Everyone is talking about the $825 billion stimulus package today. But here's the one thing that most people are missing: the government is claiming it can save our country by doing exactly what got us into this mess in the first place. You know the saying that those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it, but can we learn from the history of five minutes ago?
They tell us debt isn't bad, and they're right. All these experts stand around and say "you don't understand" but you do.
Let's use common sense here. You know that if you are 61, you shouldn't take on an enormous mortgage before you retire, because your earnings have probably pretty much topped out. You also know that you can't take on the same amount of debt that you did when you were 25.
Unfortunately, our government doesn't seem to understand any of that. Housing values are down 18 percent from a year ago. And though Americans are making $5,000 more than they did five years ago, this one bill is going to give each and every U.S. household $9,000 in additional debt to be paid off by our kids and grandkids.
President Obama's spending package will cost us $825 billion, plus another $347 billion in interest if we pay it back by 2020. The interest alone will cost us twice as much as we've spent on the entire war in Afghanistan.
And what are we trying to do to make our house worth more? There's a billion bucks for Amtrak, which hasn't made money in 40 years, $2 billion for child care subsidies, $400 million for global warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million for digital TV conversion coupons.
We have to look at the country as our house, and none of these things will increase its value. It's as if we're going to our real estate agent and saying, "Yeah, but it has all new weather stripping, fluorescent light bulbs and new rolls of toilet paper."
We're betting everything that our house will eventually be worth more. But if we're wrong on this, then the country is in default. When the U.N. sheriff is about to take our country away, other countries will say the same thing we said about those facing foreclosure: "Oh they're just stupid. They deserved to lose it."
We know this kind of math doesn't work in our own homes, so how could we possibly trust that it will work for our country?
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