Way back when, the criminals of the world invented what became known as a Con Game. The term is actually short for a Confidence Game. In simple terms, the bad guy would get you to part with your money by presenting you with a "deal" and gaining your confidence. It's pretty much like the great "You've got money waiting in Nigeria" email spam deal, but it was done face-to-face back then.
Well, that same game is going on again today, and it doesn't involve Nigerians. It does, however, involve you!
With the economy in the dumpster, there are all kinds of opinions from all kinds of "economists" about what should be done. However, if you ignore all the blather, they all agree on one thing: The economy will only improve when consumer confidence improves.
Why? Well, it's really simple. See, the people who still have jobs aren't spending their money. Makes sense. We all know somebody who's lost their job, and we can easily project we might be next. People on unemployment can't spend money they don't have, so they pay the rent and the utilities, and maybe buy some food, but that's about it. Unfortunately, none of those things really do much.
Consumer confidence, as measured by the government is nearing an all-time low. Back when FDR said The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, he was right. It was the same thing back then. The Great Depression. Maybe this will become the Greater Depression.
In any case, let's move on.
House Speaker John Boehner has often spoken of needing tax cuts for the Job Creators. Of course, by that term he means his rich business cronies, who, by the way, haven't done diddly in creating jobs. However, there is a reason for that, and Boehner is the poster child of that cause.
If you really want to know who the job creators are, stand up and go look in the mirror. That's the prime job creator. You...me...and everyone else. Not Congress. Not the President. And sure as hell not those overpaid all-for-me CEO's. Nope, the job creators are out there every day working hard. Some of them are out there pounding the pavement looking for the chance to work hard.
In any case, regardless of who the real Job Creators are, it's not happening. Why? Because of the Con Game.
There are actually two games being played. The first one, which I just covered, is that consumers lack confidence, so they won't part with their money. Now, if the guy asking for the money is in Nigeria, that's a good thing. When the guy begging you to spend is your next door, unemployed neighbor, it's not.
Please understand I'm not here to tell you to go spend. I'm simply stating the Facts. We will climb back out of this hole, albeit slowly, when enough people have enough confidence to loosen their purse strings a little, and that will put one more person back to work somewhere. And so on....
The second Con Game, and that's exactly what it is, is being played by Congress. We're all being Conned. Big Time. They want us to believe they're in Washington representing us. Hogwash! Most of them could care less about you and me. They're there to ensure they get re-elected, so they do things that make no sense, unless you understand their motivation.
I won't support anything that raises taxes and I demand that we cut spending! That sounds pretty good, until you realize that cutting government spending (in the short term) does only on thing: It eliminates jobs! Yup, the money government spends creates jobs, and spending less means people are getting laid off. Ask the city that now has 25% fewer police officers because they can't pay more of them. Ask your school principal why there are 38 kids in each class. Those are the direct effect of cutting government spending.
Now, don't miss the point. Government spending does need to be cut. It WILL mean fewer government employees. But, in the depth of a recession is not necessarily the best time to do that. When people are back at work, and everyone is paying taxes, then it's much easier to balance the budget and pay down the debt. That's why we had bugdet surpluses during the Clinton administration.
Of course, the other effect of the game Congress is playing is that their Con Game is what's running down your Confidence. Right now, Congress' rating with the public is something like 17%. That's less than one person in 5. 83% percent of the public thinks they suck! Is there any doubt why people have no confidence. We've got a bunch of Bozo's running the country...no offense to the real Bozo, who at least worked for the people he entertained. The Debt Ceiling Debacle was nothing more than theater. It sure as hell wasn't Governance.
In short, everything we're seeing in Congress was covered in that email from Nigeria, and it's about time each of us tossed the whole thing into the spam pile and moved on. If we don't block that spam, it will simply keep coming. Write, phone, or email your representative and tell him/her exactly what you think. It's time for action.