So what do you think of the stimulus package?" I ask the fella sitting next to me at the counter. "Stimulus package? I ordered one of those once. But it didn't come with any batteries.", he answers, with just a touch of a smile.
"No you old coot, not THAT kind of "stimulus"!" It's the waitress at Danny's Diner along the highway here in North Carolina, "He's talking about that stimulus thing in the newspaper this morning. You, know Congress."
"Oh, " says my dining companion, "I don't pay too much attention to what they're doing back there in Washington. I got more important things to think about.'
That pretty well wraps up the response I've been running into out here in the "fly over" states to the stimulus package being negotiated in Congress, and in fact, to all the stock market shenanigans of the last week or so.
"I've got more important things to do." sort of wraps it up. I found that a little disconcerting working for a business channel and all, so I called a buddy in New York who actually works on Wall Street.
"Doesn't surprise me," he said. "Why not?" I asked.
"Because people are smarter now. They've seen stimulus packages before. So the government gives them $600. What do you think they're going to do with it? Buy a new truck?", he pauses here to sip his $5 latté," Of course not. They'll save it, spend it on groceries, and it won't actually have much of a "stimulus" effect."
"Then why are they doing it?", asks the intrepid reporter. "Ask you're new buddies at Danny's. They already know.", he slurps and hangs up.
So I do.
"Why do you think they're doing this stimulus package?", I ask. "Makes'em feel good.", says Mr. "No batteries included". "And if they feel good, then they figure we'll feel good. And if we feel good, they figure we'll spend money and the economy will feel good. It's all psychology." he says.
"So how do you feel?" I ask. "Like I shouldn't have eaten the chili." he says and heads to the john.
'Mike On America' video episodes can be seen on "Power Lunch" on CNBC Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We'll be in New Orleans all next week.
Think good thoughts, it's the "MOA" stimulus program.
Questions? Comments? email@example.com