Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bait and Switch

Ah the promises of politics. Sit back, relax, your government will take care of all your needs. We will help and encourage entrepreneurship, businesses small and large, take care of all the poor, the sick, the homeless. We will pay off every ones mortgage. I recall people from both parties in recent times preaching this message.

The message we hear now is the same as above; don't worry, have hope. The government is the ONLY entity that can fix our problems, our health care, our infrastructure, our society. Yes we can, yes we will. The recession that we are in is so bad that the government is the only entity capable of providing the stimulus to get us back on track.

GOVERNMENT SALESMAN: Step right up, come on in, we have your recession fix right inside, all for the low price of $3,600,000,000,000 (trillion). Come and see the miracle that will make your life what it should be, you deserve to win.
(I step into the store, the salesman continues)
The display for our government fix is right over here in aisle 3. Unfortunately, we are all out of economic stimulus at the moment, but if I may suggest these social programs that will work equally as well. If you can't afford the 3.6 trillion dollars, we would be happy to finance that for you and your grandchildren. What's that? You aren't interested. Not to worry, the rest of the country voted to have you pay anyway. It's OK, we'll take care of you.


Bait and Switch, the old sales tactic of displaying one product and then leading the customer to another. That is what is happening to every citizen of this country right now. We are hearing everything we want to hear, seeing solutions that should work, but they aren't being pursued. Our country is measuring one problem and trying to fix another. Apparently the problem in this country is the failing economy; at least that's what everyone talks about. It's a shame that our government is fixing all our social problems in the name of the economy. I have no confidence in words any longer.

I have written (via website forms) my local senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) a few times expressing my thoughts on the economy. After a few days, the automated response is the same. Something like "something must be done" and "for every $1 we spend on infrastructure, we get $1.56 in return." All bait. Then I look at the stimulus and at the next budget. There it is, the switch.

I was excited when I heard President Obama announce his rules about lobbyists working in his administration. Then I found out he had already hired ex-lobbyists. Bait us with words, switch their meaning. Where has our honor gone? Are our agendas so important that we must do anything to have them implemented?

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." - Thomas Jefferson

Regardless of our political and social leanings. We need to demand honesty. WE are the watchdogs, and we must pay attention. Can we trust the media? Are we looking at the facts ourselves, or are we too busy to care what others are deciding on our behalf?

Gearge W. Bush led this country through some tough times, with a certain amount of success. I believe that he wanted liberty and freedom for everyone. Had I been writing this blog in September though, I would have posted a video of myself screaming at the TV when Bush said we MUST give $700,000,000,000 to the failing banks. I don't know what he was thinking. In the last few months of his presidency, I think Bush stopped listening to the people. He said himself that his free market principles had failed and that he must act. According to the big media outlets, conservatism failed. The problems of the last eight years however, were that conservatism never got a chance. I wish I had been paying more attention.

Do we care about the means to the end, or only the end? Is this bait and switch acceptable?

Our country and our leaders have answers that they know will work. Their own advisors, their constituents and leaders around the country have confirmed that these solutions will work; but these solutions don't support their own agenda. If we continue to ignore the path to real recovery, we will cease to have the chance.


  1. Compared to 3.6 trillion dollars, 700 billion doesn't look so bad. However, George W. Bush was not being honest with us when he failed to include the cost of the Iraq war in the national budget, which ammounted to trillions as well. Obama's 3.6 trillion is outlined loud and clear on the link you posted. We may not agree with everything in it but it's there.

  2. Sorry, I had to post annonymously. It was me, Laura, who authored the above comment! :)

  3. You are totally right, I am very glad they are showing us more of the picture. I just hope the congress will pick this thing apart enough to balance it to some degree. It's really sad when our leaders can write off a few billion dollars because it is only a small portion of the budget. The more you talk about it, the smaller the numbers seem.