My Stimulus Bribe
By Alan Caruba
I received my stimulus check yesterday. It was $600 and I put it into my checking account and immediately paid a bill that accounted for half of it. I have serious doubts that it did anything to stimulate an economy that is undergoing a crisis of confidence in its financial and government institutions.
There is a serious crisis of trust in Congress. Polls indicate that most Americans think it is the worst in modern memory. They have good reason as they watch two horribly polarized political parties ignore some of the nation’s most pressing problems. These are the morons who banned the future sale of incandescent light bulbs. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans concentrate on seizing enough control to decide who gets to spend and waste our money.
It is, of course, our money. Or more precisely, it's the money the U.S. government borrows from other nations in our name. Giving everyone who paid taxes a pittance in return suggests that Congress thinks we are so stupid that we will actually be grateful.
Why should we be grateful to a government that, as it grows larger and larger, seems increasingly less competent to address common sense solutions to our energy needs, refusing to permit the exploration, drilling and mining of our own national resources?
Why should we be grateful to be told that we need to drive slower, purchase cars the size of golf carts, or use mass transit when we have ample, known reserves of oil?
Why should we be grateful for government mandates for ethanol that do nothing other than drive up the price of food and drive down mileage per gallon?
Why should we be grateful for the push to impose a bogus “cap and trade” system that will do nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Why create a market for “credits” that will make those trading in them immensely wealthy? Why do this when, in addition to oxygen, CO2 is the most essential gas to the maintenance of all life on Earth, vital to the growth of all vegetation?
Why should we be grateful for the privilege of being the world’s policeman when Europe thinks we’re a chump for defending it long after they should have taken on that responsibility? Or when a prolonged occupation in Iraq is greeted with the perfectly natural request that we leave? There are 566,000 Iraqis in police or military uniform these days.
Why should we be grateful when we might be taken into a war with Iran over its demand to be a nuclear power when it is surrounded by nuclear powers in Pakistan, India, Russia, and China to name just four? Isn’t a nuclear Iran their problem too? Why do we assume that the prospect of having its cities obliterated and millions of its citizens killed would not have a sobering affect on Iran’s leaders?
Why should we be grateful to a government that, during the Bush administration, spent $45 billion on "climate change" research at a time when the Earth is a decade into a natural cooling cycle that any freshman in Meteorology 101 could understand? Could the billions spent on the mission to Mars been spent more wisely on repairs to our nation’s infrastructure of roads and bridges?
Why should we be grateful to a government that is inattentive to millions of illegal aliens crossing our southern border, taking up residence while taking jobs that might otherwise be available to native-born and naturalized Americans, and draining the financial resources of states and cities that must educate their children and pay for their medical care?
Why wouldn’t a wall along the southern border have some effect on illegal immigration and the huge flow of drugs into the nation? Surely that has a greater priority than Mars?
Why should we be grateful to a government that adopted an idiotic policy to not manage our nation’s forests, leading to California's catastrophic fires and the previous loss of countless forested acres in Yellowstone? Removing aging and dead trees and underbrush protects forests. Instead of a thriving timber industry, we have Smokey the Bear.
And why should I believe that my $600 is going to make any difference in the resolution of an economic mess created by banking and investment institutions that gave away billions in mortgage loans to people who could not afford them and now want to be bailed out…with our money? Right now, some of these same institutions are driving up the cost of a barrel of oil by gambling in the world’s mercantile exchanges.
The nation is being run by people who are clearly delusional over a non-existent “global warming” or committed to a failed “No Child Left Behind” law that transfers control over the nation’s schools to a central government. There is no Constitutional authorization for federal involvement in education.
We need a stimulus in rational solutions to real problems. We need something that a government must earn, not confiscate, and not secure through a bribe. It’s called trust. It’s called confidence.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, http://www.anxietycenter.com/. He blogs at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/.