Obama’s stimulus sucks…

And he needs some new friends.

By Jack E. Lohman

Yes, GM did some stupid things, like killing the electric car they developed in the early 2000’s and then scrapped. Over 200 test vehicles from various manufacturers were crushed, though the test drivers loved them and pleaded to buy them. They were rebuked.

GM clearly must wish they could reverse that blunder, and I’m sure they’ve restarted that R&D and we’ll see the electric car soon. Maybe with longer-lasting capacitors rather than batteries.

If they don’t go belly up first.

But that is not our main problem, the banking situation is. You can’t sell cars if you can’t get financing for your customers. And bank cash has dried up, even though the Feds pumped in billions to keep the cash flowing. But that was just to cover bonuses, don’cha know?

And the banks even complained that they didn’t like the government changing the rules in the middle of the game. Can you imagine that? Reminded them too much of their own bait-and-switch adjustable rate mortgages, and they don’t think turnabout is fair play.

Bottom line: Tim Geithner is a lightweight and he is mentoring Larry Summers. They are buddies with the bankers they oversee. Now, that should give you comfort!

What they should have done is immediately nationalized Citi and Bank of America. Then used those infrastructures and our tax dollars to buy the home loans going into default and restructured them to keep people from the streets. And made loans to the auto buyers so GM et al could sell cars, and to other industries on a case-by-case basis. Let the banks that could, catch up with them.

But the Republicans would have filibustered that one. Isn’t obstructionism great?

GM should indeed go into bankruptcy and restructure. Get rid of some of the less-popular lines, trim dealerships by 30-40%, or just sell the Cadillac and Buick lines to Ford and pack it up.

Social Security and Medicare

This should all tell us something about privatized retirement plans. Sort of like the rest of us putting our social security funds into the stock market, don’cha think? And corporate promises for retiree healthcare? That’s if they remain in business and don’t fritter away the money contributed by the employee. Give me my Medicare.

On health care Obama indeed needs better direction. When driving from Milwaukee to new Orleans there’s hundreds of ways to get there. Going through Portland or Philadelphia or Los Angeles will get you there eventually, or you can drive there directly, in one straight shot.

If Obama is to fix health care, and indeed he should, it should be done correctly. Our economy depends on it. No side trips and no costly incremental touches. The most efficient way is to do it right the first time out of the box. Directly. You get sick, you get care and the caregiver gets paid. Eliminate the thousands of other plans and the excessive administration costs and expand Medicare to all.

We’ve been through this before. It makes zero sense to support the thousands of health care plans and all of their administrative costs. Medicare-for-all is best corporate bailout. The insurance CEOs won’t like it but it makes the most sense for the country. Let’s get this fixed and off the table, and then move on to saving our economy.

But admittedly, the worst that we have going for us is a corrupt political system. Get the legal bribes out of the picture and the politicians will think of all this on their own.

Tidbits

— On healthcare there need be just one plan. Coverage!  How in the world are people to decide what diseases they should protect against?

— Ask any mother whose 3-year-old child has just been diagnosed with diabetes and they are stuck with a high-deductible plan, and changing it now is not even in the cards. We can sure be a cruel society.

— But non-workers should not get a free ride. If they can’t find a job require that they work for their welfare. Clean streets and sidewalks, shovel snow, anything. Just work!

— Socialism? Sure, a little bit. Sweden is said to have the highest standard of living in the world, and also 50% taxes. But most of us could accept that knowing that it has only socialized healthcare and education. See At this point socialism looks pretty good…

— Sure, socialism is a naughty word, but their public funding of campaigns keeps politicians in check and working for the public instead of the private interests that fund their campaigns. Will we ever learn?

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