Glenn Beck and I agreed on something today.
Okay, so you might be thinking, "How could this be so bad, Amanda? Every now and again, people with vastly different political and cultural philosophies are bound to overlap every now and then." To those of you who say that, let me just tell you that you have no idea how this has shaken me to my core.
Glenn Beck is part of a small cache of conservative "journalists" (and I mean in the broadest, most ironic sense of the word) that I can count on being on the complete opposite side of the fence on virtually every issue. When they either lose their neo-con, corporate butt-kissing roadmaps and wind up on my side of the fence, or I happen to lose my footing and slip over to theirs, it shakes the very foundation of my world.
I've never agreed with Glenn Beck on ANYTHING. ANYTHING, do you hear!!! I was comforted by that. That gave me a kind of moral compass, a star by which I could faithfully steer my intrepid little socio-political skooner. "Wait," I'd say to myself. "Perhaps I'm being too hasty. Maybe I should give this idea which I've embraced (or to which I'm being completely resistant, as the case my be) a second look." Then I'd read Glenn Beck, and he'd invariably bring up some point (as he does in this article, espousing that yet MORE tax cuts for the corporate rich would be more stimulating for the economy -- because apparently that's worked so well in the last seven years), and I'd think, "Glenn Beck is for/against it, because it does/doesn't benefit the 'rich, white boy club' he aspires to," and I'd be able to calibrate accordingly.
But the majority of this article is Beck saying that he believes that, by and large, the tax refund stimulus package is a really shitty idea. And I have to say, I think he's absolutely right. (Ugh... that just leaves the nastiest aftertaste, I have to tell you.)
People, this idea is so rotten, it has maggots. While I can think of about a million fun things I can do with either $300 or $600 dollars, this entire idea just smacks of a bribe to keep us quiet. I feel a little like a wife who, after she's been consistently beaten by her abusive husband, is presented with an expensive piece of jewelry so she'll keep her mouth shut to the neighbors.
We don't have the money for this. We are fighting a war. We are in the middle of the biggest banking crisis since the early 80s, when savings and loans (remember those?) began closing by the thousands across the nation (and that was during the Reagan era, another famous Republican administration that people are now viewing through the rose-colored glasses of time and a dead president). We're in trouble here, and I, for one -- and, God help me, Glenn Beck, for another -- think that dishing out checks is NOT the way to solve it.
What are we thinking? Are we really so easily purchase that the prospect of a few hundred dollars makes us get all hot and wet and dreamy? Haven't we burdened the next generation of Americans sufficiently with a five-year debacle of bloodshed and expense, without adding the additional onus of paying for our "hush money," too? And let me make this clear here. I hold Democrats JUST as responsible for this mess as Republicans. The Democrats have had two years to do something useful with their Congressional majority, and they've pussy-footed around with it from the very beginning. That Nancy Pelosi can spare me her talk of Republicans barring the way -- she couldn't even keep her own side of the aisle in line.
I also believe -- as (oh, please don't make me say it again) Beck does -- that, if the government is so hellbent on doing this stupid thing, then debit cards would be the only way to go on this. If you hand people a check or cash, they will be spending it to pay bills, which in this particular case is NOT what the government has in mind. They want you to take the money and go to Disneyland. They want you to buy that iPod, or better still, an iPhone. They want you to splurge on a new pair of Jimmy Chus or a plane ticket to the vacation spot of your choice. This is what they say will stimulate the economy. A debit card is the way to ensure that the money will be spent purchasing things, rather than paying bills (which will not stimulate the economy one bit). I hate this stimulus package -- possibly even more than I hate Glenn Beck. Who apparently is my new BFF. (Please shoot me, thanks.)
I just wish the Congress and the White House would stop the charade of pretending they're trying to "help" us, and just deliver the money in the customary, old-fashioned way -- by leaving it on the nightstand when they're done with us.