Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'm Feeling Economically Stimulated

The skies have opened and the all mighty light of the United States government has finally shown down upon me! It started as average, ordinary day, filled with the same old silliness I've come to make a habit. But in fact it was a most special day! Cue the trumpet fanfare! My economic stimulus check has arrived! I almost can't wait to spend it! I've been thinking of all the things I'm going to buy. Oh the choices! But then my evil "rational" personality chimes in. "Save It!" it slithers in my ear. Damn you rational side! Why do you vex me? Have I not been saving for what seems like forever??

But let's just suppose I get it. Just for a second, humor me.

This is what I take the point of the stimulus check to be: The government gives us some of our taxes back. They want us to go out and spend the money that they are giving us back on whatever crap we want. Best case scenario for them would be that we do spend it, because that would then stimulate the economy. Saving it will not stimulate anything, including interest. So to summarize, the government gives us back some of the money we made working. They want us to spend that money on stuff. So the people who make the stuff get our money for the stuff they made. Then presto! The economy is stimulated! Makes sense I suppose.

I know this is getting long winded, but bear with me. I have a point. I promise.

I'm not heading to the rich get richer point that I could go to. Because believe me that has most certainly crossed my mind. My check will probably go to pay for gasoline, and we all know how I feel about gas prices, so we'll leave it at that. I think the whole "stimulus plan" in theory is a great idea. But just to offer an opinion why don't we cut the taxes on certain things that are taxed high and used often. Like gas for example. Some of the gas price is actually tax. Taxes put in place by the state and federal governments. So if we dropped that tax an equivalent of what our stimulus check was worth might that have the same effect on the economy? Stretching it out over 365 days would make it a pittance. It's an average of $1.64 a day. Although this check is great to get, it's not doing anything to those who could've used it before it became tough to keep up with their bills. Anyone who has trouble staying afloat will see this check as a blessing. Believe me, I was there. It took me many years to get my self back on track. But the average $600 that an individual is going to get back isn't going to get many people out of the hole. I imagine this plan to be the equivalent of a getting a "rub and tug". Except, you end up with just the "tug". Then later on you find yourself wondering, "Why does my back still hurt?" You're going to feel like you got a great deal, probably forget that $600 is gone before you blinked an eye, then realize the government missed the real point. It'll take a lot more than $600 to really help you feel economically secure. With people losing their homes everyday I'm pretty sure this check isn't going to do much to help them.

I do appreciate the money though, I'm certainly not complaining. And you can't have it back. I promise Dubua, I'll put it to good use, no matter what I buy.

I'm just one man with a distored view on what the culture tells me should be reality. So join me in asking questions. Stop conforming to what the TV tells you is the way to live. Make up your own mind! THINK!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Random Thoughts for the Week 6/10/08

Last night my wife told me that my last couple of posts seem like angry rants, so although this one follows the same direction, I promise to end on a happier note.

1) I had the displeasure of catching a moment of the E channel's entertainment news the other night in passing. I overheard the hostess refer to all the camera men surrounding some star as "the Paparazzi" in a condescending voice as to imply irritation. Um hello, E hostess, yea you are the paparazzi.... That's the equivalent of piece of corn wondering why it's surrounded by shit in a septic tank.

2) When gas gets to $5 a gallon will the government do anything then or will they just continue to line their pockets with $100 bills? Has anyone else come to the stark realization that we will never see gas below $3 again in our life time? At this point $3 a gallon would be a blessing. It's hard for me to take any elected civil servant seriously these days. Especially when they are continuously referred to as "oil men." You'd think that if they were "oil men" that they could do something about the out of control costs. A better name would be "money men" since they seem to have an uncanny knack for taking as much of it as they can shove in their private off shore bank accounts. Then I read in the news today that our Republican representation vetoed a proposed bill that would tax big oil companies on "unreasonable" profits they could make based on the excessive price of gas. What is so wrong about that? Big oil already has billions of dollars in tax breaks given to them by our government. What else could our government possibly do to help them? The real question is why do they continue to help billionaires and continue to stick it to the middle class. Where are our big tax breaks? I'd be happy to pay a higher tax if I made billions of dollars a year. Our president is in bed with Big Oil, has been since his days in Texas. He had already said that if the bill got to him he would veto it. Of course he would! Do you think he would want to upset his greedy friends? I can't even begin to imagine the deep level of corruption that starts in our state governments and works its way right up to the big cheese. I am in 100% agreement with Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) it's time to vote on the impeachment of "Dubua."

You can read an article on this at

The price of gas is sending our economy into an out of control spiral that has affected virtually every facet of everyday life. Prices on food, services, disposable goods, transport, and delivery have all risen drastically since this gas crisis has started. Companies are starting to have to raise prices on everything just to break even as they slowly but surely see their bottom line going into the red. Why is it that our government can't stop taking handouts from big corporations? And for that matter why is it that the media can't stop gossiping and start covering the important issues? Why is this not a bigger news story you ask? Could it be because Jessica Alba had a baby? Thanks CNN I never would have known (or cared) unless you talked about it during Headline News. The media in this country is a joke anymore. We have free press here and all you can do is dodge the important issues and highlight the information that no one should care about. Did anyone know that on Tuesday a U.S. Government Accountability Office survey was released detailing unfit soldiers being forced to serve? Of course not! Want to know why? Hardly anyone covered it. Didn't hear too much about it on the news or read much about it in the paper. I had to search for it on the internet and then luckily found an article published by the Denver Post. I urge you to read up on the survey's findings, it is truly disturbing.

(Read it here

3) Animals have always liked me, don't know what it is. Perhaps they can just sense that I mean them no harm. We rescued a cat the other day that someone dumped near our house. I couldn't keep him because I've already got three, but he was such a little lover that he clearly belonged to someone. I took him in out of the rain and cleaned him up. I posted various "cat found" postings on the net and even called local shelters looking to return him to his owner. After two days there were no replies and no leads. So with the help of my vet I set out on a mission to find him a home. People had contacted me through the ads I posted with great interest. I felt strange just handing him over to a stranger since it was very apparent that there were people who wanted this cat for reasons other than a pet: cat fights, testing, bait, etc. What is this world coming to that people feel the need to torture or kill defenseless animals for fun? That's sick not fun. I hope that someday we get invaded by aliens and their sport is making people fight to the death, and the 1st contestants are these sick people. Given that's quite a stretch but hey it's nice to dream once in a while. I just think that what comes around goes around. I am fully behind any laws that will raise the criminal ramifications of such acts. I was contacted by a woman from Rescue Pets ( about taking him and helping him find a home. They work throughout Pet Smarts and various other local agencies to rescue and place animals with good families. I urge you to always go to your local shelter or through one of these adoption agencies when you are looking to get yourself a new pet. I went to the Burlington County Animal Shelter here and it almost made me sick to be in there. They have a euthanasia rate at about 70% for all animals brought there. There were tons of very friendly cats and dogs for you to adopt. From new born to older animals there is something there for everyone. Please help save a life. And if you have to give up your animal for any reason please do not take him to the shelter unless it is a last ditch effort! Organizations like Rescue Pets will take them and try to place them. They are no kill organizations. Some local shelters are also no kill, but it would be best to call before ever taking a pet there. Also these organizations need donations and volunteers, please see your local pet rescue for more details. If you have a pet and can't keep it, abandoning them to fend for themselves is never the answer. Your pet relies on you to survive. How would you have felt if your parents dropped you off in the woods when you were young? If you can't take care of a pet then the bottom line is you shouldn't get one.