By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.In now-standard fashion, Obama displays his ignorance and his lust to remove all opposition to re-making America in accord with his philosophy.
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives -- action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.
Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.
That's why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.
This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it's a strategy for America's long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education. And it's a strategy that will be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent.
In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.
I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. They know that we have tried it those ways for too long. And because we have, our health-care costs still rise faster than inflation. Our dependence on foreign oil still threatens our economy and our security. Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage. We've seen the tragic consequences when our bridges crumble and our levees fail.
Every day, our economy gets sicker -- and the time for a remedy that puts Americans back to work, jump-starts our economy and invests in lasting growth is now.
Now is the time to protect health insurance for the more than 8 million Americans at risk of losing their coverage and to computerize the health-care records of every American within five years, saving billions of dollars and countless lives in the process.
Now is the time to save billions by making 2 million homes and 75 percent of federal buildings more energy-efficient, and to double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy within three years.
Now is the time to give our children every advantage they need to compete by upgrading 10,000 schools with state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries and labs; by training our teachers in math and science; and by bringing the dream of a college education within reach for millions of Americans.
And now is the time to create the jobs that remake America for the 21st century by rebuilding aging roads, bridges and levees; designing a smart electrical grid; and connecting every corner of the country to the information superhighway.
These are the actions Americans expect us to take without delay. They're patient enough to know that our economic recovery will be measured in years, not months. But they have no patience for the same old partisan gridlock that stands in the way of action while our economy continues to slide.
So we have a choice to make. We can once again let Washington's bad habits stand in the way of progress. Or we can pull together and say that in America, our destiny isn't written for us but by us. We can place good ideas ahead of old ideological battles, and a sense of purpose above the same narrow partisanship. We can act boldly to turn crisis into opportunity and, together, write the next great chapter in our history and meet the test of our time.
The economy isn't anywhere near as bad as it was during the Great Depression and neither is "the crisis." Unemployment is up dramatically, to be sure. But at around 7.8% it's nowhere near the teens to 20s it was then. And, to pick another example, we are not dependent on hostile regimes for oil (though hostile regimes depend on oil to stay in power). The top six countries from which we import oil are (in thousand bbl per day, Nov 2008):
Of these, only Venezuela is hostile and they are not exactly a threat to U.S. security. (Saudi Arabia is a mixed case since they fund Wahhabist organizations around the world, which are a long-term threat to the U.S.)
SAUDI ARABIA 1,487
And if he thinks that what he's recommending is "swift, bold, and wise," ... well, I'll give him one out of three. It is bold to push for wasting a trillion dollars to engage in Progressive social engineering.
But the worst aspect by far is how it reveals the not-so-secret dictator wannabe that is Barack Obama. I translate:
"Senators (responding to citizens) who disagree: forget all you know of economics, based on 200 years of sound theory and experience, because I, Barack Obama, reject that theory and the electorate voted for me."
Truth is not arrived at by consensus and, consistent with his casual mistrust of the Constitution, he ignores that in this country's government there are checks and balances. The President proposes; the Congress debates and legislates. That's the way it's supposed to work.
What he's really asking is: "Allow the government free rein to spend enormous sums of taxpayer dollars wherever I, Barack Obama, think best, because you elected me."
I.e. forget your mind, your money, and your freedom because the American people elected Barack Obama dictator. I don't think so.
In any case, it doesn't matter a damn to me whether a majority voted for him. Individuals have rights, among which are the rights to their freedom and property. It is a violation of those rights to ask Congress to spend:
Department Of AgricultureAnd that is just a partial list.
