Way back when Bill Clinton was running for president, his campaign had a sign in its “War Room” which proclaimed what I titled this missive with: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.”
It was true then and it’s true now, but the dim-bulbs in Washington just don’t seem to get it. Yeah, yeah, foreign relations are important, and blah-de-blah-blah, but if we can’t pay our bills here on the homefront, if we can’t take the family out for a pizza on a Friday night because things are tight, people don’t give a rat’s ass about your overseas expertise, or lack thereof.
I was reminded of this recently after Our Fearless Leader (Yeah, sometimes this blog will get political; c’mon, the man’s a moron.) was in the Mideast and cut a stupid deal with the Saudis.
He promised to sell them something like Twenty Billion Dollars’ worth of missile technology. I haven’t read all the fine print, but apparently this will make their “dumb” missiles (Where you fire them and hope for the best) “smarter,” in that they’ll be able to hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy. (And just for the record, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Lest we forget.)
But then, after agreeing to make the sale, President Bush mentioned to the Saudis that we’re having a tough time in the states due to high oil prices, and asked them to pump more to help bring the price of crude down. They said “No.”
Uhhh, excuse me?
I’m not the best of bargainers, but it seems to me if the Saudis want this missile technology, shouldn’t we make it a quid-pro-quo type of thing? You get the parts, we get cheap oil; seems to make sense to me, but I’m no economist. I’m just a working schlub.
And all this talk out of D.C. about money giveaways and other quick solutions doesn’t seem well thought out, either. (And, for the record, could we have Bush and Co. stop using the word “stimulus”? Because it sounds too much like “stimulate” with all its sexual overtones, and that’s just creepy. I’m just sayin’…).
Here’s a thought: Why not amend the tax code so that, say, the first $1,000 or so of interest you earn every year is tax-free? This way, you wouldn’t be penalized for saving money, having to pay taxes on the paltry interest you earn. Everyone in power seems concerned that Americans are saving hardly anything, yet there seems to be no incentive for them to do so.
It kills me every tax season to have to declare interest as “income.”
Here’s another thought: The Americans who are feeling this pinch the worst probably have some economy ideas of their own. Wouldn’t it make sense for all of our elected officials to solicit their input?
The tax-free interest idea (above) is one; here’s another. How about letting folks take $50 off their tax bill (On the bottom line, after everything else is figured out) for every pint of blood they donated last year, up to four? Blood banks are always whining about a shortage. If we gave folks a real incentive to donate, maybe that problem would go away, we’d have a steady supply of donors, and those donors who give a little would get a little.
You can’t donate? You don’t get the writeoff. You’d still be eligible to receive blood if you needed it. Everybody wins.
It ain’t Rocket Science, folks. Just common sense. Which these days seems all too uncommon.