Monday, July 6, 2009

The Vice President Strikes, Again, Sort of.

Thanks go to Drudge for posting the link in the first place.

The first thing that impressed me about this particular appearance by the Vice President was just how incident free it was. Mr. Biden went from being fairly visible at the beginning of the Obama administration to becoming rather more subdued. This is understandable, after making cracks on the President about the prevalence of his teleprompter and his dropping the F bomb in front of a live mic for the press. Classic. He seems much more composed, far less reactionary. The change from his “shoot from the hip” style of dealing with the press is a pleasant change of pace, but the drastic nature of this change just goes to highlight his inability to deal with direct questions in an improvised manner in an unplanned context. Nice try, though.

The second thing that scares me to death about this is the talk of a second stimulus. Yeah, very impressive referencing a Noble prize winning economist, but I remember when Al Gore and Yasser Arafat won theirs. Not terribly impressed and economics is nowhere near as complicated as people like to pretend it is. It functions on the exact same principles that running an household does. I don’t even really pay taxes (I am SO aware of the irony of this, believe me) and I don’t have a family, but I still have the same basic pressures on my income and for all the forbidding terminology that goes along with it, so do sovereign states.

Despite all this, we’re talking about a second stimulus $787 billion later. I'm not going to belabor the notion of the first stimulus—it passed, and here we all dealing with it. The problem is the door it opened. A stimulus is not only (quite literally) the most counterproductive solution that can be conceived, it's a free pass at any solutions that Congressional Democrats and the President to do whatever they want in terms of correcting the situation. What the Fed managed to accomplish with the bailout was an unprecedented coup in terms of not just government intervention in an economy, it was also an unprecedented assertion of government control over issues with which they originally had very little to do. This disturbs me, especially when they started doing things like continuing to assert that control over the banking and automotive industries while making life difficult for those who decided not to play ball. Government doesn’t operate that way, organized crime does. So why is it that our government continually tries to “fix” a problem that might not actually be a problem, but just a natural cycle? Why are they so bent on spending as much money as they can as if spending money will make the problem go away?

The stimulus package will not work and when it's failure is undeniable, they will simply do it again. The economy itself, ironically, a good indicator of the mood of the populace; as long as people are feeling unsure about the economic climate, they're simply not going to spend, which will keep the economy depressed. Coupled with the dip in Gallup/Rasmussen polls in the President's approval rating, we seem to get a pretty clear picture of the common mood: the stimulus is a bad idea. Even discussion of a second stimulus, even the open-ended response on the part of the Vice President, screams of an abject lack of responsibility on the part of our government. Each step of this public appearance was, I will admit, a series of deft political maneuvers designed for a viewer that is unfamiliar with the situation. Tax cuts for the poorest elements of the economy, expansion of unemployment benefits, taking shots at stimulus critics like Sen. Coburn are all textbook perfect moves. They're also all insulting superficial. Expanding unemployment benefits does nothing when there's no money to fund the system, the poorest elements of the economy aren't the sectors that drive it, and I find it interesting that the Vice President mentioned that forty seven of the programs pointed out by Sen. Coburn were cut after the Senator made them public. The current administration firmly believes that America is peopled by morons.

That's the thing about society, Mr. Vice President. It's a natural phenomenon borne out of all of our instincts, the best and the basest. It also moves like a natural cycle; seasons of thick and thin, feast and famine. The economy is an extension of that and moves in like style—no matter how badly you abuse it, the cycle will move forward and still right itself. Government is a similar beast. The season of overgovernment may be now, but treating the entirety of the American people like idiots naturally has serious consequences. Feast while you can.

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