Could Barack Obama possibly do a better job of portraying Robin Hood if he tried? The President has spent his first month in office giving away as much money as he can, and now, he's promising to get it back by taxing the wealthest Americans... literally taking from the rich and giving to the poor!
This is all going to play well with the masses - but I think it's also developing a dangerous "where's my piece of the pie" mentality. Yes, I did bitch last week about the fact that I'm paying to refinance my mortgage, while millions of Americans who were not so careful about their credit are getting bailed out for free. But I also realize that if every American expects and receives a handout from the government, then we're never going to get out of this economic mess.
I think some people really DO expect a chicken in every pot - some bit of entitlement. They hear about stimulus money and their mouths start to water. First of all - President Bush gave us free stimulus money last year - to no apparent positive effect. I dumped most of mine in Las Vegas!
The state of Virginia has about four billion dollars in stimulus money coming, and Governor Tim Kaine posted a website last week asking Virginians how they thought the money should be spent. So far, there have been more than 3,000 responses - and many of them are from people who want the money to be given to themselves - to pay for college or to pay off loans. Their requests so far exceed 85 billion dollars - 20 times MORE than the state will be receiving.
We're never going to recover if people don't start realizing that the government can't simply give us everything we need. Someone will have to pay the bill for all of this - and so far, it looks like that task will fall to the wealthy. But sooner or later, that stream is going to run dry as well.
President Obama is in a tough spot. He has to get money from some place. I just wish he would be more discerning about where it's all going.
The November election showed us in no uncertain terms there was a pent-up frustration with the way the country was being run over the past eight years. There was clearly a message of change being sent to Washington.
But it was NOT a message of pocket change.
Which is all we're going to be left with if this spending and taking doesn't stop.