February 18, 2009 - 9:03 AM<br />
The Dow Jones Industrial Average greeted this news with a drop of nearly 298 points to end the day at 7552.60.
Just to review the bidding, on Friday January 16, the last day of trading before the Inauguration of Obama on January 20th, which means it was also the last day of trading during the Administration of President George W. Bush, the Dow ended the day at 8,281.22.
Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, which was greeted with breathless anticipation by the entire known Universe, the Dow has dropped 728.62 points or a little under nine percent.
If your 401(k) was worth $10,000 on the last day of the Bush administration, it is worth about $9,100 today which is the first full day of the Obama Economy.
I know my friends on my Left will howl in outrage and point out that on January 28 - about a week into the Obama Era - the Dow closed at 8,375. About 93 points ABOVE the point at which the Bush Presidency faded into history.
Ok. But, that was then. The political Earth was new. No one understood just how destructive Obama and his lead henchman, White House chief of staff and former Congressman Rahm Emanuel, were going to be.
Obama and Emanuel - let's just call them Rahm Obama - allowed the Nancy Pelosi-led House of Representatives to take the first crack at crafting the stimulus package.
Need I remind you that Pelosi was so inept at this task that she attempted to hide tens of millions of dollars in condom subsidies which even the Minneapolis Star-Tribune described as "the condom controversy" because she tried to slip a "Medicaid family-planning initiative into what was supposed to be an economic stimulus package."
Does it bother anyone at all that the differences between the House and Senate versions in the gazillion dollar stimulus package were negotiated behind closed doors? Forget about having no Republicans in the room. They lost. Too bad. In this new era of Transparency In All Things maybe C-SPAN should have had cameras rolling.
It will take years to figure out what is in this bill. There is language which says, as an example: "In Section 201.23(a)(2)(i) of PL 100-374 insert, after the semi-colon, the words "and others as may be designated by the Secretary."
I don't know if there is a PL 100-374. But that's the sort of thing which slips into these mega-bills.
Now that H.R. 1 has been signed by Obama, there will be a call from a senior Member of the House or Senate to a new Deputy Junior Assistant Associate Vice-Secretary of the Department of Transportation demanding that this particular part of H.R. 1 be enforced - and suddenly one of those "others as may be designated" is Bob's Transmission Shop in Lower Iguana which finds itself with a grant of $23 million to develop seat belts for buses used to transport Federal employees to and from lunch in Des Moines.
I have no idea if this is going to work or not. Obviously the geniuses on Wall Street - who are largely to blame for getting us into this mess in the first place - did not believe yesterday that it was going to work.
Most of us spend our working hours … working. And, thus, we don't spend the day tracking the Dow, the S&P, the NASDAQ or any of the other indices which indicate when we might be able to retire.
Given the state of my accounts I am now absolutely going be able to retire on a Thursday in the year 2154 at the age of 208.
If the stimulus package works coupled with the next round of bank/insurance company bailouts, more loans to the automotive industry and a subsidy to every person who has a mortgage they had no business receiving, then Barack Obama will not need Air Force One - he will be carried about by a team of Angels surrounded by a celestial chorus accompanied by heavenly trumpeters.
In this time of remembering the 16th President we should remember that when Abraham Lincoln coined the phrase a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" he did not have in mind that those toxic assets and bad debts would be transferred to the central government; to … us.
Either way, this is now Obama's Economy. He's welcome to it.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to an interactive Dow Jones chart and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Also a Mullfoto of our cat which made me laugh and a Catchy Caption of the Day.