$0.02 for the Economy

So here’s the thing. Billions of dollars. Hundreds of billions of dollars. The plan is there. It’s all written down. A few billion here, another few billion there. Written into a bill that no one has the time to read. To scrutinize. Though they all are throwing their own two pennies into the mess. Trying to help us commoners get a better sense of what the hell is going on.

But the thing is, I really don’t care.

I’m probably not going to see a dime of this money, except maybe in tax cuts, which doesn’t really effect my daily spending one lick. So it hardly seems fair that those of us who are actually responsible with our money, or at least pay our bills to our massive debts on time, are the ones who get no favors. No rewards. When the other ones, the less responsible, the ones who felt entitled to a six-bedroom McMansion that they couldn’t have ever dreamed of affording with traditional financing, those are the ones who might be getting a few extra cents out of this whole deal.

But so what? Sure, it’s not fair, but life isn’t fair, and we shouldn’t set out to make it fair. Some people take advantage. It’s Darwin. It’s evolution, baby. If you do your homework and pay your bills, and if you’re smart about gigantic financial decisions, like buying a quarter- or half-million dollar home, you survive.

I’m not complaining about fairness. Lack of fairness. Whatever. I made my bed. I’ll lie in it. So should you.

What’s bothering me about all these stimuli and bailouts is that it doesn’t seem smart. If we want Americans to be responsible about getting into debt, and getting out of debt, showing us a government adding trillions of dollars to our debt with hardly a blink of an eye is not really the way to set an example, is it?

And yeah, it seems like everyone has been talking a lot about the economy, the money, the auto industry, the banks, the bailout/stimulus, but really, I think there’s a lot more to say. The people that we have elected to vote on these items need to know what they’re voting for or against. And when our bills are inflated the way that they normally are, it’s just not possible to know what you’re signing up for, signing all of us up for.

And we need to ask the question. We need to demand to know where all this money is going to come from. If there are tax cuts involved, how are taxpayers actually contributing to this $700 billion+ amount? And if we’re not paying for it now, when will we have to pay? Because if we’re mortgaging America’s future to another country, what are the terms? To whom are our grandchildren going to be sending their paychecks? No one seems to be asking these questions. Maybe we have enough to worry about without adding those answers to the already deafening cacophony of analysis. Or maybe our government is just treating this whole thing as an average American treats the acquisition or refinancing of a mortgage. We’ll worry about the adjustable rate later, let’s just get this done now because we’re sick of renting.

None of us is a dumb as all of us.

But let me tell you that when I send in my mortgage payment every month (on time, thank you very much), I like knowing that I understood the papers I signed, that I have a plan in place to pay this bill, to minimize this debt and its impact on my family. I would very much like to think that my governing body is smarter than I am, more on top of things, but these days, it’s getting pretty difficult to have that kind of confidence.

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