Saturday, February 28, 2009
Last fall, NPR ran a great series investigating health care in Western Europe. Listen and compare these two stories describing care in Amsterdam to the U.S. You tell me which you would rather have.
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
Lord, don’t they help themselves, oh.
But when the taxman comes to the door,
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale
Credence Clearwater Revival
I am going to say something that nobody seems to be willing to say…
In order to restore this country’s strength, I am willing and prepared to pay my fair share.
Roads, schools, hospitals, police & fire departments do not pay for themselves. Bullets, bombs, tanks, jet fighters, and other tools and services of war are not free. Necessary Innovations like green technology or reforms to health care can only come about through Government investment, which is expensive. The banking mess, which we all had a hand in by not handling our money responsibly, requires Government intervention, which will end up costing a lot of money
All of these things must be paid for one way or another and it’s time for all of us to pay our fair share. Now, if you watch the talking heads, you would think that the Government is trying to squeeze every penny out of us. The truth is, I just got a tax cut, and chances are that you did too. The only ones who are getting a raise in taxes are those of us who make more than $250,000 a year. If you do happen to make that much a year, congratulations, pony up. We’re rolling you back to the Clinton year rates, and things weren’t so bad in the 90’s, were they.
Most people I know don’t have nifty ways to save on taxes because we just don’t have that much. My tax form is pretty straight forward. I own a home and have a kid. After that, it’s a copy of my W2. I’m sure if you’re one of the 1% getting the rollback, you ultimately pay a greater amount than I do, but you make more and can absorb the hit, so l don’t really feel that sorry for you. It’s not like you have to trade in the Benz for a Dodge. I’m sure you won’t have to sell your home and I’m confident your standard of living won’t change that much.
For the good of the country, be an American, and pull your weight. Everybody else does.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Media Matters goes even further. It appears that there is a full court press against budget. It is being framed as a new class war is beginning with Obama leading the charge. Redistribute from the rich to give to the poor. Never mind the fact that we're talking about 1% of the population and rich folks have both the money to spend and save while the middle and the poor would just spend, ultimately stimulating the economy better than the rich. The media would have us believe everybody is getting a tax increase. Also note, that the reporters screaming the loudest are the ones making more that $250k.
The deck is stacked, the media is dealing. Read the article and find out for yourself.
Listen to the story and brace yourself.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Well, today is the first day of the Conservative Political Action Committee's (CPAC) annual ignorance fest. Check out this report from MSNBC First Read. Yikes! A 2012 Draft Palin Committee selling campaign posters? Joe the Plumber hosting a panel and discussing the possibility of running for office? NRA shooting ranges? Seminars on how the South will rise again? Movie previews touting the myth of global warming? Ann Coulter? Rush Limbaugh? John Bolton? They have more monsters in one place than the Universal Pictures lot!
Remember the Matrix? You know how the machines enslaved people to power their machine world? If the Matrix ran on this kind of brainpower, the machines would be dead.
I am aware that people are worried about the deficit and the amount of money being spent. That said, Mr. Obama warned us about this in his Address to Congress. He warned us that more money was required for banks so they could loosen up credit for regular folks and small businesses. He told us that he was going to aggressively attack the problem of health care. Finally, he told us that he was going to change the accounting practices of past budgets, which would require that he actually budget for the wars. Frankly, if you've been paying attention, then you shouldn't be surprised.
That said, my purpose today is not to debate the budget itself. Today, I would like to ask the Main Stream Media to stop bringing in politicians and political spokespeople to discuss these things and start bringing experts! This morning, the Today show had Republican spokesperson and former George W. Bush advisor, Mary Matalin, on to discuss the new budget. Golly, I wonder where she stood on the matter? If you guessed "We need to stop stimulating the Government and start stimulating the economy" and "tax cuts for small businesses will get us out of this mess" then you are right. It's the same thing every time and they keep trotting these people out like they know. However, the only thing they really know is the party line.
You know who actually does know? Well, we are talking about the economy, so maybe we should hear from economists! I don't care if you have a Democratic economist and an Republican economist or a conservative economist and a liberal economist. If you talk to enough economists, then you'll probably come to a majority conclusion! Let's say we're talking about global warming and the environment, wouldn't we want to hear from environmental scientists? Politicians know politics. I take that to mean, they know how to play their game to get what they want. That doesn't necessarily mean that they always know what's best, otherwise we wouldn't be in this recession, right?
So please, Main Stream Media, please give the public the benefit of the doubt and bring out some real experts and let us make up our own mind. Now is not the time for simple, easy, party line politics.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Start with energy independence. The benefits are simply amazing. Starting with government investment, there is no doubt in my mind that the U.S. will become the leader in renewable energy. Sell this technology around the world, technology that is developed and made in America. Not only do we create jobs and new growth, but we begin to save the planet as well, leaving the Earth better for our children and their children. Oh, and it's good for the economy.
