The ups and downs of the decade. We made a bunch of great closeout deals but this column has room for only a few. Here are the top nine of 2009:
The downside: We may not have changed many of the Old Guard of pols but we surely did change how they do business inside the Beltway. They no longer throw billions of We the OverTaxedPeople’s dollars at problems.
The upside: Now they throw trillions.
Hoo wee. That’s change we can believe in!
The downside: President Obama (praise be his name) stole General Motors from its rightful owners (that would be small stockholders like thee and me) and put Ed “I Came from the Phone Company So I Don’t Know Anything about Cars” Whitacre in charge.
The upside: Thanks to the soybean lobby, your new Chevy Condescension will be the first model to come with tofubags instead of the dangerous and expensive airbags as well as the new OnStar-by-AT&T. Rumors that OnStar service will also be available on your iPhone have not proven out.
The downside: Democrats were appalled when President Obama nominated Senator Judd Gregg, R-NH, as his Secretary of Commerce. The U.S. Department of Commerce fosters, promotes, and develops business and industry. Democrats called Senator Gregg “too pro-business.”
The upside: Caroline Cartwright of Great Britain was arrested for noise levels that ranged between 30 and 40 decibels, with some squeaks “being 47 decibels” during sex. Bird calls are generally 44 dB.
The downside: Congress passed without reading a $787 billion “stimulus package” that, instead of stimulating We the OverTaxedPeople who provided the money, all went for swine flu shots to bankers. Vermont had a looming two hundred million dollar budget deficit so the Democratically controlled legislature there decided to spend three hundred million dollars of its portion of that G.R.A.F.T. Act windfall to “stabilize” its budget. Since that wasn’t enough, the Democratically controlled legislature also raised taxes by $24 million dollars in order to make up for the revenue shortfall.
The upside: The Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize posthumously to Michael Jackson.
The downside: The Environmental Protection Agency ruled that political science trumps actual science as a danger to human health and to the environment.
The upside: Millions of people flocked to Al Gore’s house in the Belle Meade neighborhood of Nashville where his Christmas decorationsand the upturned smiling faces were photographed from the International Space Station.
The downside: Just two years ago, world leaders of 193 countries pledged to reverse the course of climate change in Denmark this year. When the hot air cleared in Copenhagen this month, there were two inches of snow on the ground, two pounds of faked “global warming” emails, and $200 billion dollars in a Global Relief fund. Guess who they want to pick up the tab?
The upside: Each world leader flew to Denmark in one or more private airliners thus reducing the worldwide surplus of Jet A and Jet A-1 petroleum-based fuels.
The downside: In a strange coincidence, the International Olympic Committee also meeting in Copenhagen voted not to award the 2016 Summer Olympics to Chicago for fear that a fire in former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s hair might undermine the new “pay to play” Olympic game category.
The upside: The one billion dollar Cash for Clunkers program which cost three billion dollars left an estimated 643,000 1974 Ford Pintos on Illinois and Michigan highways as entry level vehicles for migrant farmers and high school students.
The downside: The Environmental Protection Agency said it will increase the percentage of ethanol in gasoline to 15% by next June. Ethanol producers and most newspapers say the higher blends will increase fuel economy, create more jobs in the industry, and increase government payments to ethanol producers by $787 billion.
The upside: The Social Security Administration announced that since Congress will lock fuel prices at $4.599 per gallon through 2012, the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) can remain fixed at 0% for the same period.
The downside: The U.S. economy has shed 15.4 million or more jobs including those once held by Rufus, Biff, and my wife, Anne.
The upside: The $787 billion “stimulus package” has created an estimated 643,000 brand new jobs (roughly identical to the number of saved 1974 Ford Pintos). All the new employees are dedicated to maintaining the White House website that tracks new jobs.
We have, as a nation, spent the entire decade unwilling to learn from our mistakes. Change We Can Believe In! certainly changed all of that and we are this >||< close to ObamaCare to prove it.
You can’t make this stuff up. Happy New Decade, everyone!