Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How's That Change Working Out for You? (Pretty Good, Thanks!)

You would think a guy driving a million-dollar motor coach, towing a brand-new Jeep would be happy and prosperous.  You'd be wrong about that.

On the way back from Florida, a guy passes me in one of these rock-star motor coaches, towing a brand new Jeep.  Plastered on the back of the coach and Jeep are professionally done adhesive signs saying things like "How's that Change Working Out For You?" and "Nobama 2012!"

He was doing about 80 mph.   Glad to see the recession is finally over.

What stuck me as weird is that this guy is clearly loaded - or thinks he is - and is complaining about how awful things are, and how much worse they have gotten since Obama was elected.

And then it struck me - not much has really changed since Obama was elected.   No, really.

I mean, other than some positive things - unemployment is edging down, housing prices are stabilizing, and the economy is growing.   My personal portfolio has recovered from the 2009 crash - to levels beyond its previous peaks.   Gas is, well, cheaper than in the waning days of the Bush Administration, but still expensive.  Inflation is low (no, really.  Compared to 10% back in 1979, this is great).

And taxes haven't even been raised - the "Bush Era Tax Cuts" for the top earners are still in place - and the payroll tax has been cut.

In fact, things are doing pretty well.   Not spectacularly, but you know, after 10 years of "spectacular" and then a huge crash, I'll stay "slow and steady" any old day.

So what is this guy driving a million-dollar coach 10 miles-per-hour over the speed limit complaining about?  The price of gas?  If so, why doesn't he slow down?

Of course, it could be that the fellow isn't so well off as he appears.   He bought the rock-star bus and the brand-new Jeep and financed it all, on time, thinking it was a swell investment.   And motor coaches have tanked in value - in addition to their normal depreciation - so he is probably upside-down on this "investment".

And I'll bet he made a lot of other bonehead mistakes, too, like selling out at the nadir of the market, instead of having faith that the world economy wasn't going to disappear overnight.

Maybe that is his beef.   And like a lot of folks today, the name of the game is Externalizing - blaming your woes on someone else, rather than looking inwardly at your own actions.   It is Obama's fault his motorcoach isn't worth more than he paid for it - and his investments are in the toilet.   And it is Obama's fault that gas costs so much (never mind the fact that doing 80 mph is one sure way to squander it).

But in the real world, well, Obama hasn't done much, actually.   As many Liberals note, he has pretty much been more of a "Bush Lite" than a Karl Marx.   ObamaCare looks set to be shot down by the Supreme Court, and we still have troops in Afghanistan - and prisoners in Gitmo.

And the supposed agent of Change?  Mitt Romney?  The governor of ultra-blue-state Massachusetts?  The author of RomneyCare?

Even assuming Romney could get elected, would he really change anything all that much?  

Again, Externalizing.  I suppose our friend with the bus would then haul out some other effigy to burn - some Liberal Senator or Congressman, obstructing the GOP paradise-on-earth from being enacted.

In the meantime, he seems to have a lot of money to have signs made up at the sign store.   I am not so sure that he really is hurting all that bad under the Socialist Regime of Barack Obama.

I'll bet he is real fun at parties, too.