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May 5, 2009

On Stimulus and Bailouts
By Eric Schoen

On February 14, 2009, the United States House and Senate passed a 1,071-page $787 billion stimulus bill.

What many people don’t know about our current Congress is that both Democrats and Republicans voted to post this bill on the Internet 48 hours before a final vote so citizens could read it. Both parties broke their word and only released the fully amended bill late in the night before they voted on it at 9 am the next day. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I read an eight-inch-thick document and pondered its content in thirteen hours.

Our politicians are LYING to us and are slapping us in our faces. We should be outraged. How dare our elected representatives pass the most expensive spending bill in the history of the world and not read it! How dare the mass media lambast Bush’s spending habits when the deficits of the “last eight years” do NOT COME CLOSE to the deficit spending brought on by this one-time stimulus. It seems that the new administration – the government of “change” – is not only continuing the detrimental behavior of Bush. They are exponentially increasing the effects.

Is this not how we came to this problem in the first place, spending money we do not have?

We will never be able to accurately attribute any success or failure to this stimulus package. If the economy improves, the Left will claim that it was because of the bill. If the economy continues to crumble or remains stagnant, the Left will argue that the bill just hasn’t kicked in yet, or that it wasn’t enough of a stimulus because “this administration has inherited the worst economic situation of any presidency.” Spare me. It’s time for our politicians to stop pointing fingers.

We need a paradigm shift in our society – one governed not by the urges of society, but of responsibility.

The Tax Day Tea Parties that took place across America on April 15 were demonstrations of the anger of the American people at this tax-and-spend administration. While the Tea Parties were not as glorious as certain networks suggested, they certainly indicate that Americans have not lost their revolutionary spirit.

The Boston Tea Party signaled to our British overlords that taxation without representation was unfair. Similarly, we are signaling to our non-representing representatives the fury we have with their fiscal irresponsibility.

Irresponsible and disingenuous intervention is not to be tolerated.

In a recent speech at Georgetown University, Barack Obama urged that the government needed to intervene to help AIG because it is an umbrella corporation for other banks. If it fails, all its connections will fail as well.

This demonstrates the single greatest threat America faces—the integration of our industries. Our companies become more vulnerable if everything flows through a single building or office. It would be better for companies to rise and fall as the economic climate dictates. By putting some distance between individual entities and its umbrella parent, each private subsidiary becomes more secure because it is not directly subject to the ills of its neighbors.

Bailing out companies doesn’t help them. It extends the time it takes to fire people. Even with a stimulus people will be fired, and companies will restructure. That’s why corporations declare bankruptcy—to give a company time and space to restructure so as to become profitable once again. We should have allowed this to happen. Regardless, people will lose jobs and companies will decrease their size; however, without intervention, the taxpayers—people not associated with those companies in the first place—don’t have to bear the brunt of a company’s mistakes.

We need a society based on winners, not losers—a society that affirms its long-term goals through its government. Right now, we are sporadic, scared to death of what tomorrow may bring. So instead of preparing for tomorrow, we fix today. We can’t do this anymore. Our “goals” need to be for the future.

Eric Schoen is a freshman Political Science major.

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