “See? The stimulus didn’t work.” I know, it sounds a bit, well, un-American to actually hope that our economy goes further south just to get even for losing the election, but the Repubs are looking at the long haul here. The idea is that eventually the public will be manipulated into forgetting that the Repub plan of increasing the wealth of the top 5% of the population and deregulating the markets is what got us into trouble. They will say it was the stimulus that caused the problem and blame Obama. You see how they are now saying that Roosevelt caused the Great Depression although it actually started three or four years before he was even elected. History – pish-posh! After re-writing the story of this latest disaster, they will be voted back into the majority in the House and Senate and we can do Reaganomics all over again. See, think long-term here. It’s not the people who matter, nor is it the problems of today that matter; it’s the perceived POWER and getting it back.
I’m not going to bore you with what I think about the wealthy making all the money. I’m not going to tell you how strange I find it that a B-rate actor was once elected president and has an economic theory named after him. (A theory that proved to be bull, but, c’mon, the guy was an actor, cut him some slack.) I won’t say how bizarre it is that the Repubs still think they deserve to run things even though it’s obvious the U.S. is pretty much toast thanks to their zany economics, nor will I tell you what a wuss I think you are for caving in to them. Also, I won’t say that I think you are fairly dumb to waste money on these tax cuts, which all the true economists agree won’t stimulate anything.
And I sure won’t get into the spending of the rest of the bailout money – the TARP, as y’all on the Hill like to call it. The easiest thing to do is just give it all to the bankers and be shut of it. And I have no doubt that’s exactly what you’ll do. The taxpayers will be paying for all this for the endless foreseeable future and the bankers will pawn the toxic debt off on us and skip away to Barbados, singing, “La, la, la.” The economists seem to think a “bad bank” to buy those assets is a really terrible idea, but that simply guarantees it will be precisely what you do in the end.
See, I know that you don’t have time to read much, especially those boring articles written by people who aren’t going to give you any campaign cash in any case, ridiculously serious and un-fun people like economists; you are just so busy, busy, busy! All those meetings with banking lobbyists and Wall Street boys and big pharma people, why, I’m surprised you find time to sleep!
So you’ve done the deal and slapped some Republican ideas in there, didn’t get their votes, but have guaranteed you’ll get the blame for those unfortunate ideas, and we have what we have. I will do my part now. Based on my income, I stand to see about $400 a year in tax cuts. I will do what I can to stimulate the economy with it. I know you had to work really hard to cram ANY sort of tax cut for people of my income level down the throats of the Repubs. It is a truly Republican notion that giving money to the working poor, people who work, but don’t make all that much money, creates laziness, greed and corruption. Money should be handled by those who know how to handle it: i.e., bankers and the already wealthy. They use it wisely and never fall into the sins of sloth, greed – well, okay, maybe that didn’t work so well for the last thirty years or so, but they have mended their ways, swear to God.
In any case, you twisted some arms and now you are taking a chance on ME. 400 buckaroos, 400 smackers, count ’em up – 400 dollars spread out over a year to do with as I will. Whew, doggies! I will try to live up to the responsibility you have so bravely entrusted to me. Let’s see, how to spend this tidy little sum….I tell you, the dazzling array of goodies suddenly available to me just about stuns my brain! Well, I didn’t raise three kids on less than 30 thou a year only to turn frivolous now, so I will be careful here and ignore the oh-so-tempting sillier items. Some of my wealthier acquaintances, who will be getting tax cuts of several thousand dollars each, will buy another CD or money market plan, because they never needed the tax cuts anyway, but I need to be a bit more realistic; I don’t think my bank has a money market plan for my $400. I know, I’ll get my teeth cleaned. One tooth a week. Alrighty, then. There’s the first half of the year. What else? I’m trying to stimulate here, so I should make sure the rest gets circulated around – I know! Now that the electric companies here in Maryland have been allowed to deregulate and de-couple, our electric bills are just silly-wacky. I’ll buy some candles. My sons had light to do their homework by; my daughter should, too. Wait, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that candles are all made in China now, so if I buy candles, I’ll be stimulating the Chinese economy. Hmm. No, that should still be okay. After all, the money for my tax cut is being borrowed from China, so what’s good for them is good for us. Candles it is then.
I promise you, Senators, that I will be wise with this astonishing largesse you’ve given me. I will NOT invest in any credit default swaps or ultra-derivatives, as enticing as they are. I will NOT hoard this money as if it were my last 400 dollars, even if that turns out to be true. And if the cost of groceries and gas continue to go up, I will use the $400 to let my daughter continue to drink milk occasionally and the hell with my teeth, because buying milk would still be stimulating to the economy, right? And I won’t complain about it, because I just know that somewhere, deep down inside, you have my best interests at heart.
That much is patently obvious.