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1-27-10

Word on the Beltway is, Things are Turning Around. Obama is Promising to Live Up to His Promises & I've Gotta' Say, It All Sounds Very...Promising?

Wow! Exciting stuff once again from the President of the United States, wouldn't it be just awesome if it were all true? Again, he promised to create an assload o' jobs, reform health care, eliminate partisan politics & get this country moving back in the right direction. Hey, that all sounds a little familiar, sort of like he's campaigning all over again, only this time, it's for the 2010, & 2012 elections. Kind of shrewd, eh? Surely, no one will be able to see through that & figure it out....Wait just a second. Hopefully, it'll work, though, because those are all good things. In his 1st ever State of the Union address, Obama reiterated all of his plans to make America great again, the only problem is, it sounds as though he is leaving job creation to the House & the Senate. He says he is going to push them to create a new jobs bill. Actually, he did outline some of the plan to create jobs in a stagnant economy, including taking $30 billion of the money the banks repaid & put it towards keeping small businesses from closing & a small business tax credit. &, he slipped in, a tax incentive for big businesses as well! Well, Goddamn, if it doesn't sound like we're bailing out big businesses some more, & not getting any of our tax bail out money back because it's going to be given to banks to help small businesses too. So, how exactly does that help Joe non small business owner? Well, it really doesn't because while these small businesses are allowed to stay afloat, we are still paying out new money to be able to obtain their goods & services. So, I'm sorry, I can't exactly buy that one @ face value. What else ya' got? He then talked about putting Americans to work building clean air facilities (applause) though he didn't begin to explain where these companies were & who's going to pay to get them off of the ground. Is this part of the original stimulus package or is this idea going to be put on our tab as well? It's just a question.

But, just when I was starting to get a little impatient with his populist rhetroic, he talked about giving tax breaks to companies to stop outsourcing, an idea whose time has come already. I'm no economist, but if you ask my opinion, that is one of the things that has truly brought growth in America to a screeching halt. When someone, or a very large group of someones, or entire departments or divisions of companies get downsized so that someone in Bombay, India can do the same job for pennies on the dollar, no one benefits in the long term. Take a look @ your average tech job or help desk guy who gets fired from his job because they are sending that job overseas, does anybody think about what really happens to him? Well, 1st of all, he's going to be bitter & generally collects unemployment for the entire time he's allowed to, which, our (& his) tax dollars pay for, by the way. Then, after that period of time, he winds up @ some temp agency or hires a headhunter or employment search firm & when he walks in, what does he see? He sees that he's not the only one who waited to start looking & that there are hundreds of other guys qualified to do the exact same job he is now trying desperately to get. Now, he & some of the other guys may get a job, but most of them don't. They wind up working for some retail consumer electronics outlet for sometimes 1/3rd of what they were making & delivering pizzas to supplement that income. But, half the time, they can't even get the electronics gig because some cute young Indian girl or college student again will be able to be hired in for less money, so it looks like the pizza delivery job, where no one is tipping because they are broke as well. Next thing you know, our hero will get his Camry repossessed & here he is, @ the age of 35, moving back in with his parents, who are hoping they can get just a little bit of rent money out of him because they are broke, too. Now, can you tell me, in what way does that bolster the economy or help anyone but the company that sent the jobs overseas in the 1st place? If it was only 1 guy, it would not be that big of a deal, except to that guy, but it's not, it's millions of guys, most of which haven't gotten new jobs on the level of the jobs they lost, creating a vicious cycle. But, if these jobs were to come back to the U.S., a lot of these guys could be working in their chosen fields again, & the would have hell of a lot more disposable income to spend on things like movies or electronics, or cars or even houses, which would genuinely stimulate the economy in all reality. If Obama can manage pull that off, it would put me squarely back in his corner. Not that I'm not still behind him 100%, I'm just ready to see some results is all I'm saying. No incoming president has ever inherited a worse mess than Obama did & yet, we are expecting some miracles from him, but we'd be fools to think that these miracles would in fact be, instantaneous. I, myself, am apparently not above a good degree of impatience because a) I do want the results & b) I want to rub it in the noses of all of the naysayers when it works out. Is that wrong? I think not.

If you ask me, I think stopping outsourcing should've been the 1st step following the stimulus package announcement. Studies have shown that by the year 2015, jobs lost to outsourcing could reach 3.5 to 4 million. It doesn't take an expert to figure how that crushes an economy if you take my crude formula into consideration. It's the difference between buying a gourmet lobster bisque' soup for $6 a bowl & ramen noodles for .39 cents. Now, multiply that or any number of similiar equations several million times into the overall consumer purchasing index & what do you come up with? You come up with millions of people buying lower priced & lower quality goods & services over & over again & while that may help companies like Walmart thrive, it really doesn't help the American economy in any way, shape or form. If Obama is as intelligent as he makes himself out to be, he can see that very easily & judging from what he said, he seems to. Bush didn't because he made zero overtures to stop it from happening & it became much more prevalent under his watch than under Clinton's. Clinton himself, being a Rhodes Scholar & whose policies were the saviour of America's economy & debt should've been able to foresee the problems it was going to cause in the future, no matter how prosperous this country was @ the time. Maybe he did see it, but after the right wing tried to crucify him & have him thrown out of office over a blow job, he could very well have grown bitter enough to just stop giving a shit, & who could really blame him for that? That being said, it still doesn't excuse him from taking at least a little of the blame for some of the problems today, but, that is neither here nor there. What he did for the economy, however, did make up for it to a certain degree, as opposed to Bush, who only made it worse & worse & left it in what may still be an unrepairable condition. We can only hope Obama is right, because there is no telling how bad it could get if he isn't. &, he certainly could use a little cooperation from the other side of the aisle to unite us all. That's really all it would take, a little cooperation, but every one including possibly Obama is so worried about who is going to be in the White House in 2012, that they're letting today slip away & opposing change. Think about it folks, if the Republicans could only see their way to play nice with Obama, America could live up to it's promise again, if not, it's just going to be a constant struggle to fix anything. & that, my friends, is the state of the union. Doesn't sound like it's going to be easy, does it?