Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The recession is real.

My friend Amy over at Incertus has a great post about all the things she should be concerned about—Reverend Wright, Miley Cyrus, the Florida Legislature, and more. Except she can't focus on them. She's too concerned about the dollar-a-day she has left until payday.

The same feeling hit me over the weekend. First, it was spending $30 on half a tank of gas for my Jetta, and realizing the same amount filled the tank a couple of years ago. Then it was the grocery run that was easily $20 higher than it had been a year ago. Then it was seeing the businesses that had put up "Going Out of Business" signs along Cary Street. Then it was doing the math and realizing that the "stimulus" check I am supposed to get from the government this week will no longer go toward a bunk bed for Banana and a new sofa for the living room. No. The so-called "stimulus" check when it arrives — and believe me, I am watching my bank account for its arrival — is already budgeted for a mix of daily and random expenses. Hell, I won't even be able to earmark any of it for debt payments.

But, hey, it's just "tough times" according to our esteemed leader. The same esteemed leader who thinks that the solutions are drilling for oil in Alaska and making permanent tax cuts for the richest few, solutions guaranteed to make corporations and billionaires richer while the rest of us look at our receipts and wonder how we're going to make ends meet next month.

The canaries are dying. The coal mine is filling with gas, and I don't see any way out.