March 18, 2008

Stimulus Package Stimulates Mostly Politicians

by Donald G. Mashburn

The recently approved stimulus package – which could be called the “Throw The Voter a Crumb” Package” is designed to stimulate little outside of the Bush administration and Congress. The financial community has already written off nearly as much as the Feds are passing out in rebates, and the mortgage meltdown has a long way to go.

Further, neither the Congress nor the administration seem to understand that the nation doesn’t have $168 billion – or whatever the final price tag might be – in the national till. Whatever money finally gets into the hands of consumers is additional debt that must be paid by future generations of taxpayers – our children and grandchildren, and their descendant, forever if the past behavior is any indicator of future Congressional action.

This so-called stimulus package is the product of the unfortunate intersection of three events of past history. A Congress that just by its nature wants to throw our tax dollars at any and all problems, an unpopular president that’s willing to employ any economic sleight of hand that might steady a wobbly economy, and an economy that’s has gone from wobbly to seriously staggering.

The convergence of these circumstances laid the groundwork for the economic crisis precipitated by this week’s failure of investment banking giant Bear Stearns, and the ensuing tremors being felt throughout the financial community. Neither Congress nor the president can act quickly enough to prevent additional financial “hand grenades” being lobbed into the Wall Street firms and onto the market floors.

Thus the economy will be shaken to its foundation before Congress can do anything useful. The Federal Reserve did step in and back the J. P. Morgan takeover of the foundering Bear Stearns. This was a constructive move, but the Fed can’t be depended upon to bail out other financial giants who are paying the penalty for their excesses.

Such federal “partnering” certainly can’t put life into a weary old economy horse that has just about played out under the load it’s been saddled with by greedy lenders and their partners that couldn’t resist reaching for a slice of the cookie dough every time it got re-sliced.

To make matters worse, the stimulus handouts of $600 for individuals, $1,200 for adults who file joint tax returns, won’t start going out before May. And by then, Wall Street, financially speaking, could look like Fallujah after the battle. Stated bluntly, recipients of the rebates won’t have them in time to really do much to help the slowing economy.

And even if they could get the money in days instead of weeks, it would probably do little to help for long. That’s because, once recipients learned, via the $42 million government mail out, they will get a rebate, some have already spent it, or planned to pay off existing debt. Neither of these will provide any noticeable stimulus.

The most noticeable real stimulus will be political. The president can speak of responding “quickly” to the crisis. Congress can get on with their continuing political show – financed by our tax dollars – adding debt to be paid by future generations – and continuing to castigate the president for “not doing enough,” as charged by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

The rebates may actually help some people – let us hope so. But some of the uses of the rebates that have been mentioned include paying off debt, and putting the money in a college fund for their children. Both are good plans, but neither will help lift a sagging economy.

So any real stimulation will be mostly for the politicians, to snag votes, and using our tax dollars for bait.


Is It Because He's Black?

By Erik Rush

Just how much – if such a thing can be reliably quantified – relating to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama can be traced to his ethnicity?

Some might assert that everything – or nearly everything – apropos the Obama campaign, save for the careful manner in which he has employed his rhetoric has to do with the fact that he is black, due to the overall cultural climate in America.

An irony exists in that Obama’s oft-mentioned relative inexperience might prove to be both a strength and a weakness. In the case of his battle for the nomination with Hillary Clinton, it has been a distinct advantage. Many Americans are quite sure Clinton is capricious, narcissistic and possibly larcenous. They have no idea, due to Obama’s inexperience and the lack of real substance provided by the candidate and his handlers, of what he is really all about.

It’s a classic case of choosing the devil they don’t know….

America appears ready to accept a black man as President of the United States. The contemplative voter might ask why a Dr. Alan Keyes has been overlooked – a man who has a track record in and knowledge of government, and who possesses a command of the English language that would (figuratively) reduce Barack Obama to a babbling psych patient.

And what about faith and religion? One of the major issues surrounding George W. Bush has been his status as an evangelical Christian, a point we know to be quite contentious in the eyes of our Islamofascist enemies.

Former candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee were thoroughly flayed by the press vis-à-vis their religious beliefs. Yet no one in the establishment media has made a major issue of Barack Obama belonging to an unapologetically Afrocentric church that is led by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a racist, anti-American militant who supports the likes of Nation of Islam gangster Louis Farrakhan.

This is an issue in which Obama’s ethnicity plays a major part. In general, and in politics in particular, racist beliefs and rhetoric are overlooked or accepted in blacks and other minorities “because they’ve been oppressed.”

This is an intellectually dishonest and dangerous view. If it were revealed that a white presidential candidate belonged to, had ties to, or had even spoken to the white equivalent of Jeremiah Wright, that candidate would be consigned to a life of hermitage.

Obama’s ties to Chicago’s Trinity United Church notwithstanding, there is the following question: Given Afrocentric leanings, questionable patriotism, the advantage of America’s warped sense of parity, what will Obama’s position on social issues be if he is elected?

More importantly, who will wind up having access to the President and to sensitive information? If Americans were concerned about the Bill Clinton administration giving political access to criminals and agents of Communist China, why do they appear to be blissfully unconcerned with such access being given to the likes of Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and unforeseen agents of anti-Americanism and black separatism?

Finally, there are other Obama friends and associates who make Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s highly questionable, and occasionally felonious, political pals look like the proverbial boy scouts: Rashid Khalidi, a supporter of Palestinian terrorists, Bill Ayers, a terrorist bomber, and Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Syrian-American who is currently in federal detention awaiting trial in connection with appropriating approximately $6 million from Illinois taxpayers through kickback plots.

It’s clear that dubious aspects of Barack Obama and his candidacy have been overlooked because of his ethnicity and that fact looms large, in my opinion. It’s no secret that this columnist would prefer a conservative president. Unfortunately, there are no strong conservatives currently running for president. John McCain may be too moderate, and Hillary Clinton may be an autocratic socialist elite.

But Obama could be the first American president who actually harbors ill will toward the very nation he would lead, many of its citizens, and at least one of our most loyal allies.

Erik Rush is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.