Nice move, Massachusetts.

Look, all I’m saying is that if the Democrats are so incompetent they can’t mount a successful campaign in Mass, or get anything useful passed in the almost two years they had a supermajority in Congress and the White House, why then, I’d like to see a new party come up to challenge the conservatives. A party that thinks very differently about how we treat our citizens, how we regulate our businesses and markets, how we educate our kids, and how we prioritize safe food, water, air, and citizenry.

Anyone for a party with actual progressive values? One that can sway independent voters with, say solid policy and the guts to sell it?

Sheesh. It’s Taxachusetts for heaven’s sake. How do you throw that one?

What I want in the stimulus package

So Congress is debating, as are pundits, as are my friends and neighbors, about how best to rescue the economy. (The best option, a way-back machine that returns us to pre-Reagan and puts deregulation into context, has been shelved for some bogus lack-of-technology reason.)

Obama says spend money on the things we’re gonna need anyway—roads, wind farms, education—and in so doing, put people to work. Republicans say cut taxes (since that worked so well to this point…do they somehow think that tax cuts when the government is already bringing in, like, zero dollars, is going to help anyone but gazillionaires?)

You know what I say? I say spend the money, sure. Cut taxes on the lower class. And move the tax bracket *up* for anyone who works for a failing financial institution and got a bonus. If they took bailout money and got bonuses, make them pay 100% taxes. That’s right. If you get a bonus, you give back your entire salary including bonus. Because you know what? You’re lucky to still have a job, you economy-ruining f—ers. That Merrill Lynch yahoo who said he had to give bonuses to his best performers is a jackass. If you had any best performers my entire retirement would be worth what it was in May. And yet, he’s offering us the best way out of the crisis. Sure, pay extra to those who screwed up the economy, the international banking industry, and the world in general. Give them a bonus. Then we the taxpayers get to keep it all. Every bloody penny.

Ditto executive bonuses for anyone involved in mortgage-backed securities, subprime mortgages, or other banking shenanigans. They can all make the check out the the Internal Revenue Service so we can pay for those roads.

Please, no auto bailout.

Yes, I’m telling my lawmakers the same thing–no automaker bailout. Why? Because bankruptcy is a time to reorganize and get your act together, and maybe forge ahead. So we shouldn’t be as afraid of automaker bankruptcy as Congress seems to be. Bankruptcy doesn’t mean closed doors and going out of business. It may eventually mean that, but so could a bailout. But bailouts reward companies who have been stuck thinking, producing, and structuring the way they always have, without planning for the future.

I know that lots of families, from the autoworkers to the restaurants to the retailers in Michigan depend on the money American car companies bring to the area. But you know what? I’d rather see the government hand money directly to the people who work at these firms than give corporate welfare. The workers shouldn’t have to pay for the (formerly) Big Three mistakes. But they should get work in another industry. And there aren’t any jobs right now.

So why not make Michigan the heart of America’s big wind-farm industry? Oh, yeah, we don’t have one. Well, let’s use the federal money for that, instead. Factory-build parts for wind farms need these skilled workers, and the former carworkers can have a job, new skillset, and important role in the next century, rather than being stuck in the nineteenth century industrial revolution.

Or, why not make Michigan the heart of America’s big infrastructure regeneration? Oh, yeah, we don’t have one. We’ll, let’s use the federal money for that, instead.

Or, why not make autoworkers, white-collar and blue-collar, part of America’s next big wave of domestic jobs and revenue. Oh, yeah. We don’t have that, either.

Maybe we have bigger problems than the financial well being of three outdated, outmoded, out-of-touch companies who couldn’t see the writing on the wall, as Japanese automakers did.

I don’t know. It’s going to hurt a lot of people if those automakers go into bankruptcy and renegotiate all their contracts. But it’s going to hurt more peopleĀ  if we bail them out, and they come back for more money in a few months, then come back again, then go out of business anyway.

I’m tired of corporate handouts. Why do corporations get welfare, when the fiscal conservatives who backed their unfettered growth believed nobody should share the profits? When people who work hard come upon tough times, I say help them. When companies come upon hard times, I just feel the help should go to starting something new. Use the bailout money for building infrastructure and eco-friendly energy. That creates jobs and uses taxpayer money for growth not bandages on bullet wounds.