Dear Uncle Sam: Please Stop Stimulating Me

in Rants

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Dearest Uncle,

Please stop stimulating me.

Not that I don’t like stimulation.  It just feels a little weird coming from you.

I know you have good intentions.  And I appreciate that.  But, to be quite frank, you don’t have the greatest track record.

For example, your latest Cash For Clunkers program has now been pulled after only 4 days.  Apparently we already sucked the money dry.

But, you’ve got an image to uphold. I get that.  You need to look busy.  You need to get things done.  Whatever things may be.

But, listen, I’m pretty sure everyone is starting to see through it.  Honestly, isn’t it stressful trying to maintain this dog and pony show How long do you plan to keep it up?  Actually… don’t answer that.

I try my best not to complain without providing a potential alternative.  So here it is.  Just one naive man to another:

Focus on the REAL issues. War…  National Debt…  Health Care Reform…  a few to get you started.

Every second spent on trying to analyze the results of this 4-day quickie robs a precious second away from the stuff the matters.  Right now, we need all the seconds we can get on the “big” boys.

Catch my drift?

Most people call it the 80/20 principle.  It’s super popular.  You can Google it later.

Look, I’ve always been a big fan of yours.  I’ve got a lot of faith in your potential.  I’m just worried that you may be losing focus.

I’m here if you need me.



photo by walkadog

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

kosmo @ The Casual Observer July 31, 2009 at 8:35 AM

I try to avoid tossing around the term “morons” too lightly – but why, exactly, is the government shocked at the success of Cash for Clunkers? They’ve been marketing the heck out of it, plus most people do like being overpaid for an asset they possess. If you were going to need a car in the next year or so, and if you have a piece of crap worth $500, this would seem like a good time to buy …
.-= kosmo @ The Casual Observer´s last blog ..At the Deadline, Part 2 =-.


My Journey July 31, 2009 at 8:44 AM

While I thought we were going to get a dirty post out of baker…HELL YEAH I WANT UNCLE SAM’S HANDS OFF OF ME AND MY ECONOMY.

The only thing I would redact would be stay away from the health insurance world, but I think that is just an ideological difference between you and I.
.-= My Journey´s last blog ..Do you Develop and Utilize The Talents and Fuctional Skills of Friends and Family? =-.


Baker August 1, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Don’t get me wrong… I said reform (which can mean a lot of things)! :-)


Bible Money Matters July 31, 2009 at 9:33 AM

No kidding. Please stop stimulating me! Like My Journey though I’m afraid the Cash For Clunker debacle may be just a glimpse of what government health care would be like as well. Disorganized, full of red tape and running out of funding at the wrong times. I dont’ mind running out of funds for this type of program – but how about when people are waiting for important surgeries – and the government has to decide if the cost-benefit of allowing that surgery is worth it? I can’t wait!
.-= Bible Money Matters´s last blog ..Cash For Clunkers Program Suspended After Only A Few Days. Here Is Why =-.


Jason R Fisher July 31, 2009 at 9:53 AM

If only they would stop. It would be nice if they would just admit they don’t do much right or effectively, but that would never happen. They wouldn’t get re-elected, and that is really their only job. Fool enough people to get elected again.

Didn’t you leave the country? So you aren’t really here if they need you are you? :-)
.-= Jason R Fisher´s last blog ..Free, Free, I am Free at last. =-.


Baker August 1, 2009 at 10:12 AM

I’m just a short 20 hours away 😉


Russ July 31, 2009 at 10:47 AM

“How long do you plan to keep it up? Actually… don’t answer that.” I love that. Great little post. Thanks for writing.
.-= Russ´s last blog ..My Personal Vocabulary – Choose Your 10,000 Wisely. =-.


Atlas@mymoneyshrugged July 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

And while your at it please leave my life and property alone. I have the right to make my own choices as to how I run my life – as long as I simply respect the same right of others to do the same. This is a nation that has a government, not a government that has a nation like you have thought over the past 9 years. If you thought that your government stimulation were the key to economic growth, we should be experiencing full employment and record economic growth, because your past administration increased government spending by over 1 trillion dollars a year. An increase of a TRILLION dollars per year. The more you try and stimulate us the more you set us back so please, please, just sit down and let US, the nation, fix this…I understand that you think it will be hard times and it will suck, but we will endure,I promise you, we always do.
.-= Atlas@mymoneyshrugged´s last blog ..Art Made with the Dollar =-.


Brad @ enemyofdebt July 31, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Hey Baker this post rocks man! Just as My Journey pointed out, stay out of my health insurance, but everything else is rock solid. :) I think Government has already proven how effectively they can manage health care with the astounding success of medicaid, medicare, and SCHIP. I am just waiting for them to come forward with a stimulus to stimulate their own failed bankrupt programs. This was my absolute favorite post on the Cash For Clunkers debacle. Thanks dude!

How many PF bloggers wrote about the Government and this Clunkers program? LOL
.-= Brad @ enemyofdebt´s last blog ..Government Reliance Vs. Personal Responsibility- Wait Or Create? =-.


Kevin M July 31, 2009 at 12:55 PM

“Cash for clunkers” in my eyes is like renovating your bathroom while the house is burning down.


Matt Jabs July 31, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Amen and hallelujah!
.-= Matt Jabs´s last blog ..Debt Reduction – Emergency Fund Savings – The Balanced 75/25 Method =-.


Baker August 1, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Haha, nice one!


DD July 31, 2009 at 1:02 PM

I think Cash for Clunkers did deal with some “real” issues.

If you can get old gas guzzlers off the road, it will reduce our dependence on non domestic energy. It will also be better for the environment with modern cars giving off fewer emissions and all that jazz.

