Stimulus / Response

« January 2008 »

Memo to my ideas: GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY.

For four years, I have been content to sit by the sidelines, not making a damn bit of difference. Pointing and laughing was its own reward, and believe you me, it was reward enough. But ever since I learned that I may have stopped an elderly woman from buying magic reflexology gauze pads, the desire to change lives and change the discourse has burned within. A fire that cannot be distinguished. Which has led to a puzzling conundrum. How can I, given the platform I have and the desire not to actually DO anything, start changing things?

And the answer is, the same way every other major political movement does it. By issuing talking points. You pick a policy, you stake your position on that policy, and you issue a series of reasonably concise bullet points about that position to your immediate constituents, who then adopt them and repeat them whenever asked about that subject, whether it be the co-worker in the next cube or Tucker Carlson. It's all about staying on message, and when I say message, I mean MY message.

So, in the latest in a set of recurring features designed to give padding and structure to shit I was going to say anyway, I'm introducing the first set of YAD Talking Points, and the topic du jour of the day is the economic stimulus package. In case you haven't heard, and I'm sure you have, the government is attempting to soften the blow of the Great Fake Money Recession by giving individuals $600, married couples $1,200, and couples with children $1,200+. The idea behind the plan is that if you give everyone money, they'll spend that money on stuff, and the people who make the stuff and sell the stuff will have to hire more people to keep up with the INCREDIBLE NEW DEMAND, and prosperity will return to this great land of ours. So here are your talking points.

  • This is an awful fucking idea.
  • The current economic woes aren't caused by everyone in the country being $600 short. They're caused by people accumulating huge piles of fake money, then coming to the realization that it's not actually real money, then trying to very carefully turn their fake money into real money before everyone else notices their money's fake too and tries the same thing and all the real money dries up.
  • The amount of fake money's a whole hell of a lot more than $600 per person. So, again, awful fucking idea.
  • Apparently, the wise policy is for government to save money when times are good, and spend money on stuff like this when times are bad. Which isn't what we've been doing - we've been dumping wads of cash into filing cabinets in Iraq for people to carry off. So maybe piling another $180 billion on top of that isn't very smart.
  • Plus, it's a big election year, so they're clearly pandering to us.
  • And we're going to let them. Not even going to try to stop them. You know why? Because we've had six fucking years of awful American government policy, and the most any of us have gotten out of it is a relative blown to giblets by an IED. The tax cuts didn't make us richer, the wars didn't make us safer, and the religious pandering didn't make us moraler. So if they're going to fuck things up anyway, we might as well get something out of it.
  • However, while we will take their filthy money, we will not be grateful. We will not thank them. We will not act as if they have helped us, or done something worthwhile. We won't vote for people because they voted for this, and we won't let the next fuckers in office try to do it again. We'll accept their gift like cynics, not take their payoff like whores.
  • Also, fuckers, if you're going to hand out money, the least you could do is hand out enough to get me closer to an iMac. This tax rebate is barely half. Steve Jobs must have contributed to someone in Washington, because you know, day after Stupid Check Day, all the nerds are gonna be lined up outside the Apple Store having worked out how much brushed-aluminum touchscreen shit their money will get.

There you go. All kinds of things you can inject into the national discourse when people are talking about their Stupid Checks. And they will. I remember how much people talked about the $300 checks last time, and by my incredibly complex calculations, I figure they'll be talking about these checks twice as much.