On Friday President Bush announced an economic stimulus plan. The plan was short on details, vague on implementation, fuzzy about who would be helped, but sharply targeted when it came to how many taxpayer dollars should be spent -- about one percent of the nation's GDP -- somewhere between $140 and $150 billion dollars.
The world's stock markets reacted on Monday by plunging in the largest single-day drop since 9/11. The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ did not plunge because they were closed for Martin Luther King's birthday, but currently the Dow Jones (DJIA) futures market shows an expected 546 point drop by the time trading ends on Tuesday. It's going to be a volatile week on Wall Street this week and a rough ride for the world economy.
This leads me to wonder... since the stock markets dive when Bush announces a plan to help the economy, and the world now expects anything our President plans or does to turn into a gigantic clusterfuck, is there any way that he could use the perception of his own ineptitude to his (and the world's) advantage? What else could happen during the last year of the Bizarro Bush presidency, where whatever the president says causes the opposite to happen?
Bush announces that a settlement between the Israelis and the Palestineans is impossible, and lists the reasons why the fighting in the middle east must continue. Once all sides hear Bush state that he thinks that their war will be on-going and endless, they'll start trying to figure out where his logic is flawed, then they'll find a path to a peaceful settlement and all fighting will end in mere weeks.
Bush praises totalitarian regimes, calls Fidel Castro "one cool cat". Bush stops the double-talk about how America supports democracy, and lets it be known that we only support democracy in strategically insignificant countries. Once the dictators of the world hear that Bush is on their side, they'll panic, knowing that they're doomed, step aside, and free and fair elections can begin.
Bush declares that climate change is a fraud and CO2 emissions are good for the oil industry. That should convince any skeptics that still think that there's no such thing as climate change to change their minds. With the last of the doubters convinced that climate change is real, we can start making progress and fixing the problems that cause climate change.
Bush holds a press conference to tell everyone that General Motors is an excellent company in great financial shape. This won't actually help the world, but I hope to make a small fortune by shorting the stock.
Unfortunately, rather than do any of these things, I suspect that in the coming year Bush will announce additional plans to fix the economy, declare that he supports the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, that he wants to find peaceful solutions to the world's problems, and that he will work to support human rights and free and fair elections throughout the world.