Thursday, November 20, 2008

Life On Mars

Have you seen that new tv show in which the cop hits his head in a car accident and wakes up from a coma in 1973? He has no idea why or how he got there. I'm kind of feeling the same thing these days, as if I am living in some sort of alternate reality, in which everything I took for granted has been turned on its head. For instance:

1) I see Barney Frank on tv in his dandy striped suits lisping his socialist, "thank God I'm here to save the little guy" nonsense, and who is now saying that perhaps the automakers will need a $100 billion loan. Isn't this the same guy who refused to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who "wanted to roll the dice with the housing market" some more? You know, the same subprime housing market which has sunk us into the worst financial crisis since the Depression? And this guy was promptly voted back into office by the geniuses in Massachusetts with 60% of the vote.
2) Bankers, Insurers, and Big Three Automakers are lining up to receive their share of the gazillions of dollars of taxpayer money because they took advantage of the system, and failed miserably. Some bankers have stated that they would give up their giant bonuses this year and (gasp) take only $600,000 in pay. AIG, the nation's big insurer, has taken our money and gone on executive spa retreats. And the Big 3 CEO's flew to the HILL to beg for money in their individual corporate jets at a mere cost of $20,000 per trip. That's Detroit to Washington, DC, a $300 round trip ticket on a commercial airline.
4) Homeowners who bought more house than they could afford, with no money down, and who are now defaulting on their mortgages, are clamoring for part of the $700 billion dollar bailout. Sure, give the delinquents a reduction on their principal owed (basically a free down payment on their house). After all, Christmas is coming and they need to buy a new flat screen tv for the family.
5) Blue states and municipalities with their overbloated budgets and union strangleholds are lining up for some moola too. Sure, let's pay for some more overlapping, unnecessary services and money draining contracts. Don't bother cutting back on spending. That would be a bit Grinch-like at this time of year.
6) Students are getting in on the act. Why not? Why should they actually have to pay for school? And homebuilders are asking for a $22,000 per home tax credit for homebuyers next year, as well as a government subsidized 2.99% mortgage rate. Golly, if I'd only known that, I'd have waited a year to buy my new fixer-upper.
7) Obama, the man who shouted "CHANGE" from the rooftops for his 22 month campaign, is filling his White House with a bunch of Clintonistas. Perhaps I'm actually living in 1992?
8) Pirates have emerged as a big international threat in the waters off of Somalia. Only instead of cannons and swords, they use AK47's and speed boats. I wonder if there will be a movie with Johnny Depp.
9)Iran's ready to build a nuke and Israel is standing on alert. Our good buddies in Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela are all playing nicey-nice with each other in our own backyard.

Meanwhile, those people who played by the rules, saved some money, and lived within their means have lost half of their investments over the past 2 months, are losing their jobs, and are living paycheck to paycheck.

Am I missing something here? Is this the United States of America, the country which prides itself on working hard for the chance to get ahead, self reliance, personal responsibility, and innovation? Why is failure being so eagerly rewarded by our government? Where the heck am I?

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