Thursday, February 19, 2009

An uneasy, queasy feeling

All we've been hearing the last few weeks is about this economic stimulus package President Obama has been encouraging the legislature to get on his desk to help our struggling economy. Finally they have all agreed on something and to be honest, I don't know all of the details of it. The news has been pretty vague about the particulars, I'm not sure if it's because of the scope of what is in there or they really don't want the general working man to know (probably a lil of both in all honesty).

What I have been hearing about is the mortgage bailout portion of this stimulus package, and that's where most of my attention has been focused. This morning on the very early morning news on NBC, they had a clip from the President speaking in Phoenix about this mortgage bailout. The part that really caught my attention was when President Obama said, "The plan I’m announcing focuses on rescuing families who have played by the rules and acted responsibly. It will not rescue the unscrupulous or irresponsible by throwing good taxpayer money after bad loans.” Hmmmm sounds good, looks good...but maybe it's just me, but other than possibly helping families who have fallen behind on their mortgages due to job losses, WTH is this going to help other than the banks? Speaking of helping the banks...who were the ones that OK'd these bad mortgages to begin with? From what I've been hearing/reading/understanding the banks are the irresponsible ones, loaning out money on homes with inflated values. Now those homes values have fallen, and the banks are loosing money and have less cash to loan out on other inflated valued homes. So what we have is the banks and their shareholders suffering for taking a chance of making money by loaning it out, and now that their close to loosing their collective asses, looking to the government to make it all better.

For months I've been hearing that to get the economy going, money needs to be spent. Well DUH, took a genius to figure that one out. So what answer did the geniuses come up with? Give the money to big business to create and keep jobs for us drones. *Eyeroll* Now I have no issue with it being expected of people to work for what they have, I like the idea immensely. What royally pisses me off is that it seems us lower middle class working folk (hell at this point me and Daniel maybe in the working poor category, haven't looked in awhile) seem to keep sinking further in the hole financially. While we're lucky our workplace provides insurance, we're paying through the nose for our health and dental insurance. Add into that our car insurance and life insurance and we're what I call "insurance poor". Seriously, when our car and life insurance comes out of the bank, it takes upwards of half of my monthly take home pay. Our mortgage payment takes all of one of Daniel's paychecks and a few dollars more. Add into that propane to heat our home running $2.50/gallon, our electric bill, it leaves very little for discretionary income to spend to help "stimulate" the economy. We can make our bills, but damn is it ever frustrating to see so little left over every month.

I don't know what the answer to this financial mess is for all of us, but for months we've been hearing how people need to start spending money to help correct this economy. HELLO we ARE spending money people! Where it's ending up in this economy is beyond me, I don't have time nor the energy to track it down once we pay it out. I've cut so much fat out of our spending habits that they are starting to look like survivors of the Holocaust.

Daniel had a wonderful idea for a economic stimulus package considering our fine government wants to hand out billions of dollars. Go the the IRS and figure out how many taxpayers there are out there that make less than 6 figures a year, and then divide up that $790 billion dollars they are so eager to give away evenly between them. Not sure how much that would come up to, but stop and think about it. What would people do with it? Spend it of course. In our case, we'd pay off our mortgage, our vehicle loans and do some major spending in other areas like home improvement and such. Heck if it was enough, we might even just build a new house. Sure some people would go on vacations (we probably would too), pay off bills, and in general spend it. Ya knowing me I'd put some away in the bank someplace as an emergency fund and maybe invest a bit of it, but overall it would be pumped straight back into the economy. I know it'll never happen in my lifetime, kind of like winning the lottery but it's a fun idea to kick around at least.

No comments: