08 February 2009
I'm sure that most of you have been following the so-called economic stimulus legislation news over the past weeks. Yes, I'm still calling it "so-called" because not even ten percent of it has anything at all to do with strengthening the economy. Can you say OINK? That's not the point, though.
Care to know what Congressional Democrats have been doing this weekend? While we've been listening to company CEO's being lambasted by members of Congress for their "excesses" (which by the way, salary and benefits are not set by the CEO's, but by the company boards), on and on ad nauseum, Democrats spent the weekend at KINGSMILL RESORT AND SPA, in Williamsburg, Virginia for their annual retreat according to a February 6, 2009 Associated Press article by Laurie Kellman. Now I know that the Republicans did the same thing earlier this year at the HOMESTEAD RESORT in Hot Springs, Virginia. But with one "small" difference. The Republicans paid for their retreat out of their own pockets. The Democrats on the other hand, spent $100,000 of YOUR tax money for the three-day weekend. The first thing that should be understood is that all of these people in Congress are all wealthy people. They can well afford to pay for such things themselves. I know that $100,000 to the Federal budget is dipping the ocean with a teaspoon. But if $100,000 of taxpayers' money is spent on "excesses" to use their phraseology, then there will be no more conviction about spending $1,000,000, or $1,000,000,000, and so on.
This is also another indication that they have no intention of living by the same rules as they want us to. Cutbacks? Will we live long enough to actually see it in Washington?
A SIDE NOTE ON THE ECONOMY WITH A LOOK BACK
We've seen on the news recently that we now have a national unemployment rate of about 8%. That's all we've heard. What we haven't heard is that 92% of America's work force is still employed. During the Carter administration? Unemployment was 11%.
Inflation rate for 2008, despite the brief dramatic spike in oil prices, considerable price increases of most grocery items due to ethanol and increased transportation costs, 3.85% (INFLATIONDATA.COM). During the Carter Administration, say 1980, 13.58% (INFLATIONDATA.COM).
According to the Wall Street Journal's PRIME RATE HISTORY, the prme lending rate now is 3.25%. During the Carter administration, 1980, 20.0% (yes, you read that right, 20.0%).
And also according to INFLATIONDATA.COM, gasoline prices broke $1.00 per gallon for the first time ever 1980. The reason this was so extremely hard was that in 1976, just four years earlier, the price was around $0.60 per gallon. By the end of 1981, the average price was $1.35 per gallon. The price more than doubled in five years, but wages did not, not to mention waiting in lines for an hour or more to get gas, the fights and some shootings in the gas lines. Adjusting for inflation, this would translate to about $3.17 per gallon or so - and staying there.
Worst economy since the Great Depression? Don't think so. While I'm in no way minimizing those suffering because of the Democrats' mishandling of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and their blocking every attempt several years ago to prevent this from happening, it could be a whole lot worse. It has been. In way less than a lifetime. But since many Americans' memories are short, I thought I would put a little reminder out there so we could remember how it was, and how it could be right now.