Friday, January 25, 2008

Stimulate Me

Under a rare effort of bipartisan agreement, Congress and the White House developed a stimulus package to bolster the country’s beleaguered economy.
Normally the phrase “stimulus package” is evocative of porn, which, like the plan Washington cooked up, means somebody’s getting fucked.
The solution to the problem by the Bush Administration and Congress is simple: in order to stimulate the economy, the government will give money for people to spend.
The $150 billion stimulus package gives $600 rebates to single taxpayers and $1,200 to married couples. Couples with children receive an additional $300. Businesses could receive $50 billion in incentives for updating their facilities. Businesses can also make immediate tax write-offs up to 50 percent on equipment and manufacturing facilities.
If passed by the House and Senate and signed by the president, 117 million families will receives their checks in May or June.
With a looming recession, Washington’s dumbed-down solution is to let everybody spend money, because if there’s one thing Americans can do better than anyone on the planet, it’s spend money. Go on! Be a nation of consumer-patriots helping the economy by purchasing plastic shit you don’t need! Instead of existing on the credit card, the government is giving us an allowance to fritter away at the mall! Spend it on googaws and gadgets and colorful, shiny things. Buy trinkets and knick-knacks and glimmering status symbols or bling-bling. If you don’t spend your rebate check, the terrorists will win, so spend your government-issued dough and be a proud American spender-citizen!
Yes, buying an iPod will save our nation from a crippling economic depression.
America loves to spend. Spending for the Iraq war is $9.6 billion a month. Our federal deficit – where we borrow from foreign countries – is projected to reach $250 billion this budget year, a 53 percent increase from last year.
The proposed stimulus package is about as effective as putting a Band Aid on a severed limb.
The deal is just a quick and lame fix to a dire economic problem. The cost of doing business demands cheaper production and that means relocating business overseas in China and India, where U.S. regulations don’t apply and where you can pay a sweatshop full of orphans 2 cents a day to work 12 hours with no bathroom breaks.
It means whenever I call tech support for an American product, I’m talking to Sanjay (who calls himself “Todd”) in Jaipur. It means we’re bolstering China’s economy and giving the Chinese jobs while Americans are getting shafted.
The cost of doing business means overseas is lucrative while remaining stateside is suicide for larger companies.
We need to fix the way we do business and make it favorable for Americans to be producers again and not just consumers. The only things Americans seem to be producing are trashy junkie celebrities and bad reality TV. We’ve gone from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel culturally as well as economically, with an appetite for the stupid, bizarre and disturbing. It is any wonder why our government cooked up a retarded way to stimulate economic growth? Giving people back their own money to spend?
When you get your $600 rebate, just save it. Refuse to spend it. Put it in your savings account and let it gather interest. With tough economic times coming, it makes sense to save instead of spend. My dad taught me that when I was a 7th grader. The government could have benefited from his practical advice instead of the orgy of spending and borrowing we’re all stuck in now.

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