Posted by: inforodeo | January 3, 2009

Empty Words Or Ominous Foreshadowing?

    Years ago i was attending High school in a small western town.  To rally “school spirit'” in our ongoing competitive athletic campaigns against neighboring towns, we had frequent assemblies in the gymnasium, where all 600 students would sit on the bleachers and listen to the coach prance around uttering re-hashed Yogi-isms before tossing the mic back and forth between the academically-challenged super-jocks on the honored team.
   
    During one particular “Pep Assembly”, i vividly recall the rallying speech made by the jock-of-honor:

    “if we have a good offense … and … uh … if they have a bad defense … we’re gonna WIN! YEAH!”

    I’m certain in the heat of the moment, the crowd (which exploded in standing applause) didn’t realise how ridiculous the simplistic monologue that had moved them to a red-faced, tear spilling cheer really was. As words expressing an idea, they were wasted and laughable. As a metaphorical six-hundred fingered hand, however, it pressed the right buttons, and moved a mass to overwhelming emotion. 

    The other day i happened to glance at a news item on my way out the door.  The headline read “Obama Leadership Rates High As Bush’s After 9/111, and suggested that over 3/4 (75%) of the American public believes that Barack Obama is a “strong and decisive leader”.  Great! Amazing! Good for him!
I wondered, however, how that many American’s could really be as grossly misinformed, blindly optimistic, or just plain stupid … to really give a ‘leadership rating’ to a guy who has yet to show leadership.  After all, he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet, his biggest accomplishment since being elected was to offer to buy news reporters a beer, he rarely showed up for work during his first (and only) run as a junior senator from Illinois, and he was put into the candidacy by his own party as part of an ‘anti-republican’ tactic more than on his own merit as a suitable political leader.  

   Today, as further proof of the incoming presidency’s shallow promises and empty plans, he released the following:

Obama Outlines Plan For Spending, Tax Breaks2
Obama sketches out recovery planPresident-elect says he wants to double renewable energy production, rebuild roads and schools and cut taxes.

1. double renewable energy production and make public buildings more energy efficient;
2. rebuild crumbling roads, bridges and schools;
3. computerize the health care system
4. modernize classrooms, labs and libraries;
5. provide tax breaks to American workers.

    As usual, there are “plans” that sound good, but really aren’t “detailed” or “sketched” out much further than words.  With John Kerry, it was always fluff with no plan.  With Obama, we’re finding, it’s usually a front to warm us up to dramatic and dangerous change

    So what substance is behind these 5 points? 

1a- DOUBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION
    First off, what is renewable energy?  It’s energy generated by naturally replenished natural resources, like wind, solar power, geothermal energy, rain and tides. Secondly, what does he mean by ‘double’? As of 2007, $4.5 Billion was being appropriated each year for ‘renewable energy production’3, a drop from the nearly $5 billion appropriated in years prior. Does Obama want to set aside $10 Billion toward Renewable energy production? Where is that money going to come from?  He’s also promising ‘the american worker’ tax cuts, as well as tax breaks (in addition to the $10 Billion) to companies that pursue renewable energy options.
    Maybe ‘doubling’ refers to the amount of physical land reserved for these energy converting facilities.  Does this mean invading Federal land that has been set aside as national parks? Yellowstone has a bit of Geothermal energy, i hear … and Hawaii, Florida and California all have beaches that would probably do well for tide-catching.  We don’t really need reef systems in those areas anyway. Wind energy has seemed promising, but in the land of windmills, i hear stories almost monthly about the high cost of maintaining the wind mills, not to mention the ‘low wind’ days, or the far-fetched (but legally pursued) stories about flocks of migrating birds being sliced in half by the turbines. The windmills are also an eyesore (a similar argument was raised by opponents of a tide-water power plant in Washington state a few years back).

1b- MAKE PUBLIC BUILDINGS MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT
    At what cost? And how? do you mean ‘turning off the lights when you leave’ efficient (already in effect), or ‘geothermally heated’ (difficult in some areas with little or no geothermal heat)? Does this mean making them with no windows (saving on heating, costing on lighting)? I’d like to see the actual plan here, and a realistic cost. 
    And again, where is the money coming from?

