As we sit here on Sunday morning, looking out toward the horizon what we have looking back at us is not a happy animal. What is looking back at us is an angry animal that has taken control of the day to day operations of the countries financial destiny and left many leaders thinking that they must react in some way, even if they don't understand what this animal truly is. The current rendition of the stimulus, which is being touted as the latest greatest way to tame the great angry animal, is now at $800 +/- Billion. The old style political machine from the Bush Presidency is somehow creeping back in here as the Change we can believe in turns to THIS MUST BE DONE! I am almost waiting to hear, "I am the President, and I make the decisions" in the same tone and timing that George W Bush said during the pre-Iraq war period.
I thought we just shooed Bush out of Washington along with his college drinking buddies, but than maybe I missed something. I have been gone for a few days. Speaking of the shoeing, the reporter who threw his shoe's at President Bush i being charged with Assaulting a Foreign leader instead of a lesser charge. At the end of the day, even if you didn't like President Bush as a person, he was still the President. I can remember a time when the Office of President was respected, maybe that aspect should make a return in our modern fast food society.
But I must turn my attention back to the economic mud slinging. President Obama pointed to the Republicans Saturday for the policies that fueled the current economic crisis. Then he turned and handed out the praise to a group of moderate senators from both political parties for coming up with a compromise and for the quick action on the package that Obama states is necessary to avoid a financial catastrophe unlike anything that the U S has seen since the great depression.
This stimulus bill swelled to $937 at one point. It will, according to some, be trimmed back to the original $800 Billion level. They will trim out what the Republicans are calling "unwarranted spending". But just what is this "unwarranted spending"? I remember one of the first things our new President stated. That was about having bills be posted for 5 days for public review and comment prior to signing. I have not seen this happen. In-fact I am not sure we will ever see that one happen. The five days rule is the only promise that is reported as broken thus far on the Obametor. The current record of campaign promises is 7 promises kept, 1 promise compromised, 1 broken, 1 stalled, and 18 in the works. Check out the whole list at Politifacts website.
The stimulus package is supposed to be on the Presidents desk by Presidents day. Now, if he were to make sure that the bill was presented to the American public for 5 days that would press back the bill signing by, well 5 days. The logic behind not putting this bill on display for 5 days will be the rushed need to get this bill into effect immediately, as an emergency measure to save our countries economic future. Personally, I think this bill is destined to ensure our countries economic disaster, but that is my opinion. I'm not an economist, so what do I know.
We are not going to get the preview, but we will get a view of where the money goes. According to President Obama, we will be able to see and track the disbursement of the funds on a new web site called Recovery.gov. The website will go live after the passage of the massive bailout bill. We know it will pass, there is little question to that fact. In what order and to what it will hold in its language is what the question is.
According to the Receovery.gov site you should:
"Check back after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to see how and where your tax dollars are spent.
An oversight board will routinely update this site as part of an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, unnecessary spending in our government"
However it seems to me that this oversight board might actually have a cost involved and if we are going to see the actual costs involved than I would like to see the salary of each person involved in the posting of those costs as well. Lets see real transparency in this. Will this website report in real time? I doubt that it will be updated on anything other than a daily level. Real time reporting would be to difficult to achieve, but I would assume that the website itself will go live within 5 minutes of the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Will this be the topic in Monday nights Address to the Nation?
What else could the topic be?
The address will be televised at 8:00PM Eastern. If you are unable to view it on television it will be available on several websites including the WhiteHouse.gov site, CNN and I will post it here on the front page under the daily video as soon as the speech is uploaded.
Joe the Vice President goes to Munich
Vice President Biden traveled to Munich on Saturday February 7th 2009 to meet with the Major European leaders and discuss the new American foreign policy direction. His main point on the visit to the Munich Security Council Conference was to press the point that the Obama Administration will treat it's allies as equals. He stated that the US was willing to talk with Iran if the nuclear programs that they have in place are abandoned. He also stressed that GitMo will be closed and that the US will not implement torture.
Europe is more concerned about the statement that the US will need Europe to do more and for the need for them to shoulder more of the security enforcement of this new policy. We shall see how this one plays out over the next few months.