Yesterday was a doozy. I was reading about Obama’s stimulus plan, and the Republican’s response and I got a bit anxious. My heart quickened and I felt really antsy. Was it a nic fit? Perhaps. Was it a true response to what I was reading. Perhaps.
The stimulus program is a good program. It hits on problems of the day, and addresses problems of tomorrow.
Green Energy -a good start (acknowledgment!)
College Credits – yes, lets help our ailing families get their kids to college. A good idea.
Infrastructure Jobs – ok, fixing up the National Mall in DC sounds frivolous – but, it does give some people jobs. Giving jobs to the people is not a bad thing today.
State Relief – States are ailing. Here in NYC, they are shutting down firehouses and slowing the hiring and training of the NYPD. This is not a good thing – without cops, crime will rise. I am seeing more homeless and grafitti. I am keeping my eyes open for these things, as it will help me gauge the safety of the city. And will also help me decide if I live here or not in the future. Yes, money for the states is very important.
Health Care – tax credits to pay for continuing coverage under Cobra, and by expanding Medicaid. A good thing, considering people are losing their jobs, and Cobra only lasts for 18 months. We may not be able to put a full workforce back on track within 18 months. Yes, this credit is important.
Yet I look to Boehner to give me the other side’s point of views – to play devil’s advocate and he will play this role very well. As I read more and more, the levels of complexity become clearer to me –
1: the weighted companies that make up the Dow Jones
2: the compensation model of our financial industry
3: the lack of credit being moved
4: the positive sides of debt and how that helps most companies
5: our taxation model
6: the housing bubble
7: the perceived wealth of the country (and world) and where we stand today
Reading about all these things actually gave me a panic attack yesterday. As I read more and more information, and surfed from one website to another I began to get so overwhelmed, and truly panicked that I said to myself, “yeah, I could go for a cigarette.” No, I did not give in – I put on my nicotine patch and ate about 14 pieces of gum for 2 hours, it passed. And I drank a little hooch, and it passed. The knot in my stomach loosened and my blood pressure finally came down to normal.
So, at the end of the day, I am no economist, I am no politician, and there are many people a lot more invested in this than I (Obama, Geithner, Summers, Boehner, Cantor, and the world economists and traders whose names I do not know). I must have faith that we all – together – Republicans and Democrats alike have to fix this. The realities of the day are overwhelming and the levels are so complex that it hurts my brain to try to figure it out. The apathetic me is at odds with the hopeful “its a new day, yes we can, time for change” me. Having faith in those in Washington to work together with each other and the world seems so foriegn to me – yet I like what I have seen so far. Boehner, stay tough and play devil’s advocate – Obama and team, stay tough and look to the future implications of what you implement now. And for the rest of us, keep our heads down, save money, pay down your debt and try to stay afloat.