Category Archives: government

Waste

   A 35,000 toilet?  Bail outs?  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Meryl Lynch and Bank of America?  I don’t know whats going on anymore.  I don’t understand much of it.  I’m embarrassed to say that because it makes me sound stupid but I don’t consider myself stupid.  Just not politically enlightened and pretty isolated from informed people and their conversations.  And yes this post will be riddled with grammatical errors.  I guess I’m Joe the plumber but in a feminine persona.  First of all, who in the heck names a company Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  That’s silly.  And there’s a Ginnie Mae, too.  Don’t misunderstand me, I do get the gist of things.  But it’s all the underlying details that most people understand that I don’t understand.
And…  I’d like to know why our government hands out money to help save companies that make bad decisions and go in the hole?  Hey, I spent some of my bill money last week at Wal Mart when the spending spree spirit came over me (luxuries like toilet tissue, soap, deodorant) and now my car insurance has lapsed because I couldn’t pay the premium.  I know.  It was terribly irresponsible of me.  Do you think the government will hand me some money to get out of the hole?  And what about this quote here (taken from one of my other posts by the way)

“It’s not based on any particular data point, we just wanted to choose a really large number.” — a Treasury Department spokeswoman explaining how the $700 billion number was chosen for the initial bailout, quoted on Forbes.com Sept. 23

    Does that make any sense to you?  Because if it does, please explain it to me.   Does our government shake the magic 8 ball or draw numbers from a hat to decide how much of OUR money they’re going to give away?  I’m going to  agree with Hugh Hewitt who once argued that mismanagement causes companies to fail, and they now deserve to be dismantled organically by the free-market forces so that entrepreneurs may arise from the ashes.  That is something I can wrap my mind around.  I understand what he’s saying clearly. 

    On November 24, 2008, libertarian Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) wrote,

“In bailing out failing companies, they are confiscating money from productive members of the economy and giving it to failing ones. By sustaining companies with obsolete or unsustainable business models, the government prevents their resources from being liquidated and made available to other companies that can put them to better, more productive use. An essential element of a healthy free market, is that both success and failure must be permitted to happen when they are earned. But instead with a bailout, the rewards are reversed – the proceeds from successful entities are given to failing ones. How this is supposed to be good for our economy is beyond me…. It won’t work. It can’t work… It is obvious to most Americans that we need to reject corporate cronyism, and allow the natural regulations and incentives of the free market to pick the winners and losers in our economy, not the whims of bureaucrats and politicians.” 

   Makes sense to me.  But I’m getting off my subject… if I have one.  I do.  And its this: 

These are uncertain times and I wish I better understood whats going on around me because it definitely affects me.  I think I need CNN for Dummies on channel 101.  I realize other people seem to understand all of it much better than I and I think that everyone else in the country must have way more money than I do and I must live in a cave at the end of the earth because honestly guys, I didn’t know that $35,000 toilets existed or $28,000 curtains.  I’m really out of the loop I guess and if everyone has one but me, I’m jealous.  Tell me, what in the world does this toilet do?  What does it look like?  For $35,000 we should be able to drive it to and from work… or live in it (I say we because we paid for it… I think).  In all fairness I have to say this because people like myself were confused on this:

A commode, in the decorating world, is a small cabinet. source:  http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2009/01/23/deal-journal-explainer-the-35000-commode-outrage/

Like that makes it any better.

   So this CEO (of Meryl Lynch) decides to spend $1.2 million on decorating his office.  And no one questions the guys sanity or finds this strange when its going on?  Is this normal everywhere except where I live?  I know I’m rural, just how rural am I?  How on earth does fabric cost $11,000?  Or curtains $28,000?  Am I missing something?  Did he really pay this amount or was he writing off expenses he  didn’t have to cover up money he took or misappropriated?  I don’t understand.  I can’t imagine what an $87,000 area rug could possibly look like.  Can you?  Who comes up with these ridiculous prices for these products? Mr. Thain, didn’t you find these prices to be incredibly ridiculous?  Is it a common thing or even necessary to have a dining room in an office?  Or to hang a $13,000 chandelier from its ceiling?  And if drivers get paid $230,000 I want to be a driver.  Where can I apply?

*You can see the itemized invoice for this redecoration here http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/thaindocuments2.pdf

   Bank of America received US $20 billion in federal bailout from the US government through the TARP program on 16 January 2009 and also got guarantee of US $118 billion in potential losses at the company.  No, I don’t understand all the intricate details but I can add.  Lets see… twenty billion plus one hundred eighteen billion that’s one hundred thirty eight billion dollars.  My mind can’t even comprehend a number that large!!! 
   What I do comprehend is I’m out of work.  That I stood in the store tonight ten minutes debating on spending my money on a ham lunchable or a can of chunky chicken noodle soup for my supper, that I have to reschedule my doctor appointments because I can’t buy gas to get to all of them and I had to walk away from the pharmacy without my medicines because I don’t have enough money for them.  So expensive toilets, wasteful and extravagant spending, billions of dollars that I can’t even imagine, inconsiderate slobs that are self indulgent while Americans are losing their homes,  and drivers making over a quarter million dollars make me sick right now. 
   I want to believe that change really has come.  I want to believe that the flame of hope has not yet been extinguished because its hope and its that little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel and the grace of God that gives me strength and gets me up each morning.

   Oh, yeah… Mr. Smith is also redecorating the private rooms of the White House for the Obama family, but taxpayers are getting a better deal. He’s only charging $100,000.  Read about it here http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=85846