2  – REBUILD CRUMBLING ROADS, BRIDGES AND SCHOOLS
    I hope this doesn’t mean ‘crumbling bridges’ like Biden’s own “Bridge To Nowhere”, or like the Obama/Biden supported Alaskan “Bridge to nowhere”4? Given his past, it seems Biden is all for rebuilding bridges and doing other construction projects that don’t need to be done. While this may be a part of the bigger “copy the failed FDR ‘New Deal” scheme, I’d like to know  – again, because of the documented history of Biden’s projects – how much these projects will cost the taxpayer, and how badly they are needed. 
   As for schools, with all of the leftist propaganda and anti-religion public schools are forcing upon our children, I don’t think (hope!) there isn’t or won’t be much need for public schools anymore, as parents are pulling their children and teaching them in the safety of their own homes. Regardless, hundreds of schools are being closed for reasons unrelated to the building structure itself, and that leaves me wondering why obama would want to pour taxpayer money into rebuilding perfectly good – but vacant – buildings.

3  – COMPUTERIZE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
    Generally i support modernizing the U.S. healthcare system, and ‘computerizing’ it so patient records can be quickly accessed and shared between healthcare providers does, for the most part, seem like a good idea. After all, a patient whose last 5 years of scattered doc-in-a-box records are easily gathered in the hospital ER is more likely to receive the right kind of care than one whose medical past is a mystery. 
    There is, however, a danger.  On the ‘lite’ side, having medical records available electronically increases the risk they might be accessed by persons who shouldn’t have access … blackmailing “hackers”, disgruntled employees, pharm marketers, etc. This is the primary reason these records have not been as readily available so far.  That said, check your mailbox a few days after your next drugstore prescription fill.  Most drugstores aid marketers in sending you junk mail tailored to your general ailment(s). This indicates the main reason for not having such a system is really already a moot point. 
    On the darker side of the argument, our nation has already had a few ‘Nazi-like’ episodes involving forced sterilization and medical experimentation on various kinds of ‘undesirables’.  Along with my past arguments against Obama’s plan to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, does the government really need a ready-made list to help a corrupt government’s “national police force” locate undesirables or persons with the capability (not history!) of commiting a crime (or spreading a disease, or burdening the healthcare system, etc). Do you want your employer to know you have diabetes or a heart condition or HIV or treatable mental illness, so they can find a way to terminate you (or not hire you in the first place) so their insurance rates don’t go up? (I actually had an employer in New England once call a meeting to yell at us because the janitor had a heart attack & the premiums were going to rise as a result).
    My feelings on a ‘computerized healthcare system’ are mixed.  there would need to be some strict controls built into any legislation requiring such compliance.

4  – MODERNIZE CLASSROOMS, LABS AND LIBRARIES
    Obama has already been heralded as a ‘savior to science’ because he’s helping do away with dirty old superstitious religion and the ‘backward’ steps of President Bush.5  Personally, there were a few things Bush did to science that I may have been a little hesitant to do had i been in his position, but i certainly wouldn’t have leapt into such a “pro-science, anti-religion” stance like Obama.
    As for ‘Modernize’, does that mean get rid of books and just have LCD screens with digitzed texts? does it mean cutting funding for Labs, classrooms or libraries that don’t follow the president-elect’s views?  We’ve already seen the threats his campaign mailed out to broadcast media 6– are we looking forward to our libraries receiving the same kind of intimidation?