The fact that it also gives a small shot in the arm to the auto industry is a bonus in my book.
.-= DD´s last blog ..I finally used coupons – But did I save? =-.


Baker August 1, 2009 at 10:14 AM

I’m not saying it doesn’t have any positive effect.

I’d could just make a list of 5-10 things I’d rather have them spend all this time and publicity discussing. I think that it’s a much bigger distraction than it is a direct benefit.


kosmo @ The Casual Observer August 2, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Do you wonder if this was the intent – to create a distraction? To get people thinking about buying cars and onto the car lots, even if they don’t have a clunker?

The program was such a small amount of money at first (a billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, but compared to the entire budget, it’s petty cash) that I can’t imagine anyone would think it would have taken every single clunker off the road and replaced it with a 35 mpg car. The math just doesn’t work out.
.-= kosmo @ The Casual Observer´s last blog ..JC Penney =-.


Dave August 1, 2009 at 12:19 AM

Great Points….I may disagree on what needs to be done from here, but I do agree with the stop to the bleeding auto industry. I wish the government would just let it die, people would be forced to use this ingenious thing called public transportation and we could solve more than one problem.

I wrote a review on your site since I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts over the last few days. I am just starting to get my blog revived from it’s standing 8-count. Hope you enjoy!

.-= Dave´s last blog ..Review: Blog – Man vs. Debt =-.


Baker August 1, 2009 at 10:15 AM

Thanks for the kind review. Hope you’ll stick around!


Chase August 1, 2009 at 1:51 PM

now I see why you had so much fun!!
Loved reading this. (Also loved that you used “Catch my drift” … just sayin)

But thank you for this. hah! Really.
Funny, just yesterday my mom sent me an email about Cash for Clunkers.
Looks like I’ll be keepin my beat up benz one more year 😉
.-= Chase´s last blog ..Listening (without your ears) =-.


MoneyEnergy August 1, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Get ready for another $2 billion going into the cash for clunkers program. It’s just going to speed up the sales of new cars to people who were already going to buy new cars anyway.
.-= MoneyEnergy´s last blog ..Second Half of the Year: Portfolio CheckUps, The Congressional Effect and Markets Going Forward =-.


MLR August 3, 2009 at 11:27 PM

Whenever you look at economic metrics, a large part of it is consumer confidence (as I am sure you know!).

So, if this program speeds up those purchases that would have happened otherwise, that is GREAT for the economy.

Consumer confidence is not something to be scoffed at.
.-= MLR´s last blog ..TED Spread – What Is It? =-.


Brad @ enemyofdebt August 2, 2009 at 3:23 AM

I agree 100% MoneyEnergy! I actually think that giving an incentive to go into debt during economic hardship is a bit backwards. About 750,000 people are going to go into debt because of this, and it will strain their wallets even more considering they are adding unnecessary expenses. People do not NEED new cars, they’re just spoiled and want them!

It’s not really a discount since our children are the ones that will foot the bill. Remember this money was printed out of thin air. The Government is giving us money that will be paid off by us, so how do you call that a discount or a deal? huh?

I personally do not recommend going in debt for the Government in the name of a “possible” stimulation to the economy. In the end I have to ask, was it worth adding to the colossal debt load that 70% of Americans already have? My answer is NO WAY!
.-= Brad @ enemyofdebt´s last blog ..Public Service Announcement: Cash For Clunkers Equals Debt For Suckers =-.


JT@BigBabyBargains August 2, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Preach on brother, I hear you and I second your opinion!


Brad @ enemyofdebt August 2, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Oh yeah…Baker I think your header is perfect! What a great picture!
.-= Brad @ enemyofdebt´s last blog ..Public Service Announcement: Cash For Clunkers Equals Debt For Suckers =-.


Chrissy August 2, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Love your new header and picture. Anxiously waiting for the next post on your journey abroad.


MLR August 3, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Agreed with the past few posters, the header is a great picture. I love it, too.

In re: to your letter to Uncle Sam… I would have asked him to cut the Defense funding. That would fund everything we could possibly ask for :)

Oh well, there’s always time for more letters ;p
.-= MLR´s last blog ..TED Spread – What Is It? =-.


Brad @ enemyofdebt August 4, 2009 at 12:20 AM

@MLR – Having consumers go into debt now, during a recession, instead of later doesn’t seem like it would produce much confidence. People didn’t buy cars because they thought the market was on the rise, they bought cars because the Government fooled them into believing that they were receiving a “REBATE” of $4,500. Usually a rebate doesn’t cost the person that receives it money.

Consumer confidence rises when the Government gets OUT of the picture.
.-= Brad @ enemyofdebt´s last blog ..Oh No It’s Monday: Carnival Edition =-.


rob in madrid August 5, 2009 at 4:02 PM

The cash for clunkers program is a good example of the kind of stimulus program that is need 2-3 billion vs 785 billion. Good value for the money, much more importantly it fulfilled two (in my opinion) important criteria,, one it had an immediate effect (the other stimulus program will take several years to take effect by that time the economy will have recovered and may feed inflation) , secondly it’s limited in time, enough to pick up car sales.

Well it’s unfortunate that overpaid autoworkers laid off autoworkers are being recalled it is having a very positive effect on your local community in the fact that it’s helping to keep local dealers and those jobs alive untill the economy recovers enough to go on it’s own.


Baker August 5, 2009 at 4:12 PM

I’m not convinced it would only need 2-3 billion to have a *lasting* effect. I really hope that I’m wrong, because that would be great.

My biggest concerns is lack of focus on the source!


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