No Room At the Trough

The lobbyists and politicians sure ain’t Christ.  There wasn’t room for him at the Inn on the night of His birth and there isn’t enough room for all those lobbyists and politicians at the trough of the Bailout bonanza.   Come one, come all, we have the perfect elixir for what ails you.   All you have to do is read the paper or watch the news about the feeding frenzy that is taking place in Washington now and realize that the world has gone bonkers with the concept of “free” money.  Let’s review only a partial list of those elbowing and shoving their way to the trough of public funding in the Stimulus package. 

Well, first we have the States–notably California, New York and New Jersey leading the way to grab billions of dollars from the taxpayers of other states to fund their mismanagement of their financial affairs.   Even the residents of those States I hope will reflect on what is taking place.   The money isn’t  free in the economic sense and sure as hell isn’t free in the political sense.   The Feds will have their usual mandates and rules that have to be met with regard to spending those funds.  Those States will be told how they must spend the money.  Local control and thus local freedom to choose their own direction is sacrificed.

Next up we have the Big Three lurking.  They don’t have to shove as hard as some of the others since they already have received big dollars and the commitment has been made to pour more dollars into a losing proposition.   Of course the politicians in the Dem party will have an even more solid bloc of votes than they had before from the UAW and we in the process will get millions of cars in the future at elevated prices and with features most aren’t willing to pay for.   But, heck sales aren’t  that important to a Government enterprise–votes are.

Concrete and the tar production companies are each lobbying for their own agenda.  One wants repairs to the roads and the other wants those long term projects on new highways, bridges and waterworks.  Guess which uses tar and which uses the most concrete.  Pathetic.

The broadband folks are foaming at the bit and pushing their man to expand those internet networks across the nation.  They argue that it will produce a more educated and sophisticated population and thus aid the underserved and stir the economy.   I have no problem with that except for the idea of the money coming from the Government.  Did ABC or Columbia Broadcasting need Government funding to launch the radio system?  That was a truly remarkable achievement in the last century.   Thomas Edison and Alexander G. Bell both seemed to flourish rather well without any big Government bailouts and brought innovations that we employ to this day.  But self motivation and risk taking are not de rigeur today.  Mother Government is there, here, everywhere.

Shoe manufacturers, textile mills, and those fiber optic manufacturers are all promoting their special interests for a piece of this pie.  Do we need to even mention the financial sector and all the banks that are there with their hands out and the others like GE Capital, GMAC, etc.  The floodgates have been opened.  As always when that happens there will be severe damage down stream.  The stupidity and harm to our economy won’t be apparent in the next few months, but the damage will be there.  That money is ours.  It is debt and printing press money.   They kept talking about “kicking the can down the street” and they are doing the same thing now.  Moving the problem down the road.  Problem is it will be even worse.  How high will taxes have to be to pay for all this in a few short years?  Ponder that carefully before you sign up to support this bailout program.   That isn’t editorial comment but mere economic fact unless the Government confiscates even more of our property down the road.

The monkey in the mess is the foreign investors.  We really haven’t heard much from them yet. China, the Arabs, Japan, etc are the ones who buy a very large portion of our debt (Treasury bills, bonds and notes).  Are they on board with the program?  What kind of payback will they demand for the use of their money?   In just the last month the interest on the 10 year Treasury note has increased over 1/2 a per cent.  That is a huge move in such a short period of time.   When you add that interest rate to trillions of dollars in future debt you are talking real money.  (That is not even taking into consideration our already existing debt of 7 trillion).  And what happens if they demand even more interest in the coming year?  They may say they won’t loan us money unless they get a much higher rate of interest or even some equity in US enterprises.   After all that is what our Government is doing with the Big Three and many of the large banks right now.  Why wouldn’t they demand they same treatment? 

I think so much of this whole concept of a bailout comes from the attitude of victimhood.  We have become a nation of too many complainers and “victims”.  Everyone is a victim these days it seems.  Those who bought houses they couldn’t afford; those who stupidly invested with Madoff; those companies who mismanaged their operations; those States that overspent and lord, the list just goes on.   What happened to the concept of taking personal responsibility and having the courage to deal with the consequences of our own actions?  If you made the mess, you should clean it up.  Charity is a wonderful thing and I support charity and all the good it does for both giver and receiver, but this is not charity; it is theft and chicanery by the Government and the confiscation of private property.  All those companies being “nationalized” have shareholders.  Why can’t they be in control of the fate of their company and their asset?  A chapter 11 would do them more good in most instances than simply turning over everything to the Government.  

We are being “stimulated” into future poverty and loss of our most precious of all assets–our freedoms.   Only a few short months ago the phrase “moral hazard” was on everyone’s lips with regard to saving faililng companies and institutions like Fannie and Freddie.  Have your heard that expression lately from the media?  Funny how things change after an election.   What was villified only a couple of months ago is praised as progressive, bold and necessary now.   Classic 1984 doublespeak, what was stupid is now smart.  Amazing.

This whole idea of rejection of responsibility for our own actions reminds me of that line from the Jimmy Buffet song–“some say a woman was to blame, but I know it was my own damn fault”.   I don’t view him as a great philosopher or social commentator but there sure is a real kernel of truth in that one.  We should demand that we do accept responsibility for  our actions and that starts with ourselves and then the  Government.    Yes, I have tremendous confidence in our people, not in our politicians who pander to the worst instincts rather than call for our best.

I hope you noticed that additional scientific research reveals that the die 0ff of the Aztecs was not from dieseases brought to the New World by the Europeans but rather from home grown viruses.  The other version was always a revisionist explanation for the event.  Those mean Europeans Must have done something to kill off all those “noble savages” to steal from another famous European.   Please always be suspicious of conclusions that are based on conjecture, even if reasonable, especially if they emanate from those with a social agenda to promote.

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Filed under Culture, Economics, government

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