Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One Troubling Aspect of Politicians

When we decide to vote for a candidate we always think about the promises that they make and how they stand on the issues. The following is my reality check!

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes
down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself
in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning...... Today you voted."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don't Be Afraid to Spend It!!

The talk of the town seems to be divided between Britney Spears and what you should be doing with your rebate check from the US Treasury. Since the talented Ms. Spears doesn’t listen to me let’s focus on the check.

By way of history, our economy has slowed down considerably over the last six months. Perhaps it is the years of high oil prices, high food prices and relatively stagnant wages catching up or maybe it is the gloom over the sub-prime mortgage mess coupled with falling house values and the schizophrenic market that is affecting the consumer. Something has and the Government has decided to take action to give a jolt back into the economy, and that jolt is the cumulative effect of taxpayers spending “free money” from the Government. The House of Representatives, the Senate and the President have all agreed that this is the policy that they want to employ. At this point in time the debate is over as to whether it is a good policy or not, it is THE policy and now the goal is to make it work.

That simple belief is one reason why I advocate spending. Now I know that my clients are all fiscally responsible but how about the person who isn’t and is facing foreclosure? The answer is obvious, use the rebate to help keep the house!

I was reading Suze Orman’s column and she advocates that you don’t spend it. Her advice is to pay down debt or invest it. In five years that check could be double! Her column reminds me of an advertisement where the annuity company points out that if you didn’t buy that expensive wrist watch now you could have an extra $323,765 in retirement, give or take. Now I truly regret buying Karen Becker a hamburger and milk shake 48 years ago. While the afternoon was enjoyable, I realize that I was depriving myself of future security. I digress.

Go out and spend the rebate money on something you need or want. Spend CASH. Do as the Government wants. Give their plan a chance of success. If you truly believe that the idea of the rebates is wrong and will not help the economy then void the check and mail it back.

I am not sure how successful the rebate plan will be however I do know that if we just put the money away and not use it for current consumption then the plan will fail.

The time for debate has passed and now let us play the game.