Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Ready for your $28,000 bailout tax?

with 5 comments


The Bush administration throwing money at a problem is nothing new, but still, the sheer audacity of it all is mind boggling at this point. Another $800 billion “economic stimulus” package was just announced, and apparently Congress doesn’t even get to vote on this one. They abrogated their war making powers decades ago and gave them to the President, apparently now the President can simply spend as he pleases. Granted, all Congress has  done is rubber stamp his outrageous expenditures the last eight years, but now they aren’t even going to go through the motions anymore?

This brings the total of bailout payments and guarantees to $8.5 trillion.  Or $8,500 billion. Try $8,500,000,000,000. Or about $28,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. This number represents about 60% of the GDP, the market value of all the goods and services produced by a country in a year. It’s a big number. It’s a huge number. This is the biggest spending binge by the US government since World War Two. Of course in World War Two America got something for all the spending: tanks, planes, ships, infrastructure, and the creation of millions of jobs if not entire industries.

All we have gotten for the trillions spent so far is vague promises that somehow shovelling money into the hands of the people who made the mess in the first place is going to fix the problem. In a nutshell: profligate, irresponsible, and deregulated lending has created the biggest “bubble” in history. Lot’s of people saw where this madness was leading too as far back as the eighties.  I (and my august father) recommend this link to understand just how crazy this was. And now, rather than fixing the core problems or letting the bubble collapse, all the Bush administration is doing is keeping the bubble inflated with huge injections of funny money.

I mean, notice how every time they throw money at this crisis, the problem gets worse? Of course it does, if all they need to do is continue what they were doing and the government will give them pallets of money, what possible incentive do the financial wizards have to change their ways? They don’t, in fact they are lining up at the White House for further bailouts. Who wouldn’t want free money?

To put it mildly, this is not going to end well. We are like Wile E Coyote in the old Roadrunner cartoons, we have already run off the cliff and are standing on thin air, but most Americans still haven’t looked down yet. It’s a long way down folks. I’m going with the people who are predicting that it’s all going to come crashing down early next year and we are going to see a financial collapse that makes what we have seen so far look trivial in comparison. One might even claim that this is the plan, that all Bush has done is set Obama and the Democrats up for the biggest fall in history. I think that’s giving them too much credit though, so far Bush’s track record makes clear that he never changes course and thinks all problems can be solved if one throws enough money at them. This would be a terrible way to run  a fruit stand, as a strategy for running a country it is a recipe for unprecedented disaster.

I mean seriously, how long could a business could stay afloat if their fiscal policy was “borrow and spend?” We’ve reached the end of the Yellow Brick road…and we’ve been tricked. There is no Emerald City, the wizard is a con man, and all we will find there is the biggest tax bill in history…and a note from the mega rich that say “So long suckers.” That $28,000 isn’t going to come from the offshore accounts of the rich, it’s going to come out of the taxpayer’s pockets for decades to come. That’s Bush’s legacy, higher taxes forever.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone, because the next one is going to be a lot bleaker.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is a low resolution reproduction of just a portion of the original image, it is not being used for profit, and its use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image, arguably the opposite. Credit and Copyright: Time, Inc. Click here to see the original full image, note the expression on the guard in the truck’s face. It was taken in 1945, I guess he as trying to look tough. By today’s standards he looks, well, check it out for yourself.)


Written by unitedcats

November 26, 2008 at 1:39 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Not only are they throwing our tax money into the hands of the banksters to ‘save’ them, the perpetrators who did this GET TO KEEP THEIR JOBS? Where is the revulsion?

    The average ‘Joe 6 pack’ has not woken up yet, but when he finally does, the French Revolution may be a model for what is to come.


    November 27, 2008 at 8:23 am

  2. Regarding the politics of this post, it’s just more Bush Deranged Syndrome. Yes, the bailout has been the policy of the Bush Administration, but it also has been the policy of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Barney Frank and most of the rest of the Democrats … who have controlled Congress for the last two years. Why aren’t you taking them to task, too? And Obama is talking about, as you say, throwing more money at the problem.

    The next president will be a fiscal conservative. We’ll see if Obama figures that out and makes himself into one so he can win re-election.

    Conservative Stych

    November 28, 2008 at 12:26 pm

  3. I don’t think Bush is deranged, he’s just made some monumentally stupid decisions and his plan B is always “hold the course.” No wonder his enemies, domestic and international, are running circles around him. As for everyone else involved, yes, to paraphrase Noam Chomsky, the US is effectively a one party state, the business party, it just has two factions. Mea culpa if I don’t make my disdain for pretty much every US politician clearer, they have all bought into the “borrow and spend” binge for decades. I agree, the next US president will be a fiscal conservative…whether he likes it or not. :)


    November 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm

  4. I’ll start with 1991, since most people seem to start there when talking about Gulf Wars. Doug, they have created a huge number of jobs. Have a look at places like and all the various spooky job places. We can’t hire people fast enough.

    Just like WWII, technology designed and tested then is and has trickled down into the hands of the public. Those cute little GPS devices you have stuck to your windshields are the same devices that guide JDAMs to their targets.

    I think we’re going to see a lot less emphasis on “tanks” (your term) and a lot more emphasis on remote sensing. It’s less bloody, still pushes the technological envelope, and still employs millions of people.

    Put another way, picture a meeting of the “big three” – Northrop, Lockheed, and Boeing – complaining that with the wars going away, millions of people from analysts to chemists to bomb assemblers are going to – gasp! – lose their jobs.

    Alex J. Avriette

    November 29, 2008 at 9:43 am

  5. I’m pretty sure that government spending on the military is one of the least cost efficient ways to create jobs. And money can be spent on research without involving the military. I’ll look into this further at some point, but it’s hard to understand how creating jobs which destroy wealth as their primary purpose is sound fiscal policy.


    November 29, 2008 at 8:45 pm

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