So the stimulus package has been pushed through, and the summarizations of its results are now being listed publicly. President Obama has inherited a real "lulu" as far as our economy is concerned, and his name will forever be attached to this new "New Deal."
Duff McKagan, at 15, performing with the Fastbacks. McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
It is apparent that we are all really getting stressed about spending. Those of us with an income or money in the bank are becoming less and less likely to spread our cash around, thinking it safer to just hold on to what we got. "For Lease" signs in retail areas are becoming commonplace, harbingers of a choked and blackened economic turn. Maybe it is time for us all to take a collective breath and realize that this too shall pass... eventually. If I may suggest, here are a few upward results that I have gleaned from this stimulus package, and a few observations that I will keep my eye on.-- $400 a year per taxpayer, or at least those of you making less than $75K. From the outside, this appears to be nothing more than chump change. I guess if you multiply this 400 bucks a year by a few million taxpayers, though, and everyone actually puts that money into circulation, then we are going to see some results. So, please, put it into circulation. Try to buy some stuff made here in the States, though... we can use the influx of dough.
-- New home buyers, now is your time. Sure, you could wait another eight months for that $300K home to lower its price by another 10 grand, but interest rates are the lowest in our time. If interest rates go up by even a quarter of one percent, you may pay 10 to 15 times that 10 grand you were hoping to save (over the life of the loan). The new stimulus package contains some tax-break incentives for you too, possibly close to the tune of $8,000. I'm not your financial planner, just a guy trying to spread some information around.
-- Go to the soon-to-be-reopened Crocodile in March. Word on the street is that for its first weekend, all shows will be free of charge (stay tuned for details). On top of that, new part-owner Sean Kinney may be in attendance and regale you with his awesome stories about his halcyon, pre-Alice days as the house DJ at Burien's "Skate King".. .orange vest, feathered hair, and all. Now THAT is priceless!
-- Nancy Pelosi has got to take a chill pill. I am not quite sure why she had to push the stimulus bill so urgently through the house. Wouldn't it have been better for everyone to have at least a few more days to look this thing over? This action, in my opinion, only widened the partisan conflict, and honestly makes me suspicious. I am all for this bill, but in the full light of transparency, as promised.
-- Listen to music or go see a concert. I know that the Gutter Twins were just here and Katy Perry also just passed through (two acts that I HIGHLY recommend), and seeing both of these artists have truly inspired me over the last couple of months. Look, the last thing we want to do is to spiral in on this stupid recession mentally. I know that Ms. Perry may have hit a sour mark with one of my esteemed colleagues over here at the Weekly as far as personal politics go (and I respect my colleague), but that girl is pretty killer and knows how to have fun. The Gutter Twins are the polar opposite, but I believe they stir images and feelings of strength and demureness that negate all contemporary thought. Whatever--go out and fuckin' rock somewhere... or rock a fuck somewhere! Both are good for the soul.
-- Lower expectations. As I've said before, I think we all got sort of caught up in the acquisition of more and more stuff. We were all guilty of jointly clearing out as much as we could from Costco and Forever 21--on debt, of course. Some of us are now staring blankly at the giant flatscreens and out-of-style designer jeans we have bought: the things we did to :keep up with the Joneses" and keep ourselves in step with our culture of greedy behavior. We treated our houses as banks, forever taking out second mortgages just to buy a new car or Jet-Ski to compete with our neighbor. Maybe now we will realize that our houses are our homes, not our own personal pieces of collateral.
And now it is time to smile, take a deep breath, and not watch any financial news whatsoever. They are selling record amounts of advertising because we are all watching...like we would a car crash