Daniel Kline: Give me some free money, tooPublished 3:30pm Friday, August 14, 2009
I plan on writing my congressman, faxing my senator and sending the White House a text message demanding a bailout plan for reasonably responsible double-income families with two car payments and a mortgage.
By buying things that we could more or less afford at the time we needed them, my wife and I missed out on huge government payouts for doing things we had to do anyway.
We didn’t buy a house or car to stimulate the economy, we bought them because we needed a place to sleep and a way to get to work.
We purchased the house (actually a condo) over two years ago with no tax credit or any other sort of government assistance.
We bought my wife’s car (a year-old Ford Taurus) after the death of her previous car.
My vehicle, however, was a sadder story as I bought a fuel-efficient Saturn Ion at the height of inflated gas prices when everyone was scrambling to find cars that got good mileage.
I paid a premium for the car and, once again, got no cash from the government.
Call it bad timing or my not realizing that if Democrats got into the White House and controlled Congress then there would be free money under the guise of economic stimulus.
Had I planned better, we could have gotten an $8,000 housing tax credit and $4,500 for the clunker we traded in when we bought my wife’s car.
Of course, bitterness aside that none of Uncle Sam’s dough made it into my bank account, if Obama had just left well enough alone, the economy would have sorted itself out.
Much like my wife and I did, people would have bought homes and vehicles when they actually needed them – one of the key components of a free market economy.
Incentivizing these purchases with tax dollars simply robs sales from the future and puts them into the present.
The same thing happens in my store if we run a sale.
We might have a better weekend than average, but a certain percentage of those sales were just borrowing from the next week.
Obama may have appeared to jump-start the economy, but, really, he just ran a sale that caused people to trade in old cars a little sooner than they would have.
Government, be it a Republican led one or one helmed by a Democrat, never chooses to simply leave things alone.
Had George Bush let the banks fail and had Obama let the auto companies fail, eventually, better companies would rise from the ashes.
Instead, we continue to prop up diseased industries, letting failures succeed on the public dime and making the public feel like everything is going great while we push doom off another day or two.
President Obama needs the courage to do nothing.
Stop wasting taxpayer dollars and start realizing that the economy would be just fine if he simply left it alone.
Daniel B. Kline’s work appears in more than 100 papers weekly.
When he is not writing, Kline serves as general manager of Time Machine Hobby, New England’s largest hobby and toy store, www.timemachinehobby.com.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can see his archive at dbkline.com or befriend him at facebook.com/dankline.