Rich Galen

Yesterday, in Denver (instead of Monday in Illinois) President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1, commonly known as the stimulus package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average greeted this news with a drop of nearly 298 points to end the day at 7552.60.

Just to review the bidding, on Friday January 16, the last day of trading before the Inauguration of Obama on January 20th, which means it was also the last day of trading during the Administration of President George W. Bush, the Dow ended the day at 8,281.22.

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, which was greeted with breathless anticipation by the entire known Universe, the Dow has dropped 728.62 points or a little under nine percent.

If your 401(k) was worth $10,000 on the last day of the Bush administration, it is worth about $9,100 today which is the first full day of the Obama Economy.

I know my friends on my Left will howl in outrage and point out that on January 28 - about a week into the Obama Era - the Dow closed at 8,375. About 93 points ABOVE the point at which the Bush Presidency faded into history.

Ok. But, that was then. The political Earth was new. No one understood just how destructive Obama and his lead henchman, White House chief of staff and former Congressman Rahm Emanuel, were going to be.

Obama and Emanuel - let's just call them Rahm Obama - allowed the Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives to take the first crack at crafting the stimulus package.

Need I remind you that Pelosi was so inept at this task that she attempted to hide tens of millions of dollars in condom subsidies which even the Minneapolis Star-Tribune described as "the condom controversy" because she tried to slip a "Medicaid family-planning initiative into what was supposed to be an economic stimulus package."

Does it bother anyone at all that the differences between the House and Senate versions in the gazillion dollar stimulus package were negotiated behind closed doors? Forget about having no Republicans in the room. They lost. Too bad. In this new era of Transparency In All Things maybe C-SPAN should have had cameras rolling.


It will take years to figure out what is in this bill. There is language which says, as an example: "In Section 201.23(a)(2)(i) of PL 100-374 insert, after the semi-colon, the words "and others as may be designated by the Secretary."

I don't know if there is a PL 100-374. But that's the sort of thing which slips into these mega-bills.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at