Friday, October 03, 2008

Low Horsepower Politics

Worried about the ol' 401K? Remember in the horror movies where someone was taking care of their loved one who had turned into a zombie? That's your 401K, it's zombie-fied but it looks just enough alive to allow people to fool themselves into thinking that it can be saved. The bailout is the equivalent of dressing the zombie up in a nicer dress, good enough to fool the electorate until the election has passed.

One justification for the bailout is that the government will resell the assets later and possibly net the government a profit. Does anyone believe that? Does anyone have confidence in the same tools who lead us into this mess leading us out? The lack of economic confidence is bad enough, but political confidence is cratering. It's bad enough that a guy who wasn't alert enough to know that there was a gay prostitution ring being run out of his house is in charge of the laws of our financial system, but nearly everyone has seemingly drunk the lie that Herbert Hoover did nothing about the Depression while FDR saved us; completely forgetting the fact that A) Hoover/FDR both did stuff that largely made the problem worse and B) the stock market didn't recover until well after FDR's death. Just an example of the idiotic bloat that our esteemed lawmakers crammed into what was already an extremely bloated bill:
The legislation now contains mandated mental health care and addiction coverage in private insurance to attract liberal Democratic votes, and undoing the Alternative Minimum Tax as a way of appealing to conservative Republicans in the House.
People are having issues getting decent medical care and what is Congress's response? Make it more expensive! Soon they will mandate GPS devices and DVD players in all vehicles because congressmen cannot imagine people doing without those either. As for the AMT stuff, it doesn't matter since this beast is going to mean higher taxes in the near future and everyone will be paying AMT. As a final touch, Congress wanted to make sure the public knew that they have many more bad ideas by tacking this energy tax on the bill which will have the net effect of raising already high gas prices, brilliant!

Insult on injury, I should inform you that the European version of the bailout package isn't working over there and there's ample evidence that this bill will make things worse. After all, why lose money on lending to idiots* when you can just buy those safe treasuries that are being sold to finance the new debt?

No fear though, what once was old is new again! Remember a couple years ago when Chinese banks were on the skids because, under government pressure, they gave loans to dubious enterprises? We all had a great laugh while bashing them for bailing out industries that were gutting our manufacturing base, but who's laughing now? China has factories while we have bombed out ghetto housing. Or maybe even more pertinent, recall back in the eighties how everyone thought the neo-fascist government planning of the Japanese government was superior to the western way of lazzie-faire? Have you ever wondered what such a lacking system of picking the economic winners and losers would look like in the hands of government goons with a 10% lower I.Q.? I hope so, because you're about to find out. Go here to check out your new investment portfolio.

*This is a great example. California says that it cannot get a loan, but what they mean is that they cannot get a loan with a low interest rate. Big difference, I can understand perfectly someone thinking that California won't pay them back and requesting a premium rate. Fortunately Uncle Sam has proven time and again to be a rube in this kind of situation, so he will gladly give a $7,000,000,000 loan to Arnie, a loan which will no doubt be forgiven in the not too distant future.

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