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Stimulating the Economy on Six Bucks a Week

     Did you put in for your government bailout yet? A few earmarks? A little pork? Me neither. Guess we should have – now that we’re paying extra for gas and extra for everything we buy, thanks to the California legislature. Good thing we’re getting stimulated by Congress. Extra eight bucks a paycheck. Beats a good massage for the weary wallet. Not by much, but…

     I haven’t decided where to spend mine – have you? It’s all so new. First I have to deduct the extra twelve cents a gallon for gas Sacramento just billed us. I use about a tank a week – twelve gallon tank – that takes care of a dollar and a half. Leaves me six and a half dollars to stimulate the economy.

     Think we should invest all this free money? I hear there are some good deals out there. Were. Too late to invest with Madoff for that guaranteed fifteen percent return and Standoff’s out of the picture now, too. So much for Ponzi’s ’n pyramids.

     How about we buy a few shares of General Motors? Price is right. For six bucks we could each get a couple of shares. Might even get it before GM goes into Chapter 11 and give the exec’s a little advice – something like, “Hit the road!”

     I know, this isn’t sounding good to you. Just one more stock to watch lose value day after day. How about we hit Starbucks for a latte instead? If we don’t leave a tip, we could walk out with some of our stimulus still in our wallets. Enough for… um, another latte! Immediate return on investment. Great stimulus!

     Wow! Starbucks ought to go into the government business. A stimulus that only costs three dollars and a quarter. Available to everyone in the country. Sure to stimulate the – oh, darn. Wrong kind of stimulus.

     It’s the economy, dummy. Jobs, banks, credit, homes, mortgages. Serious stuff.  And it is, but still, we have to get up every day and go to work if we have a job and look for work if we don’t. So a stimulating latte might not be so bad. And Starbucks won’t have so many layoffs and store closings.

     But we have to save more than Starbucks. Not likely we can we save the banks and GM and Chrysler with our extra cash. How many cars can you buy with six dollars? Even if you saved up for a year, you wouldn’t have enough for a down payment. And you’d have stalled the economic recovery by hoarding the cash. Terrible.

     Anyway, when tax time comes, you’re gonna have to pay that stimulus back. It wasn’t really free money – only a loan. Come April, taxes due are gonna equal more than taxes withheld. There goes the stimulus money. And there goes the economy.

     I’m thinking. What else could we do? If we save up for a month, we can do more than a couple of lattes. We’ll have twenty-four dollars apiece. Enough for a pizza and drinks. Or a DVD from – maybe two. Or we could lend a hand to the banks and buy a tiny piece of one of their bad assets. I’d like to see what one of those things looks like. Problem is, no return or low return. Wouldn’t help the banks capital ratio much, either. Twenty-four dollars in a billion dollar institution doesn’t go far.

     But, Obama, we tried. Maybe you could get us a few dollars more next time around. A few hundred, maybe. A few thousand would be better. Otherwise, it’s either Vegas or the lottery. A cool million or two – now that would really stimulate the econ… forget it! That would stimulate me!

     Let’s let Obama and Congress take care of the economy.

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