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There is no degree in Economics hanging on my wall. My mind flounders around in the same questions, the same doubts, that all of you have. That being said, I am one driven to look at the 'big picture' of things and not concentrate on all the minute details. I tend to apply an overall sense of logic and observation. That, too, has often gotten me into trouble, as often the devil does lurk in the endless rhetoric of thousand-page documents. On the subject of our present economic mess, that would put us back to requiring a degree on the wall to begin to understand details in this chaos. Hence, most of us resort to past history, personal circumstances, or overall power of logic and observation. A trait that our esteemed Congress is in dire lack of seeing, beyond the next election.  

As the President alluded in his first National Press Conference, I found it extremely difficult to be impressed, or impugned, by the sudden seeming concern of the Republican Congress, their arrogant hesitance of adopting spending measures directed at the middle-class. Like most of us, I wondered where was this concern when they sat by and allowed, even encouraged, policies that resulted in a budget surplus to be devoured by a record debt and deficit? Where was this concern in any part of Congress when they allocated the 700 billion to Wall Street with no demands for how it would be spent? I decided it was their goal to protect their own special interests, maintain the status quo, and insure President Obama's failure in order to open the door for their own opportunity to win back the controlling power. Hopefully, this was an errant conclusion, but I'm still not convinced.

In addition, I shuddered at the almost immediate drop in the so-called polls that showed a quick decline in the president's approval ratings. He'd only been in office a matter of days! It had been sarcastically suggested by opponents throughout the campaign that supporters of Obama envisioned him as the Savior or the second coming. I wondered did people really subconsciously believe that! Did they really expect instant results in some kind of miraculous swoop of his arm? It's time everyone needs to restudy the theory of patience and sticking together as neighborhoods and communities through the difficult trenches ahead!
No one has lied to you. They will be difficult and things WILL get worse before they get better. There are NO guarantees that any of this will work. The world simply doesn't work that way.

How can this new Recovery Plan work? Who can make it work? Who has the real power of observation here? Who really understands the reality out 'here' on the battlefields? You do. I do. WE the people! The motto of the recent Obama campaign was "Yes WE can!" Our new president never said, not once, "Yes, I can." In fact, he said many times, "I can't do it without YOU."  We the people need vigilance and observation more now than, arguably, any time in our history. There must be a change in attitude. The media must learn to present facts and issues of importance and pull away from sensationalism, dirt-digging for ratings, and paying hundreds of pundits for offering analysis. If they don't, let them know it. Don't feed their ratings and buy their publications. Research it on your own. Demand accountability from your own local representatives, and watch the 'bigger' picture, too. All voting records are public information. Washington may be the deciders, the legislators, the leaders, the culprits, and all the other titles they are adorned with, but you and I are the only analyzers needed for observing results. We are the ones who make the choice to be led or refusing to follow. "Ignorance is no excuse" can be used against us in a court of law; it can also be used for us in making decisions. Only WE can do that.

We all are quick to complain, demand rights and freedom. We think being an American should automatically provide security, opportunity, solvency, and a good life, the right to choose our lot, and be equal. This isn't true. We don't just deserve by virtue of existence. We have to work to protect it, be responsible for the part we play. We need to give before we can expect to receive. We need to treat as we would be treated. The ways of doing this are countless, starting by teaching it to our children.  

Wall Street shouldn't have been bailed out, in my opinion. The bail out money should have been invested in smaller, solid and regional banks, and debtors released to them to be restructured at a profitable but fair rate. There are those around, believe it or not. That Wall Street financial institutions be bolstered and allowed to carry on with the same management is, to me, unconscionable. Those individuals guilty of running up credit cards with the sole purpose of filing for bankruptcy should suffer the consequences. Those who took part in the deliberate acceleration of the real estate values knowing it would eventually burst should live with their losses. If it was criminal, it should be prosecuted. Those who selfishly choose to have fourteen children with no means of supporting them should have those children taken away for the children's sake. What goes out by choice or action, should be allowed to come back in consequences. Harsh? Yes. It's also just. It's a Natural Law of the Universe. This is my opinion on principles only, of course. I intend no offense to anyone victimized through no choice or action of their own, to illness, or to anyone that may vehemently disagree with me, for that matter.

Too, I'd like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to send me birthday wishes yesterday. I was touched and most appreciative.

Susan Haley, Author/Editor
RAINY DAY PEOPLE
FIBERS IN THE WEB



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Feb 17, 2009
    • Here!  Here!  Vote for Susan!  If just a bit of her common sense ran through our legislators’ pea brains, what a difference it could make!  

      I, too, say let the free market processes work, and stop the bail out debacle.  It is only going to prolong our problems.  The excesses and out-of-balance conditions are going to tumble the economy, and if we prop them in place with government spending, we are going to have much worse troubles in the future.

