Economic Stimulus not very Stimulating

I have pored through countless articles. I have listened to numerous discussions by alleged experts. Politicians have filled my airwaves with their prattle. They say they are stimulating the economy by injecting billions of dollars into it. I have yet to feel a thing.

It is true, big business most assuredly is reaping the rewards. After talking to many ordinary people like myself, I am not alone in believing that this “economic stimulus” package has not been very stimulating for the rest of us.

Who exactly has benefitted from the $11.4 billion the government has doled out since Barack Obama became president? I do not know of any one personally who has. I have, however, been dismayed to hear it reported how these corporate louses are still making out. The thieves. How is it possible that the ones who lost all the money in the first place (and got paid to do it!) are getting giant paydays again? It totally astounds me.

These corporate yahoos continue to rake in all the dough, while I lose neighbors? Houses continue to go vacant around me and no one does a thing. What’s so stimulating about that?

My wife and I had a great neighbor, Julie, living directly behind us. We got along, we talked. On a couple of occasions, we even had dinner together. Now, she and her children are gone. She is a single mother and she could not afford to make her house payments anymore. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that?

Julie said she was only struggling with three of her 12 house payments in the year. She worked full time, but with the expenses of two growing children coupled with rising food and energy costs, she could not keep up.

I asked Julie what it would take to make it so she could stay in her house. She just wished there was a way to lower her interest rate without having to refinance, thus avoiding the addition of more closing costs on top of an over-extended loan.

Why could this not have been part of the stimulus package? Why should homeowners not be able to get lower interest rates? Perhaps, some nice neighbors would not be lost because they would be able to keep their homes. Imagine that one.

“If I was a first-time homebuyer, there would be all kinds of help for me,” Julie said. “For people who don’t have a home, the stimulus package is great to help them get one. But, I have a home I am trying to make payments on, and there is no help for me.”

My neighbor has taken her two children and moved in with her mother. Her home now sits empty behind mine. She is trying to sell it, but will probably have to take a loss. Another house right next door to me also is empty now. It is so depressing to see these empty houses. I am so sad when I think of what great neighbors lived in those two houses and I wish there was a way they could come back.

On a trip this summer, I saw signs in several states that said certain road projects were funded by the economic stimulus package. I never once saw a sign stating, “The economic stimulus plan will help you keep your home.” Now, that would be quite the concept. Keep the people who already own homes in them!

They need to call this plan what it is. It is not economic stimulus — it is corporate welfare. Economic stimulus would keep people in their homes. Economic stimulus would help my wife and I raise our children without constantly stressing about money, despite our two good jobs. Economic stimulus should make me tingle with sheer excitement and joy — economic stimulus should be stimulating.  

Instead, I shake my head in dismay and irritation as another corporate honcho who got us into this fiasco receives a multimillion dollar bonus. If only I could mess up so bad.

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9 responses to “Economic Stimulus not very Stimulating

  1. Practical piece – Speaking of which , if anyone needs to fill out a IRS W-9 , I filled a sample form here https://goo.gl/NbRr7V

  2. Technically I could have voted “Yes”. The stimulus package means I pay less for COBRA insurance, and if (God forbid) I were to be out of work longer than Texas would normally pay unemployment, the package would extend that. But (a) the cap on unemployment is so far below my monthly bills it isn’t funny and (b) the real help would be if it had kept me from being laid off.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Miles,

      That’s it in a nutshell. This stimulus package is not all it is cracked up to be. Wow, I didn’t even mean to type that pun, but so be it.

      Take care, Miles. Thanks for commenting.

      VP

  3. John, I am one of the 2 monority votes, but I didn’t intend to be. I punched the wrong button on the poll, as I didn’t personally benefit, or so I thought. I tried to undo my vote and couldn’t, so I started to think, have I benefited in some way. And I have to admit I have, but not directly and it actually supports your point.

