Tuesday, February 17

the Downsizing of the American Dream

The American Dream can mean many different things to the many different people who inhabit the United States of America and to those who look towards the shores of America as the place of opportunity. As of late however, those dreams are shrinking. Hopes and aspirations that once danced in the minds of those motivated individuals who could see a future carved by there own hands are now more occupied with clutching tightly to what they have at this moment in time. Looking towards a bright and fertile future seems to have been replaced by fighting to survive in the shadows of the wasteland that has been carved out by our current economic woes.

Today, at 2:40 Eastern Time President Obama will sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. He will sign the $787 Billion bill in Denver Colorado. The location is symbolic in a couple of ways.

First, it has long been considered the epicenter of the green movement. Green energy and environmental matters play a key role in the Presidents Stimulus package and his administrations overall agenda. Many of the items contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act revolve around spending aimed at generating a greening of America. Though the road and costs to get there may not be fully realized by the American citizens yet, the costs and perils of not moving in that direction were evident a few short months ago as gasoline reached the $4 a gallon mark. Currently our budgetary strain as citizens is not felt as tightly as is had been. The current price at the pump has slipped and is around the $2 mark for the most part. Many have noted that the price is beginning to rise at the pump once again. Some have speculated that the price will be closer to the $3 a gallon mark by summer time.

Second, Denver is a Republican territory. Traditionally Republican territory is a focus for President Obama, as he intends to travel to his election rivals home state of Arizona on Wednesday to announce his plans to deal with the national mortgage crises. As the Republicans of the house and Senate have stood in opposition to the Democratic Presidents package, this may be seen as a reminder to them of who is in control and that the blockade they attempted to put in place was of little to no consequence in the end. This may also be an attempt at crossing party lines to reach out to Republican voters and show that the new administration is working swiftly to stem the blood loss by the economic crisis. With the mid-term elections coming up, Democrats may also be eyeing the next big prize. If the Stimulus package stops the current economic downward trend or even slows it significantly the Republicans may shed even more control.

Where do we go from here?

Unfortunately there is still some room to travel deeper into the well of economic despair. The Stimulus package is designed to put a solid floor under the feet of the U S Economy and allow it to regain its footing.

It is not going to be a magic bullet.

It will not cure the economy.

It will most likely be accompanied in the near future by one or two smaller stimulus packages designed to put spending money directly in the hands of the American consumer.

For now we will have to settle for the added $13 a week in the check of those who still have a job.

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