Friday, January 9, 2009

Misfortune 500

Barack Obama’s proposed stimulus package promises me, a single man earning less than $200,000 a year, a tax break of Five Hundred Dollars. That’s $41.66 per paycheck.

The phrase “stimulus package” makes me think of sex toys, and $41.66 falls $3.33 short of what a jelly vibe strap-on dildo costs.

Now, if I were a business I could get $3000 tax credit for every new employee I hired—at whatever wages a new employee could expect in 2009. Imagine my joy if, in addition to my $500, I would get a minimum-wage job with a company that pays less in taxes than I do.

Nancy Pelosi reports that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the current Bush tax cuts, which mainly benefit the rich, is largely responsible for the great big deficit that appeared out of nowhere in the past eight years. That depends on whether you think having a $450,000 minimum annual income makes a person rich (from where I stand, I’d say I do) … and whether $10.6 trillion strikes you as great big.

Obama’s people are considering not pulling the plug on the Bush tax cuts, but rather let them expire naturally, in 2011. Pelosi wants them repealed “as early as possible”—whatever “as possible” means.

Every indication is that Barack “So Help Me God” Obama puts a lot of faith in both God and Reagan-era “trickle-down” economics. The truth is the money never did manage to trickle down … not under Reagan, not under Clinton or the Bushes, and probably not under Obama.

Somewhere high up there’s a clog. Perhaps Obama can unclog it, perhaps all we need is to dribble some Drano at Dick Cheney’s armpits—might work, might be good for laughs anyway.

Pumping government money into American corporations is not the answer—especially in the absence of adequate oversight to where the money’s going and how it’s being used. Every attempt so far to resolve the world financial crisis has been motivated more by panic than by thoughtful analysis leading to sound judgment.

The state where I live and work is currently experiencing its own financial crisis, and states, unlike corporations, are promised nothing in the package, so, forgive my lack of optimism here, I don’t think the $500 the federal government is willing to let me keep this year will go unclaimed for long.


  1. I am going to ask Reader's Digest to include this in their QUOTABLE QUOTES (if they still do that feature...haven't read it in ages!)

    "The phrase “stimulus package” makes me think of sex toys, and $41.66 falls $3.33 short of what a jelly vibe strap-on dildo costs."

    Love it.

    Not sure if you were using God and Obama as a trope, but I'm fairly certain he is an atheist, totally secular, but you know how that stuff works.

    He got the atheist in his upbringing when the one parent changed horses midstream.

    And his one slip-up in the campaign...remember here in Pennsylvania he referred to the rural benighted as "clinging to their religion and guns."

    But maybe you were just using it as a trope.

    And if you're right about trickle-down and Reagan redux, bar the door Katie!

    They said today unemployment is now the worst it's been since 1945.

    We'll have to get together some day and sing (what's that song?) "Big Candyrock Mountain" or whatever?

    We can give hobo camp a new meaning.

    Hobo homo camp. Homo hobo camp.

    We'll convince ourselves that it is cabaret, though we are doing it in 22 degree weather and under the stars with no footlights.

    Let's just shrink ourselves down to tiny humans the size of pencil erasers like the Chinese did in that one Vonnegut novel. That was a brilliant move.

    Resources will suddenly be no problem.

    Can openers, however, will be.

  2. Or ... campy homo hobo camp.

    The God reference may be a trope, but it's Obama's, not mine. He's requested to include the phrase "so help me God" in his inaugural oath. He headlined a "gospel tour" in South Carolina in the fall of 2007, as part of his campaign. He also argued the importance of mixing religious and political rhetoric in a keynote address to Call to Renewal in 2006. Of course, an atheist--or even a non-Christian--most likely would not have won the presidency--and it's hardly a surprise that politicians say things they don't literally mean. Politics is all about tropes, isn't it? And, for that matter, economics--since money is a (mere?) symbol of value.

  3. (Doing an amen chorus.)

    lol my word verification is ORABLED...does that mean "orally abled" as opposed to "orally disabled?"

    That's a good line when you don't feel like complying with a lover's request.

    "I'm sorry, I'm not orabled."




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