    I saw a pie chart that supposedly showed how US businesses faired over the last 12 months. The pie had 99% of companies in the red section (good choice of color I though) representing those that we’re behind where they were a year ago, and 1% in a black tiny sliver of pie, representing companies that are thriving and are in a better position that last year. My company is one of the very few that fall into the 1%. My company didn’t apply for or accept TARP money. And we may be one in less than a hand full of finacial companies that didn’t line up for the stimulus hand-outs.
    So, yes in away my paycheck reflects an upswing of personal benefit relative to the market. But who are we and what makes a different, way are we so blessed?
    Most people and even Catholics have no clue what the Knights of Columbus really is. We are the second largest fraternal insurance company in the world, but our finacial strength blowes the number one comapany out of the water (they are the Lutheran version of the Knights, Thrivent). And I doubt, Thrivent is in the 1%. So why does this matter? The New York Times wrote a fairly even handed article on the Pope’s latest encyclical Charitas in Veritate, (Charity in Truth) a social justice lesson on world economics is one way to oversimply is great gift from the Vatican. The New York Times article only included one quote from a CEO of an international finacial organization; it was Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight, of the Knights of Columbus. The Knights business model is 180 degrees from anything you’ll find in the secluar market place. Its not “sexy” or flashy, its time tested, stoic, and is lead by the princples of Charity(love), Fraternity (cooporation), and Unity (solidarity). The Knights are are probably the single largest combined donor of dollars and sweat& blood to Pro-Life and Pro-Family causes. We are the opposite of everything our current gov’t and much of our current corporate world stand for.
    Long story short, because the stimulis isn’t working and isn’t sustainable” our clients see the mistakes and the consequences of following the worlds way and have found comfort in our methodology (and higher rates of return). So, Thank You failed stimulus and social progressive politians, you give me the buying power to keep my house. (4th house on my street was vacated this weekend for fiancial reasons, these will not be remembered as the best of times, for sure.)

  4. I checked into refinancing my home and was told I could not since I was not behind, and the money went mostly to Arizona to help those hardest hit; one state out of fifty. I am not opposed to helping Arizona, but just one state. We spent money on Chrysler to keep them from going bankrupt, and they still went bankrupt. Money went to AIG, and yet now they are making substantial profits and paying their CEOs their yearly bonuses of millions of dollars. I was wondering why the government did not step in and say hey you need to pay us back some of the money before you do that. I thought the government was going to do that until AIG delayed the paying their CEOs. Which I guess I just do not understand the corporate world. As a CEO my job is to manage the company. So, if the economy goes bad, or I mismanage the company, and I have to lay off thirty thousand employees in order for the company to make a profit, then the company rewards me for doing a great job and gives me a bonus. The economic stimulus was suppose to help create jobs, but I have not seen any new jobs, and I have seen the government making things harder: They are putting a cap on the energy companies which is going to cost the companies allot of money. From a business standpoint anytime something costs a business money, they have to put it back on the consumer. I am not opposed to green energy, but the problem I see is that there are allot of unfortunate people out of work, and those who are working are feeling the crunch of the economy just as much as things continue to rise. A comedian said there were some 255 million Americans in America and the government could have given each American a million dollars, and saved a bunch of money. I actually heard someone in government address this: The problem with the economy is that no one is spending like they use to. The government said that the problem with giving each American a million dollars is that they were afraid they would spend it. The one thing that has worked which they wanted to scrap was the money for clunkers. So, far it has worked but the problem that I see with it, is what happens when someone can not afford to make their payments because the employment rate is continuing to rise. Now we have the morgage crisis again except in the auto industry. As I see it the government spent allot of money and now they have only one thing to show for it, and I believe that is yet to be decided as to whether it really worked. Now they are talking about raising taxes, and lowering people’s social security, because all the money spent has to made up somewhere. The problem that I see is that the government is takkng on too much at one time: greener energy, bail outs, health care, unemployment, the economy. In the recent months I have heard nothing but the health care issue, and I do believe it to be an issue, but I still see and hear about more lay offs, more homes being foreclosed. Instead of anything being fixed they just move on to the next thing, and I do not see anything really being accomplished. Granted this mess was not started in day, and I do not expect it to be over with anytime soon, but I have yet to see anything really firm that they have accomplished aside from raising the deficit.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Walt,

      Thank you for taking the time to type up such a valuable response. Wow, you had so many great points. You really got me thinking. I think you gave me at least three new ideas for articles! Well done!

      Enjoy the rest of your week. Thanks again for reading!

      VP

  5. I can’t see that it’s done diddly squat for the high tech world. hence, I (and others I Know) have been laid off since May, and *very* few people are hiring. And that’s here in central Texas, which supposedly is better off than many places.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Miles,

      I honestly do not see how it is working or what good it is doing. The Cash for Clunkers was working, but I doubt any of those dealers are ever going to see that money, definitely not all of it any way.

      School districts hired staff to lower class sizes, and now they have to let people go or not fill vacated slots. Even the school district I am in, which is supposed to be better off than other places, too, is struggling. We are building a new middle school that the district might not be able to afford to staff now because of the dismal economy.

      Isn’t that crazy? Couldn’t the stimulus money be used in better ways?

      It’s just a chance for corporations to loot the Treasury, who then begs China for more money that can then be stolen again. We are stuck in a crazy loop. I really don’t see a way out.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and voting in the poll! Have a great week.

      VP

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