Friday, February 27, 2009

We need a wise parent in Washington

Way back last spring or summer, I said that I was against then President Bush stimulus plan in which the federal government sent just about everyone up to six hundred dollars to help stimulate the economy. I warned that all it might stimulate would be more and more requests for “free” money. As I said then, it stimulated nothing concerning the economy.

It only took a few months for the requests to begin. First banks and mortgage companies said they needed to be stimulated to stay alive. Then along came the auto industry to climb onto the band wagon. There were others, too.

Again I warned that these bailouts and stimulus plans would only cause more clamor for that money which all of us, you and me included, must pay each year in the form of taxes. The banks got their bailout. Absolutely no one knows what they did with the money. We have read stories of some banks throwing huge, expensive parties in resort areas for their employees, but we’ve only heard of a small number of those.

Where else the money went hasn’t been revealed. The banks now tell us the money is gone and they’re still in desperate trouble and need billions more. The government is on the verge of giving it to them.

The auto industry was given some of their request, and guess what? They’re back! And that original free money is paled by the amount they are now seeking. After making waves of maintaining control and the appearance of keeping track of the money, the federal government will probably give in once again.

Will these billions and billions of dollars be the end? Of course not. The taste of free money is now well entrenched into the businesses. Even President Obama admits what is being proposed probably won’t be enough. It’s simply what happens when we get something for nothing. We don’t take care of it and then demand even more.

I remember when I was a teenager and got my first driver’s license. What always follows a teenager getting a license? You betcha, I wanted a car. My dad said I could have one. All I had to do was earn the money to buy it. I was a teenager so that last part went in one ear and right out the other side. All I heard was I could get a car. I went car shopping and found just the right one, a 1941 Ford Coupe. What a car! I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Dad and get my money.

Whoa! He said. He explained once again that I had to earn the money. Fortunately for me, he was in a position to give me a summer job to earn the money. But earn it I had to do. There would be no handout for a car, even one a dozen years old. I ranted back then. He could afford to give me the paltry sum for that car. But he wouldn’t. And he didn’t.

As the summer came to a close and school was soon to open, I had saved enough money for the car which was still on the used car lot. Happily I told Dad the good news and he simply asked if I also had enough money for the insurance. Huh?

Eventually, I got that car. Let me tell you there wasn’t another 12 year old car that had better care and love. It wasn’t a “freebie.” I had to earn that darn car and it meant more to me than anything else I had. When it’s time came, I actually unashamedly cried as the tow truck carted it off to waste land.

It was a lesson I wish our Congress Critters and the President would learn. Shucks, I wish our own state lawmakers would learn it, too. We are developing a whole nation of people who have not learned the pride and joy of working for and earning what they want and need. And now that development is moving into the business section.

As a result, I wish I could say our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will be paying for this year’s spending, bailouts, and stimuli. That would be true assuming we haven’t gone the way of the ancient Romans who increased the dole into oblivion.


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