As for health care, well, we can debate this all we want, but I think that's the #1 killer of American business today. Maybe you've heard the story about how Starbucks spends more on health care than on coffee. I have personally heard stories of premiums of $400 per month followed by $2000 deductibles. How is that possibly fair to the working individual? What are they paying for? This country will be crushed by the weight of this kind of overhead. There's so much talk about protecting small businesses. I think they should start by fixing health care. Oh, and it's good for the economy too.
Finally, the President brought up education. I have thought about this for a long time. My thoughts are selfish. There is a distinct possibility that I will end up in a nursing home someday. I want the absolute best care and I don't want a bunch of nit-wits that can't read working on me. Even more important than that, we need to give our children the very best education simply because better educated citizens can do more. Smarter Americans equals a stronger America. Oh, and, yep, you guessed it, a smart America is good for the economy.
The one thing I have always liked about our President is that he tells it like it is. He never talks down to us and gives us credit for having the ability to think for ourselves. He can be brutally honest one minute and completely uplifting the next. Frankly, he's cool. But what I appreciate the most is his instance in thinking and planning for the long term in spite of short term gains.
Think Progress has a little more here and TPM has a nice observation here. As for comedy, check this from the Huffington Post.
I sincerely hope we don't hear from this guy for a while. It is apparent that he is positioning himself for a run at the Presidency, so you can bet we will hear from him again. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
After a lovely evening at the White House, complete with entertainment by personal favorite Earth, Wind and Fire, the Nation's Governors got the same message from the President the Nation's Mayors got Friday.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
My friend Amy Shirk turned me on to this article, found in today's New York Times. President Obama has decided to ban "four accounting gimicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller." Why am I not surprised. They lied about almost everything else! Let's cook the books too! Add another $2.7 trillion to the budget over the next 10 years!
Excuse me while I douse my head in water to extinguish the flames that are coming off the top of it.
I should mention that he has a response to Bob Cesca's article, which I commented on yesterday.
Anyway, I appreciate what Mr. Scarborough is saying and now share it with you.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Anyway, read the story and come to your own conclusions. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Starting with the train, what they are proposing here is called a Maglev, or Magnetic Levitation, train. These are the same, high speed, energy efficient trains found around the world, most prominently in Germany, Britain and Japan. The trains run on less power, are quieter, and much faster than the trains we have today. This is a tremendous opportunity to begin to modernize our infrastructure. This story would suggest that a high-speed train from Disney World to Las Vegas is frivolous. But look at it another way. Here are two tourist destinations, with hundreds of people at both. Given the possibility that a tourist could be at either place in an hour or less, why wouldn't you build the train? You have jobs for the people to build it, jobs for the people to run it, jobs for the people at the end of either station as well as tourist revenue, well after construction is complete. Why wouldn't you build it?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Back in the day, I used to say that my nation didn’t recognize Valentine’s Day. Of course, my nation meant just me, my body being a border and my brain as Parliment. The truth was I didn’t have anybody to enjoy it with. Fortunately for me, I now have somebody to enjoy it with. Actually, I have two people to enjoy it with, my wife, Amy and my Daughter, Ingrid.
This is a quick little love letter to all the ladies in my life. Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you all very much.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
However, no matter how clever the phrase, it's not only the next generation that will have to pick up the tab, it's ours and probably the next three after. It began when the deficit doubled over the last eight years. It began when the powers that be relied on the private sector to invest in the country when all the private sector cared about was the bottom line. It began when we started blowing up things instead of building them.
The fact is, Congress has been mortgaging the future of this country for a long, long time. So, I guess you're right, Senator McCain. Unfortunately, we have to do something because your ideas, and the rest of your party's, are bankrupt and I blame those ideas for where we are today.
Thanks a lot!
Monday, February 9, 2009
No, for far too long, we as a country have taken our eye off the ball taking the blessings of our country for granted. Blessings like a strong manufacturing base, good roads and bridges, and quality education. The belief that the American Dream is alive and well and will never die. The truth is, and if you follow the news, I don't need to tell you, the American Dream should have had a check up a long time ago because now it's on life support. Think about it a second. Imagine if we had spent the last 20 years investing real money in our infrastructure. Do you think the stimulus would be as large as it is? What about public transportation? What about commercial transportation? I'm talking about those sweet super trains that work on magnets, super efficient and cost effective. That's foresight. That's thinking ahead. How about Detroit? What if they had spent incremental money since the gas shortage of the early 70s to make fuel efficient cars. Would they be in the position they're in now?
Ah, but doesn't innovation cost money? Yes it does! But it also creates jobs and new opportunities. So, now we have a stimulus package that is supposed to do in one year what the dunderheads that run things should have been doing the whole time. Yes, it hurts, but it is sorely needed and I, for one, would rather spend that kind of money here in our own back yard.