Yesterday on Twitter I was having a conversation with someone who asked a very interesting question – “I wonder how many people who were always against the stimulus are now turning in their clunker for a $4,500 gift from the government?“. I think it’s an important question to ask, as if you are against stimulus money, why would you take some of it? After all, the less you take, the less the debt might be from it. The Governors of Texas and Louisiana, at one point, said they weren’t going to take the stimulus money – but then Gov. Bobby Jindal (Lousiana) proceeded to present a check for slightly over $500,000 in grants to Vernon Parish. Jindal made no mention of the source of the money during his presentation. Instead, the large ceremonial check proclaimed the source of the funds to be “The State Of Louisiana, Office Of The Governor.” He took the stimulus money he had been railing against just a few days before and presented it to this parish, on TV, as if it was from the Governor himself. Isn’t there something seriously wrong with this picture? I mean, this is exactly the kind of question I am asking about this cash for clunkers deal; is it OK to constantly try to derail and put down the stimulus, but then take advantage of it and add to any possible deficit that comes from it? How about being for the bailout of big banks, but not for car makers or the unemployed?
I think it’s one thing to be adamantly against the stimulus package based on your own principles and political leanings; that’s perfectly fine and dandy. In fact, I totally respect it if you stick to that and don’t take a dime of stimulus money where you can help it – either from unemployment checks, the tax break in your paycheck, or the cash for clunkers program. If you truly believe that the stimulus won’t work and that it will only lead to higher deficits, then by all means – don’t take advantage of it! But what about those that put it down – yet still use it? Isn’t that just a tad hypocritical? Taking stimulus money, through the cash for clunkers program or some other means, even though it could lead to higher deficits in your opinion, just seems plain wrong. How can you say something is a bad idea, but then take full advantage of it to either A. increase the money you take home each week, or buy a new car with the government’s help, or collect unemployment checks for a full 9 months instead of 6?
What do you think? I am interested in hearing from both sides on this, as I want to get different perspectives than my own. You know how I feel – how do you feel?