Bush is more influential than Bernanke?

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(Update noon Jan 18) Opps, the Bush rally only last couple hours πŸ™ Seriously, I do welcome this $1,600 per family tax rebate. Maybe a trip to Europe this Spring? Oh well, that won’t help the US economy directly.

(Original) I mean, to the stock market. Yesterday, after Ben spoke in Congress and painted a bleak picture of US economy, and asked for some sorts of stimulus package. The DOW tanked 300 points, S&P and Nasdaq did no better. Today as Bush is unveiling his economy package: good old things like tax rebate for individuals and business, the US market seems took the cue and is up in the morning. Another amazing thing is the Overseas market (Japan, Korea, Hongkong and Shanghai) also reversed course (last night). So when Bush speaks, the world listens πŸ™‚

Just kidding. Seriously speaking, I think US president has little to do with the US economy cycle, nor can a Fed chairman. The US is heading to a recession, period. But see, the problem is people (include myself) don’t want to hear the harsh words, facing the reality. A few days ago in Michigan John McCain did his straight talk “some of the jobs lost (in auto industry) is not coming back, we need to re-train our people for new skills”, while his rival Mitt Ronmey says he will do everything to get back auto jobs. It’s so obvious that US auto industry is losing ground in the US market, but people still elected Mitt: the guy who tells white lies.

Healthcare cost for US companies
Back to business and economy. Yesterday I received my 1st pay stub in 2008 from mail. It printed out how much the company is subsidizing my health insurance. Guess how much?

10% of my gross. So in addition to the social security tax, a US business will pay 10% healthcare cost for employee, that puts US companies in disadvantage places when competing with Japan, Canada or other developed countries that have national health insurance.

Will a Democratic president ease this burden from US business by offering national healthcare? I was hopeful early this year, and thought that will help companies like Starbucks because they sponsored employees (partners) healthcare. But now I am doubtful. It’s not that I doubt Hillary or Obama ability or chrisma, it’s just that the whole system is so complicated, with so many stakeholders.

So I won’t bet on Starbucks. But again Bush’s tax rebate may give people some money to buy some latte there πŸ™‚

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