EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – FEBRUARY 18, 2009
By Rich Trzupek
To turn a phrase “ask NOT what your country can do for you, ask how much money it can print for you.”
Not really hearing much about the national debt any more, are we? Nope. That no longer seems to be an issue of importance, which is perhaps inevitable when we’re spending $787 billion dollars we don’t actually have at the moment. $787 billion! With a “b”. That’s gotta leave a mark.
George W. Bush has to be laughing his butt right about now. A lot of people – including your humble correspondent – criticized his spending habits when he was in office. With one stroke of the pen, the forty-forth President has just made the forty-third seem positively miserly.
I know. I know. If we didn’t spend $787 billion (still can’t believe that’s with a “b”) the nation would be heading for a “catastrophe”. There’s always a “catastrophe” looming these days.
Global warming? A “catastrophe” that will flood the ENTIRE WORLD! Health care? A “catastrophe” that will KILL BABIES! From foreign policy, to the economy, to the “danger” of vaccinations, everything is a catastrophe, all the time. It’s a wonder that anyone is still alive to tell the tale.
Nobody should be allowed to use the word, ever again. Particularly politicians, of any party. (Not being able to use the word “catastrophe” will pretty much put the Green Party out of business, which is a nice side benefit). If there’s a meteor streaking for Chicago, wake me up. Otherwise? Enough with the catastrophes already.
There’s enough pork in that $787 billion to keep a Spam factory supplied for the next hundred years, but this should come as no surprise. You can take the politician out of Chicago, but it’s damned near impossible to get the Chicago out of a politician.
For this isn’t $787 billion – with a “b” – in stimulation that’s needed to avert a catastrophe. We’ve had recessions before and we’ll have them again. Rather, this is $787 billion in muscle, Chicago-style. This is $787 billion in pull. This is $787 billion in “don’t forget who got you that federal grant money when election time rolls around buddy.”
The states can’t wait. Governors across the country are positively drooling in anticipation of the handouts, each more excited than a kid on Christmas Eve. “Omigod – omigod – omigod – I can’t wait to see what I get!”
It was positively precious to read stories about how state governors were so strongly in favor of the stimulus package. Gosh, now there’s a surprise. They’re in favor of getting billions of “free” dollars without having to do a thing? Really? Who woulda thunk?
The flip side of that equation, that federal money always comes with strings attached, seems to occur to almost none of these state leaders, who are lining up to sign their declarations of dependence as we speak.
Change? I guess – if you consider taking the fiscal philosophy that has just about bankrupted the state of Illinois and expanding it to a national scale to be “change”. And it’s really, really hard to imagine how this can be “change” for the better unless you’re like – you know – a socialist.
But then The Change hasn’t been so all that much of a change except that we have new guys who can’t seem to keep track of their change – particularly when it comes to little details like paying their taxes – and other guys who changed titles from “lobbyist” to “Presidential advisor” – something that President Obama said he wasn’t going to allow as part of The Change, but then he changed his mind and decided that their were worthy exceptions, none of which, we may be sure, has changed any of his legions of worshippers opinions about the Greatest President in American History.
Since yours truly is engaged in the environmental industry, which is pretty much all about made-up catastrophes, and since this administration drinks that particular Kool-Aid with gusto, I have no doubt that I will have no shortage of work over the next four years, no matter what kind of new changes are coming our way. Bully for me.
Except for that one, nagging, little thought: my clients are American industry. When the economic ramifications of the biggest give-away in United States history are fully understood, a couple of years hence, will there be anyone left to pay me?