A Drop In The Ocean?

I’m not averse to taking a few hundred dollars from George W Bush, if for once in his life he’s feeling generous. Though, given the state of the economy right now, I certainly wouldn’t consider spending it.

The most amazing aspect of this show of political munificence is that anyone can possibly believe it is going to do the slightest bit of good. After all, an injection of $140 billion into an economy of $13 trillion works out at just 1.1% of GDP.

Given the dismal retail figures over the holiday period, it’s conceivable that if we all rushed out and spent patriotically “for the country”, it might lift retailers’ gloom and inspire some confidence, but surely the situation – given the state of the sub-prime mortgage market, huge trade deficit, and the colossal expense of keeping 150,000 troops in Iraq ad infinitum – is hardly going to right itself by us all blowing a few hundred dollars down our local Wal-Mart and McDonalds?

So why is the Congress falling over itself, like a load of fairy godmothers with brand new wands, to kiss George W’s feet and grant him his three wishes? It really doesn’t make much sense.

Of course, there’s nothing new about that. When was the last time you remember Congress achieving anything that contained even a modicum of savvy?

And who was responsible for this great idea anyway? It certainly wasn’t Georgy Porgy. He didn’t wake up in the middle of one night, dig Laura in the back and shout, “Eureka! I’ve just realized how to save the nation.”

The idea is just ridiculous enough to have festered in the gap between George’s ears, but presidents don’t work that way; they have “advisors”. To date, whoever thought up this one has remained anonymous. Perhaps it was Michael Brown, or Alberto Gonzales, or maybe Harriet Myers. It had to be someone close to the president, someone who was “doing a great job”.

The question arises as to whether this sum, injected back into the economy, is just a drop in the ocean? To be fair, it isn’t. It’s much more than a drop in the ocean, or even a cupful in a very large pool.

Imagine, if you will, a fish tank, five feet long, by four feet high, by eighteen inches deep. It will hold just over 200 gallons of water. Consider over time how the water becomes murky. In a vain attempt to clean the water, the amateur aquarist chucks in one two-gallon bucketful of clean water. Will it have any effect?

The water in the fishtank is the US economy. The bucket of clean water is the $140 billion. The amateur aquarist is George W Bush.

Perhaps he needs a new hobby.

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5 Replies to “A Drop In The Ocean?”

  1. I don’t understand how these people can call themselves “fiscal conservatives” and “free market believers”. Their policies of deregulation and free market trade have led to this and now they are scared that if it collapses, they will lose power for decades. I wonder how long they can prop the market up with crazy stories like unemployment is down.

  2. The Monty Python element ratchets up daily, it seems. I was gobsmacked with this latest one and where the hell is he borrowing it from? The Saudi Arabians he held hands with last week? In return for higher oil costs? And isn’t ‘spending’ the same big cure-all suggested by The Incumbent himself after 9/11?
    Isn’t it the shopping/spending frenzy that has landed the country into such a huge dung heap? No savings, sub-prime mortgages and cheap Chinese Tchotchkes from Wal-Mart displayed in every home would maybe have a small part in this?
    And he wants more of the same, subsidized by the oil lords? A temporary sedative to prevent his own lynching by the slobbering homeless masses.
    Barking mad. Howling at the moon.

  3. Flimsy – one of the great insults to flow from the mouths of these people is their underestimation of the mentality of the working classes. While some readily believe the crap they spew forth, most are too well aware of the lies and cover-ups, but frustrated they can do so little about it.

    WWW – one moment it is the “spend not save” mentality of the American people that has got us into this mess, next it is the irresponsibility of Americans who rein in their spending. How insulting, that they truly believe we are asses.

  4. I’m 25 and I wouldn’t exactly call most of my friends informed. They are much more aware of what is going on with American Idol than they are about the economy. However, the fact that this “stimulus package” is a huge scam, paid for by even more borrowed money, is not lost on them.

    I think we sometimes need to remind ourselves that the “news” here isn’t real. That includes the “news” about our thoughts and opinions as Americans. We’re not as stupid as they make us out to be. The vast majority of us, despite being American, still have common sense.

    Every single person I have talked to about this “stimulus” check is going to save it or use it to pay a bill or two. Once again, this plan is going to blow up in our faces and everyone will say, “If we only knew”.

    It’s time to kick out the vast majority of our Congressional representatives. Enough is enough.

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