Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Everybody Needs to Chill Out, Including Me

My day started with Jim Cramer on the Today Show saying “We have an agenda in this country now that I would regard as being a radical agenda.  I think that we had a budget that came out that basically put a level of fear in this country that I have not seen, ever in my life and I think that that changed everything.”  He later said, “We do have to change the attitude of the President to go from being what I would regard as a radical agenda to something that’s slower, recognizing that times are bad.”  Later, I came across this from thinkprogress.org, breaking down the right wing attack on the President, saying that he is responsible for the market downturn.  More specifically, they say it started back when he was nominated, while conveniently overlooking the fact that the market started falling long before his nomination.  Finally, I saw this report from mediamatters.org, accusing MSNBC of cropping their chart, implying that the market collapse started immediately after Obama won the election.  The truth is that the drop started long before.

Part of being a Democrat is occasionally having feelings of doom.  For example, Democrats everywhere thought the election was over when McCain had the big bounce after he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate.  We all knew she was a fraud, but she was the kind of fraud that has been killing us for years.  In my lifetime, being a Democrat has been filled with disappointment and I get nervous when I see news days like today. 

If you have been reading these pages, then you know I am an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama.  I believe in him and his policies.  I am extremely optimistic about the future with him as our leader.  That said, when I see stories like these, I can’t help to think that the machine, the machine that resists change and progress, the machine that has crushed any hope that I may have so many times, is oiled and running at optimum performance.

I had to stop and ask myself, what is so wrong with what is being proposed?  Why are so many people lining up to destroy this plan before it even has a chance to get going?  Here is a plan  that brings this country into the 21st century.  A plan that cares for the country’s health, spurs innovation, and strengthens our infrastructure.  A plan that educates our future generations and accounts for things that have never been accounted for.  On that last point, I would wager that past budgets would be as big or bigger if the books hadn’t been cooked, but I digress. 

While I am aware of all the arguments against this budget plan, I came to the conclusion that, subconsciously, the opponents of this budget hate it because it does not allow for instant gratification.  The fat kid doesn’t get skinny overnight.  Our leaders have always gone for the quick fix, eyeing gains, sure, but never thinking for the long term.  This culture of short term satisfaction spread throughout society and we went to the mall to spend and spend and spend. 

Now our President says that we need to hit the reset button and plan for the future.  The guys on Wall Street don’t like that as they spend their days watching their portfolios disappear.  I understand that is painful and would cause for a little hysteria, especially if you were eyeing retirement in a few years.  However, if they are experts, then they should know that the market always rebounds and that the stock market is a long term game.  I would hope they would see the same long term possibilities of Obama’s budget.

In the end, I decided to chill out.  I’m not going to let this sky is falling hysteria get the best of me.  I am going to hunker down and watch the next few years develop because I believe that things will work out just fine.  Long term thinking is where it’s at.

I ended the day by finding the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that maybe I’m not so crazy after all.  I am certainly not alone.

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