      But false promises and lies continue to seep from those we elected so that they might preserve their power.  And we fall for it, hook line and sinker.  We have got to wake up and stop taking the lazy way, letting them sink us further into the abyss.  

      It is time to get to work, study the issues, and get rid of those elected officials who say only what we want to hear.  We need to elect the brave individuals who will tell us the truth even when it is distasteful.  Same for the media.  We need to listen to the journalists who tell us the truth about the big picture, about stories that really matter.  Not waste time listening to stories that only incite emotion.  That’s entertainment, not journalism.

      When did we Americans become so lazy, so whine-y?  Has the “good life” we’ve lived for so many generations turned us into a people that must be controlled by our government because we just don’t care enough to take care of ourselves?  We are so much stronger than that, but we waste so many of the resources we hold.  Let’s embrace self-reliance, and use our own resources to improve things.  Let’s walk away from government dependence which will only make things worse in the long run.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lois Stern & Patty Kovacs wrote Feb 17, 2009
    • LISTEN TO SUSAN! She makes more good sense than most of the folks in Washington.
      I just opened the new issue of New York magazine to a cartoonish image of a white winged Obama with an open scissor in hot pursuit, ready to clip them off. Have we become so spoiled that we know nothing beyond instant gratification? We voted for him. Now let’s stand behind him and give him a chance to do his work.

      Lois W. Stern
      Eye on Beauty Expert
      PS. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, SUSAN.
      XXOO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dtro wrote Feb 17, 2009
    • Amen, sister! I say lets be Obamaoptomistic!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Feb 19, 2009
    • Hi Annie

      We have a Democratic majority in both the house and the senate but we don’t have a filibuster proof majority in the senate. Unless at least a couple of republican senators support the president they can hold up everything with a filibuster. In both the house and senate, only three repulicans supported the stimulus. None in the house. They bearly got enough to prevent the filibuster with 61.
      But the Democrats aren’t really helping much either because they did attempt to load the bill up with pet project crap. Obama relented on a lot. Tax cuts for example which we know doesn’t work. The last eight years proved that. Would your household survive if you deliberately spent more while at the same time cut your income?? That’s what it boils down to. But politicians don’t like to talk about bottom lines. :) They tend to blind us with ‘crap’ and the general masses are so concentrated on ‘me’ they buy it. Ever heard a politician fail to say what they are going to do for ‘you‘? It’s a winner every time, even in the voting booth. Until the true patriots learn to think beyond their own doors and think of the country as a personal survival unit for everyone, or the Planet for that matter, things will continue to head for the tank.
      What worries me is even when the money is distributed to states and then counties, each level will do their own corruption number and little will flow to the folks on the street. There is as much corruption, or more, on the local level, or the state level, as the Federal. That’s why people also have to watch their own county government as closely as Washington. This will take a revolution of sorts. The people have to start sticking together. Let the pro pols squabble over their party loyalties. Our loyalty has to lie with each other and the country. If enough did that, then yes, the power will eventually shift back to numbers.
      That’s my off the top of the head take on it. :) But again, I have no economics degree, just a modicum of common sense and a penchant for logic and fairness. I think it used to be called ‘principles‘. :)) Excuse any typos; I just spit this out.

      Susan



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Feb 21, 2009
    • Don’t you think it would help Americans to be able to go back to deducting interest from your credit cards and car loans on your income taxes?  Since America is loaded down with credit card debt...why not let them use the interest paid as a deduction...and medical expenses even under $5000 out of pocket?  

      Hmmmmm....that certainly would help and go in the right direction.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Feb 21, 2009
    • Great article by the way...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Haley wrote Feb 22, 2009
    • Hi Mary

      Yes, I think you have a good point with interest deduction instead of just issuing $300 checks, which to most families is a drop in the bucket. Especially, car loans. I think they shun this idea to keep people from charging themselves into such deep debt which has been a severe problem. Unfortunately, many folks are not wise spenders.
      But, I especially agree with you on the limit of medical deductions. That should be a lot less than $5000.
      It’s one of those catch 22 situations. They need the spending to move the economy, but too much spending beyond what folks can really afford is the reverse of the problem. Then personal bankruptcies soar.
      I really think they should have let the corrupt banks on Wall Street fail. There are plenty of local banks that did keep their lending policies tight and those are the banks that should have been bolstered. I shudder at the millions and billions that have been poured into saving these horrid big corporative crooks. And, still they’ve nothing to get lending going again. They’ve just socked it away into their own coffers. Or, that sure is what it appears to the average citizen like us. I feel horrible for those that lost their life savings through the 401 retirement programs. Those are the real victims. That Madoff character should be in chains doing hard time for the rest of his sorry life. But even in that horrible case, it was often the greed of the investors that allowed him to flourish in his unscrupulous games.
      But, as said earlier, I have no degree in economics. Just a sense of fairness. :)
      Have a good Sunday.
      Susan



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