Economic Woe and Faith

I hate to sound like I’m just gratuitously picking on President Obama, but thanks in very large part to his incessant doomsaying and the very troubling sense that Tim Geithner seems clueless over at Treasury, consumer confidence hit a record low in February.

Anyone surprised? No one wants to buy anything; no one wants to make a move, anywhere. Everyone is terrified and uncertain. Except, apparently, the chutzpah-filled Democrats, who are now pushing for another 400 Billion to keep the government running. (Actually, do we want to keep THIS mess and THIS awful congress running?)

Not too long ago, people accused President Bush of “using fear” to push through his policies, but President Obama preached doom, doom, doom to rush through an unread – nearly trillion-dollar spending package with little “stimulus” attached, and it has anyone not slavishly devoted to the mainstream media running more than a little scared. It’s even got a few sycophantic media folk angry, too.

Americans are afraid to spend money, and that fear is going to lead to increased unemployment – among other things. We’re uncertain about the banks, our personal finances, jobs – everything connected with money – and confidence in our ability to prevent terrorism is also falling, possibly because we don’t know where the Gitmo detainees will end up.

America is scared, like I’ve never seen America scared before. After 9/11, we were frightened but together as a nation. Now, we’re frightened, and torn apart, as well.

Fr. James Martin, author of the great My Life With the Saints and a good friend of this blog made an appearance on The Colbert Report the other day, and managed to both crack up Stephen Colbert and discuss how tough economic times make us more open to God.

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Hey, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I think praying for the president is a good idea. I always prayed for W. I pray for O, too. Be generous in prayer, for the good of the nation.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • gs

    That’s $410B, Anchoress. Including an 8% increase during a dangerous recession.

    One of Bush’s biggest mistakes was his failure, afaik, to veto a single spending bill while his party controlled Congress. Obama should not repeat it.

    Let me fantasize. Everybody (Pelosi, Reid, etc.) gathers for the signing. Obama marches in stonefaced and announces he’s not going to waste the American people’s money on this and this and this and too much else to mention. He takes out a magic marker and writes a big block-letter VETO that he holds up for the cameras. Saying “Madame Speaker, take this back and fix it,” he starts to hand the bill to Pelosi, but then he stops and says, “No, just start over.” And marches out.

    Seriously, “the President is who you vote for to protect you from other people’s Congressmen.” Obama should make it publicly clear that he is such a President. (Is he?) Note that early in his administration, Reagan fired government air traffic controllers who were striking illegally, even though their union had supported him in the election.

  • culperjr.

    It will be interesting to see where the current economic downturn takes us. Will we blaze a new trail, or will America follow the path of previous periods of financial woes?

    One little-appreciated feature of previous periods of economic downturn is that, while grim, many of them have had a curious upside. As people’s horizons contract, those things close to home come into sharper focus. The Great Depression saw an increase in membership for groups like the Boy and Girl Scouts. Churches and fraternal organizations stepped in to fill some of the void for social services. Neighborhoods became vital networks, not just geographic coincidences.

    How will our very different society address these same issues? Will we put down our iphones and teach the kids to make hobo stew? Will we once again fill our churches, temples and Masonic lodges? Or will we wall ourselves off and wait for Uncle Sam to come and carry us to safety.

    Interesting times indeed. Well, my father always told me I needed to live through a Depression so that I would appreciate how good I have it. Looks like the old man just might get his wish!

  • gs

    Afterthought. In other words, Obama should set up a kinder, gentler Sister Souljah moment with Pelosi.

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  • Genevieve B

    I miss W. too. He was an adult, perhaps maybe to a fault, because I am not sure he addressed his screamer critics well enough. But he and Laura were understated, intelligent, and classy, and ran the White House and the country with a firm, friendly style. I miss his humor and conviction and his confidence that he knew he was doing the right thing.

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