Jon Stewart made a suggestion the other night. He wondered why all this Federal financial bailout/rescue money shouldn’t go to consumers, who will then pay the banks what they owe on credit cards, mortgages, etc. Then the banks would get their money and Americans would get out of debt and things would be peachy. Good one, Jon.
I heard a caller on a talk show (sorry, error in judgment for a moment in the car) make the same argument. Give it to us, he said, so we can pay off our mortgages. He was a teacher. Good one, too.
I mean, it’s 800 billion dollars. We can’t conceive of the number, not really, but it’s OUR money, right?
Well. Actually it will belong to our grandchildren, since we don’t actually HAVE it, we’re BORROWING it, but that may be too fine a point for the discussion.
A finer point might be this: Spread that 800 billion among the citizenry, and what you end up with is a check for about $2500 bucks for each of us. Make sure you build part of a bridge or something with yours.
This is big picture stuff, but most of us don’t see big pictures, or want to. We want to say. “I live on a budget, why can’t the government?” without acknowledging that the government is nothing like a family, or should be. Lots of things would make more sense if we thought about them a little more.
Still, it’s ugly to watch this stimulus package get tossed around. Lots of questionable items in it at the moment. Some will get taken out, some will stay, some will be added before it’s all over. And all of it looks like a crap shoot from here. Maybe it will help.
I’m in the sausage factory at the moment, although it has nothing to do with what’s on the news. It’s the nuts and bolts of areas I never get into. Scary areas, to me, or at least strange. Legal areas, financial areas. Emotional areas. We are at Defcon Something in this house, and have been and will be.
Put it this way. You know me. You know my life. You maybe know too much, but you know what I think and what I feel. So think of the worst thing that could happen to me, outside of the realm of personal habits or health. Or income. Or pets. There. Other than that, think of the worst thing.
Nope, not that either.
There you go. That’s it.
There have been actual nightmares, and then metaphorical ones. There have been intense meetings with people whose professions are known to me only through TV shows. There have been scenarios spun, worst-case and others. I’ve had a good look at the innards of life and law and health and safety, and most of the time I want to throw up or crawl under the bed.
I’ve been saved by lots of things. Good friends. Strong marriage. Sobriety. Some serenity, even if challenged lately.
Just a friendly warning: If one of you kind people thinks to comment, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” I will do my best to block your IP address from this Web site in the future. That statement helps NOBODY, and never has. Just saying.
And through all of this — and there is a lot — I still believe we will have something that will pass for a happy ending. I will still be living in this house. I will still have this blog, and my column. My family will be goofy but intact, no one will die a horrendous death, no one will be in prison, no one will be living on the street.
But I’ve seen those images, and I’ve seen how they’re created and dealt with, in ways I didn’t expect to, and I can’t realistically expect to ever be the same.
Or eat sausage, actually, but then I don’t really do that anyway.