But let's give Obama and company benefit of the doubt for the moment, just for the sake of argument. Let's argue that the Government taking from us 1.3 trillion dollars in taxes will turn things around. How then should it be spent? What has emerged from the House and Senate proceedings is a slab of pork spending so large in scope the average tax-payer will gasp with offense when the final list is revealed. (Among the items, millions for condoms, hundreds of millions of STD awareness, even rumored water parks for Florida.)
But since this is imaginary land and we're pretending that taxing us 1.3 trillion dollars will solve the problems let's consider another way of using the money.
Most people do not realize that 1.3 trillion dollars is more money than if you spent one million dollars a day since the birth of Christ right up to present day. If you break it down across the raw population of America (not voters, not taxpayers, not even just adults - but EVERYONE) it would average out to be roughly $4290 per person. A married couple would garner a touch more than $8500. A family of four comes in at just over $17,000.
At a dinner party in Chicago this past friday evening I asked the four couples gathered around the table what they would do with that amount of money coming back to them from the government. Each of them mentioned housing projects, fix-me-up stuff, goods they were in need of, and some mentioned paying off debt. There were also mentions of new home electronic big ticket items, and the ladies around the table all day-dreamed momentarily of being able to do a spa day. Long story short, every item they talked about would have employed someone like a contractor, plumber, or electrician. They would have added to the welfare of commerce--big ticket items, new transportation, etc. And some would have even helped solidify the crumbling credit market by paying off credit card balances and putting cash back into the system.
If this was the case with merely five couples of very modest means, imagine the heat that would warm the economic engine from an entire nation responding this way.
America would've never seen this kind of stimulus put in place before. The largest tax cuts that President Bush instituted were roughly $1500 per family. The amount of fluidity this plan would free up would be more than ten times that amount.
President Obama knows this to be true. He also could predictably determine the outcome.
Put another way, do you know any struggling families of four that could use $17,000? Think it would mean anything to them?
President Obama's bad missteps this past week were confounded not by just horrendously partisan policy-making, but the arrogance with which he penned an op-ed in the Washington Post and gave a retreat address to House Democrats, some of whom are pleading with him not to pursue the federal spending and replace it with tax relief, or credits, or whatever Obama's term for it would be this go around.
President Obama is not a King, he is a servant. He's the foot washer. He's the errand boy that we hired to administrate the nation for the next four years. His power exists only at the discretion of "We The People." And when he spurns the majority of the nation on the single greatest domestic issue facing our lives for the next twelve months or longer. He'd be wise to stop wagging his finger at us, and begin some of that "listening to us" that he promised us in nearly twenty four months of campaigning.
It might be good to keep in mind the comparative value of $17,000 per family vs. condoms, STDs, and water parks as we move forward in the days to come.
It might even be better to let your Reps and Senators know how badly you could use that financial reimbursement for the taxes that kill you month after month.
I would also find great intrigue as to what YOUR family would do with that money, so e-mail me here to let me know personally.
President Obama works for us--it's a message he needs to be reminded of repeatedly. He is our servant.
And if we do not remind him, we have only ourselves to blame for the consequences that will result.