Friday, March 06, 2009

Interesting points would have you believe...

I am a little less than impressed with politics lately. You see, the republicans cannot seem to pull it together and the move toward socializing just about every aspect of our lives is moving at an alarming pace. The far left (as depicted by such organizations as is giddy with what is going on. In a recent message from the group, has presented a list of 10 aspects of President Obama's plan they feel make it a winner. The bold faced copy is the statement has made. The comments following the statements are how I feel about the point they are making.

  • Makes a $634 billion down payment on fixing health care.  While our healthcare system is definitely broken, infusing more money into the system isn't necessarily the answer. I remember talking with a friend about their car and all the repairs they've had to make recently. The car is broken and it has become a great big money sink. Spending more money isn't going to make it better. Republicans and Democrats alike recognize the complete burden the healthcare system has become. Healthcare costs have risen at a pace that far outstrips all other inflationary data. This one point, that there needs to be a better solution, is probably the only thing on which and I agree. The way to fix the problem, however, has not been so common.
  • Reduces taxes for 95% of working Americans. Reducing the taxes of those people who do not pay them just does not make sense. I just do not understand how this is a good thing. If they were working toward reducing the taxes for 95% of all taxpayers, I would probably be on board with this. "Reducing" the tax burden of those people who don't pay taxes is tantamount to another welfare program - taking money from those who pay taxes and giving it to those who do not. While this is the standard way of things, we don't need to add to the problem. Giving enough money for Jon Laborer to purchase a pizza dinner for his family once a month isn't going to stimulate anything but it does give Mr. Laborer a sense of entitlement. I don't think anyone should have a sense of entitlement about anything from the government beyond the standard - defense, trade, etc.
  • Invests more than $100 billion in clean energy technology. Government spending at its best, right? I have mixed emotions on this. I do not know that spending the money is the right way to go about this. Tax and other incentives are probably a better, more effective way to "create" home-grown jobs while trying to save the planet. President Obama has talked long and loud about the need to cut government spending. So far, I've seen a lot of spending but not a lot of cutting.
  • Brings our troops home from Iraq on a firm timetable. Interesting that the President has been given such accolades for a timetable that was established by the former administration - as agreed upon with the Iraqi government. Even the commanding officers in the field are happy with a timetable. It makes it easier to make plans. The troops are happy for the same reason. Open ended means unsurety. 
  • Reverses growing income inequality. Tax the rich! Tax the rich! Tax those who might have the power to break the downhill slide! The facts are in. Those people who have the money to invest won't invest as much money if they are paying it to the government. The best time to raise taxes (or let lower taxes expire) is not in the middle of a financial crisis. I just do not understand the logic behind the call to tax the rich so we can give more money to the failed bureaucracies that have continued to waste our money for the past 50 years.
  • Closes multi-billion-dollar tax loopholes for big oil companies. The call to "close tax loopholes for the big oil companies" is misleading. Oil companies do not enjoy "loopholes" that are not enjoyed by other organizations. Reducing the money the oil companies can invest in new technologies didn't work in 1978. It won't work today. 
  • Increases grants to help families pay for college. I'm all about helping people go to college. I'm in a position that it would be nice to have the help my daughter needs to go to college. I have to wonder: will I get that help in time? Will I qualify for the help I need or will there be unnecessary burdens placed in my way because I don't fit some cookie-cutter idea of who really needs the help. 

  • Halves the deficit by 2013. President Obama inherited a legacy of huge deficits and an economy in shambles. I'll concede this point. However, I don't understand how anyone can claim they are going to reduce the deficit when all they've done is advocate spending more money. President Obama has called on us to make "hard choices" but when push comes to shove, he hasn't held his ground. While campaigning for change, Barack Obama said, "We need earmark reform, and when I'm President, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely." But now the President is about to sign a huge 2,697 page spending bill with over 9,000 unnecessary and wasteful earmarks. I'll believe the President's tenacity when he has demonstrated his ability to hold his ground on this. 

  • Dramatically increases funding for the SEC and the CFTC—the agencies that police Wall Street. Will this help us? Again, is this a point of throwing good money after bad? 
  • Tells it straight. I don't know if I fully endorse the idea that President Obama has been on board the "straight talk express". (I know that's John McCain) Look, our country is currently nearly $11 trillion dollars in debt. Our projected deficit for 2009 alone is an alarming $2 trillion dollars. Just two weeks ago, President Obama signed a bill that the Democratic-led Congress passed to spend an additional $1 trillion in "stimulus spending." And on top of all of this, President Obama has requested $3.6 trillion in additional spending for 2010. On the heals of such measures, I'm supposed to believe he's acting any different than any of the previous adminstrations? Not yet.
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