Thursday, February 26, 2009

Let them eat Lobster

I just don't know any more and perhaps soon enough I just won't care. I got cornered by a woman at my club last night who went on and on about her money being wasted in earmarks for tattoo removal. This seems to be the red herring this week and the fishy smell of course is emanating from Fox, with people ( and I use the term loosely) like Michelle Malkin working overtime to make the most of it.

Apparently some money will go to a program to remove gang tattoos in California. Some will go for the Lobster fishing industry in Maine -- I don't need to repeat the litany, just turn on Fox or read any of the Ditto sites that repeat it ad nauseam, but we're hearing far less about billions to companies that use it for executive pay and bonuses; jets and yachts than we are about millions to entities that spend money on the poor and disadvantaged or on industries that employ Americans. All around her, of course are bankrupt businesses, foreclosed houses and homeless people. Perhaps one of them works for a dermatologist who removes tattoos. Perhaps there's someone who works in maintaining the 20,000 or so acres of parkland in this county -- land that attracts more in tourism than we spend making it pretty.

Certainly some of them in this coastal village are commercial fishermen whose boats are being foreclosed on, which is affecting the sales of gasoline and services which is forcing marinas to close and people in boatyards and grocery stores and tackle shops to be laid off. Saving an industry that employs Americans is at least a bridge to somewhere and criticism from people who have represented and supported the greatest orgy of non-productive pork barrel spending is almost as disgusting -- well, as Michelle Malkin.

It's easy to call any budget a series of "earmarks" and it beats me to think about how one allocates funds without allocating funds, unless you follow the Bush/Paulson "don't ask because we won't tell, you liberal bastard" model. One thing is for sure; some Maine fisherman is more likely to be salting cod with whatever comes his way from this package than salting money away in the Caymans or buying German cars or yachts made in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The whole idea of economic stimulus is to produce liquidity and improve the velocity of money so that maybe fewer people will lose their homes and jobs and businesses. The sudden parsimony of people who said nothing as tens of trillions of debt piled up, as money disappeared into the bowels of offshore corporations like Halliburton, was disbursed in pizza boxes to Iraqi war profiteers and corrupt politicians, should be embarrassing. Being a Republican however, is never to feel embarrassment, guilt or remorse, but to look for the solace of being told it's the doing of the "liberals."

As I said, I'm almost to the point of not caring any more. If we really are a nation of people hypocritically obsessed with the motes in other people's eyes, or stimulus packages, to the point where they would gladly see the end of the United States as a world power, we deserve what we get.

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