5  – PROVIDE TAX BREAKS TO AMERICAN WORKERS
    This one already makes me angry. It used to be that the American dream was to ‘work hard and succeed”.  More and more, the only way to succeed by working hard is to run your own business – being a mere cog in a bigger machine might get you some extra benefits here and there (especially with the ‘lowest common denominator’ of socialist ‘Union’ programs), but overall, working for someone else makes you dependent on their schedule, their benefits, their plans … and if their business model is unsound, you are not going to be the one flying away in your private jet with a $16 million severance package. 
    Obama seems to have bought into that liberal-socialist mindset, however.  The same drive that creates the ‘welfare program’ (which ensures its victims remain just poor enough and just under-educated enough to need the programs – much like an addiction) is pushing for more Americans to be dependent on something.  Dependant on cellphones, on credit cards, on ‘big business’, on the government (for moral decisions), on the legal system, on corporate healthcare (for things that don’t need it, like births).  The socialists want you to need their programs and institutions, because the more you need them, the less information and position you will have to bring them down … and as any former addict or dealer can tell you, the more dependance you create, the less resistance you have to deal with, and the more influence and control you have over your ‘consumer’.
   So now Obama is promising ‘tax breaks for american workers’ … even though he has already promised to put extreme new taxes on business owners.  he … they … distract you by directing your attention to ‘big bad oil’ and ‘the auto industry’ and the ‘housing lenders’.   When the ‘bad guys’ are iconic and adversarial, it’s easy to forget some of the other victims of Obama’s tax-assault: the mom & pop stores. The mechanic down the street. your grandma’s thriving eBay business. the corner bookstore, coffee shop, furniture maker. The ‘modest dress’ store, the guy on the edge of town who makes bricks, and the farmers who sqeezed out the milk and gathered the eggs on your breakfast table. 
    We own a business. The harder we work, the more work we get from our clients, and the more money we make. Under Obama’s plan, the more money we make, the more money is taken from us to help the ‘little guy’.  The more money we lose to excessive taxes, the less we can pay our employees. The less we can pay our employees, the more we have to make a decision: give worker A a raise and terminate worker B, or keep both their pay low? 
    If you were one of our workers, would you like to make a dollar more an hour or get a 5% tax break at the end of the year? (lets assume as an employee, you make $10/hr. at the end of the year, that’s about $20,800, before the government takes social security to pay the poor, worker’s comp to cover frivilous lawsuits, the 6% state’s tax and the 15% fed tax.)  You lose about $4500 a year off your pay to taxes & government stuff. If Obama gave you 5% back, that would be around $1,040 (depending on how it was credited back, what it was based on, etc. It is unlikely, however, that he would give you as much as 5% back). If instead, he left businesses alone and we were able to give you a $1 raise (minimal amount, much more if business not burdened by heavy taxation), you’d pocket an additional $1,643 ($2,080, less $437 in tax), AND we wouldn’t have to fire employee B.
    Hopefully you can see the error in the ‘feel good’ idea of robbing the ‘rich’ to feed the lazy. Under Obama’s plan:
 – the poor have less job security, jobless rate rises because businesses can’t afford the employees
 – Obama decides who is ‘rich’ and deserve to be taxed more harshly, and who is ‘poor’ and deserves to receive more from the government
 – businesses have to send MORE jobs overseas
 – those who retain their job don’t make as much $ per year as they would if the employer wasn’t burdened by unfair taxation
 – taxes will continue to increase because of all the spending Obama is planning on doing (money has to come from somewhere, right?)
 – more people have to rely on an already overburdened and mismanaged government ‘welfare’ system
 – in the current political climate, affirmitive action programs and ‘diversity’ groups will claim a larger portion of the ‘wealth’ that is being fed to the ‘downtrodden’, meaning anyone with a non-minority status (White, Christian, Male, Straight, Married) is going to have to wait at the end of the line.
    Obama’s “tax breaks for the american workers” are going to further ruin our economy and our nation. The American people have a better chance at sustaining themselves and getting the nation back on its feet without government interference.  

Sources:
1. “Obama Leadership Rates High As Bush’s After 9/11”, CNN, 12/31/08: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/31/obama.leadership.poll/index.html#cnnSTCText
2. “Obama Sketches Out recovery Plan”, CNN Money, 01/03/09: http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/03/news/economy/obama_stimulus/index.htm?postversion=2009010306
3. “Renewable Energy Production Incentive: About the Program”, U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), 01/03/09: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/repi/about.cfm
4. “Obama-Biden Helped keep ‘Bridge To Nowhere’ Alive”, CNN, 09/23/08: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/23/biden.earmarks/index.html
5. “Obama’s Science team: Reshaping Our Long term Future”, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 12/23/08: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/12/23/obama%E2%80%99s-science-team-reshaping-our-long-term-future/
6. PDF Of Obama campaign Threats to broadcasters airing NRA sponsored Ads, 01/03/09: http://www.thebitchgirls.us/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/obama.pdf

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