by Dr. Thomas Keister
Yeah, it's starting to look like it's going to be that kind of honeymoon for President Obama. The stimulus plan, the main event of political hype in the nation, is starting to lose momentum for the Democrats, with poll numbers at 37 percent, down from 45 percent a couple of weeks ago. The dissatisfaction is growing due to the back-and-forth being played out on Capitol Hill, as well as too little being said as to how this plan is going to help anyone who actually needs the help. Me? I'm no expert, but I'm still hoping to hear something a little more substantial than "tax cuts and big-ass spending packages." Maybe something about helping the housing market, rather than funding a fresh round of bonuses and casino junkets. Republicans said they were ideologically opposed to the bill, although I doubt I'm alone in wondering how much clout the GOP's ideology still carries. So there you go.
Of course, there was the sudden backlash against Wall Street interests, as Sen. Claire McCaskell and President Obama both took turns sniping at the top alledged business heads. This led to Obama cracking the whip, demanding that companies that accept bailout money pay their chief executives only $500,000 a year. Still not bad money to sit around and pretend like you know what the hell you're doing. The fact that Ford declined a bailout just tells me they saw the writing on the wall, as Alan Mullaly is now free and clear to pull down his $20+ million salary to apparently finish tentspiking the company into the ground.
Other companies may have seen this on the horizon, but were already powerless to prevent it. Take Goldman Sachs, for example, whose CFO, David Viniar said the company is out to avoid the restrictions it agreed to upon receiving $10 billion in TARP funds, and is looking into ways to repay the money by the end of 2009. So let me get this straight...they aren't happy with the terms of the deal. Boo freakin hoo with that...you got $10 billion, pretty much to do whatever with apparently, you didn't even have to kill anybody...what the hell is the problem, other than having to pay it back at all? Viniar said "we would like to get out from under that," in reference to compensation restrictions and other requirements, and that may just be the front-runner for most ironic fucking thing ever said by a top bank executive.
Then again, this is how it goes...you even have CEOs running amok, talking a plate full of smack about the "perks" that President Obama receives as President, without paying taxes on. Yeah, for some guy making eight figures to bitch about the perks of a $400 grand a year job...these are great times, if you are as cynical as I am. Where was all the bitching about these very same perks when the last guy was still in office? Just because you don't have the President in your pocket anymore, you don't have to be all blatant about getting slapped on the wrists for taking a big stack of taxpayer monies.
How many weeks, I wonder, before Obama starts looking like his honeymoon is already out of quarters before he gets the hang of the vibrating bed...
by Dr. Thomas Keister