Monday, January 26, 2009

Thoughts on the economy

Like many I am somewhat worried about the economy. I've seen my retirement fund shrink by almost half and am only two years away from 66. I probably won't retire when I hit 66 as I really enjoy the job I have, and I doubt if the market will recover that fast. There are many younger than I who are worried about the turn of events in our politics. I tend to be fiscally conservative but socially progressive. Frankly, the Republicans have screwed up their chance. I find the imposition of morality being fought for by the Religious Right to be divisive and out of context with our Constitution. Jesus once said, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and render unto God that which is God's. I take that to mean God will take care of the moral issues, we need to attend to the secular issues. I am citing ideas that I may or may not necessarily agree with, but it religious teachings also say man has free will. Isn't the imposition of moral values by making them laws of the land an infringement on my free will. I realize that society has to set up some rules to govern our behavior, however it should not infringe upon my personal values to the extent that a decision that effects my person requires government approval. I may face a horrible illness, I should be able to choose my means of dealing with that. A woman or couple may face a personal dilemma that in the short term may lead to a decision one or both may regret later, such as abortion, but they will have to deal with that when the time comes.

I find Republican criticism of Obama to be correct. John McCain made a statement that essentially said, he will not rubber stamp Obama's plans. That is correct. Debate furthers the quality of the decision. However, there comes a point when debate serves no more purpose and any further fighting is just delaying the decision. I hope the Republicans can exert some wisdom in being the party of opposition.

It seems to me that this so called stimulus package will result in a one time tax rebate similar to last year. Many democrats are arguing that the tax rebate did not impact the economy because it was used to offset debt or saved. No shit! I saved mine. It will be spent this year on new flooring for our bedroom, when I get ready to lay the floor. In the meantime I would spent the tax rebate if it showed up in my paycheck twice a month. The $1200 I got last years would've been a $50 per pay period increase in my wages. I would've spent that. The idea of the stimulus is to spend money, yet the democrats seem to object to a tax cut that impacts the paycheck because tax rates would have to be lowered. The "tax and spend" party would not want to be associated with a tax cut, heavens. Yet we'll spend on projects that may hit the ground in a couple of years, in the meantime lets just bitch about it. By then the natural forces of recovery will begin to act and the public works may not be needed.

I wish both parties would show some "Statesmanship" instead of the petty political bickering that has already started. Nancy Pelosi is a lightening rod and would do a lot more good taking the upper road, but I do not think she is inclined to do that. The "Commonweal" is not her bag, get back at, is. Shame on her.

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