Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Emperor's Newly Clothed Stimulus Plan

I went to bed early, which is why I'm up before the sun -- again. Imagine my surprise when I turn on the computer and the first thing that hits me is B.O.'s usual spiel about things getting better while announcing his new stimulus plan in the wake of a 42% disapproval rating. My favorite part of the report was B.O. pointing to the 150,000 jobs his plan has saved while point to his new plan, which seems amazingly like the same plan, forgetting of course that since February 2009 1.6 million jobs have ended. With the highest unemployment rate in 25 years (which does not include the unemployed who have slipped through the cracks and no longer get checks) rising to 9.4% and headed rapidly for double digits, I wonder how 150,000 jobs saved match up against 1.6 million jobs lost. With my old math skills, that works out to less than 10%, and somehow doesn't come nearly close to the 600,000 jobs created that the old stimulus bill, now the new revised amazingly similar to the old stimulus bill, predicted. What is wrong with this picture?

Money is being spent like the Fed is printing it night and day and yet less than ten percent of the jobs lost have been saved. How is this good news? Seems to me more like the ceiling is leaking and the floor is flooded, but it's okay because the bucket caught some of it, so we're going to be just fine. Uh, no.

My brother-in-law and my nephew both work for the same company and they were laid off a couple months ago. Randy got back to work within a couple weeks, but with reduced hours; he had every Monday off. Ants didn't get called back to work for weeks and once he did he had the same mandatory Monday off. Beanie works for the state of Ohio at the Bureau of Employment Services and she belongs to the Union. It's not like she had a choice. It's part of the state of Ohio's policy. She's been told that after 22 years working for the state she must take mandatory leave without pay to help balance the budget. Did I mention that this is in the wake of the stimulus package?

Let's see. The unemployment figures are rising. Beanie works for a state agency that processes claims and she, and everyone across the board, are being forced to take time off without leave. Something's wrong with this picture, too. Am I the only one who sees it or does pointing it out make me a Right Wing Wacko? From where I'm sitting, B.O.'s deficits are showing.

No matter how he and his economic advisers spin this, no matter how fast they print and get the money out and no matter how they package the new improved same old tired stimulus plan they keep touting, it didn't work. You can't run an engine that's made to burn gas on water -- or air. Maybe if B.O. spent more time working on the economy and less time on his apology tour, photo ops and wheedling Ahmadinejad he'd still come up short. It's one thing to get the 3 a.m. phone call and quite another to not only answer the phone but give the right response. So far, all the responses have been wrong.

It's a good thing my job is recession proof. As long as people get sick and die, I'll be here typing up the reports.

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