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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Stimulus Plan’

abyssI spent a couple days last weekend with buddies catching up on some overdue winter recreation.

On the drive east talk turned toward the economic situation.  We reminisced about a time where money was flowing, easy money.  Anybody could qualify for a loan — I mean anybody.  One person in the group knew a grocery store clerk with an annual salary of twenty-three thousand dollars who had received a two-hundred-and-sixteen-thousand-dollar mortgage, with no money down and no income verification — not even a phone call from a lender.

I thought I knew what was going on in America.  That lenders stretched the limits and borrowers overreached.  Just a little.  But that was not what is going on.  In acts of pure greed, banking institutions lent money for the fees, not worrying about tomorrow, just like the ignorant people they gave the money too.

I’m not ignorant.  I’ve done the college gig.  But, oftentimes the borrowers of these super-duper sums were high school dropouts, working blue collar jobs.  And now that those jobs, so often in the construction trades, and unfortunately have disappeared, they’re lining up with their brethren for minimum wage work that they can’t get, because the line is so long.

The Senate today passed the $838B Stimulus Pork “Recovery and Reinvestment Plan” while the Dow tanks 300+ points on the news!  Is Wall Street sending a signal that they think it’s a “Sink the Ship Plan?”

I’ve sacrificed.  Not that I’m proud of it.  It was just a necessity.  I’ve seen limited funds coming in, so limited funds had to go out.  I believe in the American Dream, I wouldn’t have sacrificed if I didn’t believe in the potential for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but now I find out those making the rules don’t sacrifice at all.  I declare all my income.  I pay my taxes.  But those making the rules don’t?  How can this be?

Little did I know that you could have your cake and eat it too.  And here I was wary of losing sight of my dreams, becoming locked in an endless cycle of work and obligations, unable to pursue my passions.  I wonder how many more people these self-congratulatory, egomaniacal lawmakers will rip off?

At the Grammy’s backstage during the pre-telecast awards ceremony, B.B. King said it best.  He won his 15th Grammy, for best traditional blues album, “One Kind Favor” and he alluded to the recession… 

“I believe the blues, the way things are today, is more important now than it ever was,” Mr. King said.  “Unless you got a lot of money.  I don’t.”

Brings to mind a saying they have in Wyoming:  “Rules are for fools!”

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1973_vetteI have a weakness for muscle cars.  

A Ford Hybrid Escape just doesn’t do it for me.  Over the years I’ve spent a fair amount of time wrenching a ’67 Camero, but these days it’s been on a mid-sixties Vette.  Given my experiences and looking over parts receipts I can expertly state that vintage auto’s are primarily a money sink hole.  None the less, it’s my sink hole and it’s how I elect to spend my hard earned $$.

But, along comes the BART riding ideals of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who views the world through some hybrid reality-distortion field, imagining it as some sort of amazing green technology and will not rest until she has saved the planet for all of us!! 

It’s a misguided attempt to spur new car sales and help create jobs by the Washington lawmakers.  They have determined “we” need a nationwide automobile scrap program which would give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in older cars to have them crushed.  On the surface it sounds like a reasonable idea, but the unattended consequences of the bill will threaten vintage enthusiasts nationwide with the loss of valuable parts and part-cars for repair, restoration, and customization projects. The programs also risk destroying classic, historic and special-interest vehicles that are part of our American heritage.  Once passed how long do you think it will be before they amend the law to include vintage motorcycles?

Pelosi introduced a bill as part of the Economic Stimulus Plan and is looking for President Obama to sign it into law.  If you oppose the use of U.S. Taxpayer $$ for “Cash for Clunkers” then I suggest that you contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi IMMEDIATELY.  You can call: (202)225-0100 or send an email HERE. To help guide any conversation below are a few talking points:

  1. I am [calling/writing] because I oppose the use of U.S. taxpayer $$ and urge lawmakers not to include a “Cash for Clunkers” provision in the economic stimulus bill. Owners who turn in vehicles for crushing would receive a “minimal” payment to purchase a new car. This is a misguided attempt to spur car sales and claim that the country’s air quality or fleet fuel mileage is being improved.
  2. “Cash for Clunkers” programs threaten enthusiasts nationwide with the loss of valuable parts and parts-cars for repair, restoration, and customization projects. The programs also risk destroying classic, historic and special-interest vehicles in our American heritage.
  3. Cars turned in for scrap often barely run, or are rarely-driven second or third vehicles that have a minimal impact on overall fuel economy or emissions.
  4. “Cash for Clunkers” programs will reduce the availability of affordable transportation and repair parts used by low-income drivers. It will also compete with the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities that rely on vehicle donations to raise money.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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