Guest Blogger Staci
I’m watching Morning Joe, and screaming at my television. The “conversations” being promoted today are especially aggravating for me as really simple arguments can be put forth to debunk them, yet Joe and his crew are laying out bullshit as if it’s paving the road to economic survival of this country.
Stimulus didn’t work
This narrative drives me nuts. First of all, there is no way possible to prove to people that if there had been no stimulus, this economy would have surely tanked for the next generation – if this is their mindset. I think most people have forgotten the effect on both the psyche and the markets, when the government allowed Lehman Brothers to collapse. The following day, the stock market fell over 504 points, a 4.42% loss of assets IN ONE DAY. Two weeks later, when Congress voted down Hank Paulson’s three-page joke of a stimulus plan the market ended the day with a 733 point drop, an additional 7.87% loss of wealth. We’re talking about the retirement plans of a lot of people taking a huge negative hit. I worked for a financial planning company at the time. I did the reviews on the effects of the stocks on these retirement plans. I saw so many company plans lose in the tens of millions of dollars between that time and when Obama signed the stimulus. For all the people crying today, take a look at your 401(k) statements from the end of 2008 and right now and keep a straight face while telling me that the stimulus didn’t work.
Secondly, I hear the laughter at the jobs saved statistic, but nobody said it better than President Obama when he was on The View and Elizabeth Hasselbeck mocked this viewpoint. Obama said, and I paraphrase here, it would matter if it were your job that was saved. I’ll add this, too. It would also change your opinion if your burning house were saved because the firehouse in your neighborhood stayed open due to stimulus dollars, or the school in your neighborhood didn’t have to increase class size for your kid because so many teachers had to be laid off. This conversation is so stupid on its face, that it amazes me how many people will argue until they are blue – that the stimulus didn’t work.
Government Spending vs. Household spending
This comparison is not just apples to oranges, but more like comparing the budget of a single person to the needs of the Duggars, that family with the 19 kids. As a single person, you can make a decision to only eat macaroni and cheese because that’s what you can afford, and it could be considered financially responsible for you to live within your means. If you’re the Duggars and you’ve got kids to feed, you better add some fruits, vegetables and milk to your grocery list of bare needs essentials. A single person can decide to forego insurance because it’s too cost prohibitive. The Duggars had better have some form of insurance around with that many kids. Now, you don’t only have basic I-don’t-feel-good stuff to be concerned with. Somebody is going to break something, or have an illness serious enough to require hospitalization or need immunizations. Comparing those two budgets is as goofy as expecting the government to mirror the financial decisions of a household. Medicare and Medicaid insure millions of people regardless of cost. The food stamp program is the only means for getting groceries for families across the country and the cost for this program has increased tremendously just in the last two years. There was also that little cost issue associated with fighting two wars. So, to the people who want the government to cut spending, these are their three biggest costs. Where do you want the cuts to begin?
Rich got richer in last 18 months
You betcha! I know a guy that bought 20,000 shares of Bank of America stock when it was down to a buck. B of A today is trading at $13.55. Do the math. Who better than Wall Street brokers knew when to buy and when to sit on their hands and preserve their wealth? Any stockbroker who didn’t “get rich” in the last two years is probably not the guy I would want to watch my money. I don’t think they are villains because they’re in possession of knowledge and know-how that I didn’t learn. Hell, ain’t that what America is supposed to be about?
To sum it all up, shows like Morning Joe stoke the fears and emotions of the masses with these stupid arguments. They all know better, and I guess that’s what makes me so angry.