$44,000,000 - Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments; $209,000,000 - Agricultural Research Service Buildings and Facilities; $245,000,000 - Farm Service Agency Salaries and Expenses; $350,000,000 - Natural Resources Conservation Service Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations; $50,000,000 - Watershed Rehabilitation Program; $5,838,000,000 - Rural Development Programs, Rural Community Advancement Program; $22,129,000,000 - Rural Housing Service, Rural Housing Insurance Fund Program Account; $2,825,000,000 - Rural Utilities Service, Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program; $100,000,000 - Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; $150,000,000 - Emergency Food Assistance Program" (This includes grants for Puerto Rico and American Samoa); $300,000,000 - Administrative Expenses ($150,000,000 each in '09 & '10); $650,000,000 - Forest Service, Capital Improvement and Maintenance; $840,000,000 - Wildland Fire Management
Department Of Commerce
$250,000,000 - Economic Development Administration, Economic Development Assistance Program; $1,000,000,000 - Bureau of the Census, Periodic Censuses and Programs (additional funding); $350,000,000 - National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Salaries and Expenses; $2,825,000,000 - Wireless and Broadband Deployment Grant Programs; $650,000,000 - Digital-To-Analog Converter Box Program; $100,000,000 - National Institute of Standards and Technology Scientific and Technical Research and Services; $100,000,000 - Industrial Technology Services
$300,000,000 - Construction of Research Facilities; $400,000,000 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Operations, Research and Facilities; $600,000,000 - Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (includes not less than $140,000,000 for "climate data modeling")
Department Of Justice (DoJ)
$3,000,000,000 - State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance; $1,000,000,000 - Community Oriented Policing Services
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
$400,000,000 - Science (not less than $250,000,000 "shall be solely for accelerating the development of the tier 1 set of Earth science climate research missions); $150,000,000 - Aeronautics; $50,000,000 - Cross Agency Support Programs (restoration and mitigation of NASA infrastructure and facilities damaged during 2008 disasters)
National Science Foundation
$2,500,000,000 - Research and Related Activities; $100,000,000 - Education and Human Resources; $400,000,000 - Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction
Energy And Water
$2,000,000,000 - Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Construction; $250,000,000 - Mississippi River and Tributaries; $2,225,000,000 - Operation and Maintenance; $25,000,000 - Regulatory Program
Department Of Energy
$18,500,000,000 - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; $1,000,000,000 - Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee Program; $500,000,000 - Institutional Loan Guarantee Program; $8,000,000,000 - Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program; $2,400,000,000 - Fossil Energy; $2,000,000,000 - Science
General Services Administration
$7,700,000,000 - Federal Buildings Fund; $600,000,000 - Energy Efficient Federal Motor Vehicle Fleet Procurement (no mention of buying only American cars)
Small Business Administration
$426,000,000 - Business Loans Program Account
Department Of The Interior
$500,000,000 - Bureau of Reclamation, Water and Related Resources; $325,000,000 - Bureau of Land Management, Construction (for priority road, bridge and trail repair or decommissioning); $300,000,000 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Construction (for priority road and bridge replacement and repair); $1,700,000,000 - National Park Service Construction; $200,000,000 - National Mall Revitalization Fund (half of that requires matching private funds); $100,000,000 - National Park Service Centennial Challenge (signature projects and programs); $200,000,000 - U.S. Geological Survey for Surveys, Investigations and Research; $500,000,000 - Bureau of Indian Affairs, Construction; $800,000,000 - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Hazardous Substance Superfund; $200,000,000 - EPA, Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program; $8,400,000,000 - State and Tribal Assistance Grants ($6 bln, Clean Water State Revolving Funds; $2 bln, Drinking Water State Revolving Funds; $300 mil, Title VII, Subtitle G, Energy Policy Act of 2005; $100 mil, Comprehensive environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980)
Department Of Health And Human Services (HSS)
$550,000,000 - Indian Health Service; $2,188,000,000 - Health Resources and Services; $462,000,000 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Disease Control, Research and Training; $1,500,000,000 - National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Research Resources; $1,500,000,000 - NIH, Office of the Director; $500,000,000 - NIH, Buildings & Facilities; $700,000,000 - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; $400,000,000 - Discretionary Funds; $1,000,000,000 - Administration for Children and Families, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance; $2,000,000,000 - Payments to States for the Child Care and Development Block Grant; $3,200,000,000 - Children and Families Services Program; $200,000,000 - Administration on Aging, Aging Services Programs; $2,000,000,000 - Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; $900,000,000 - Public Health & Social Services Emergency Fund (three parts for advanced R&D, prepare for influenza pandemic, improve IT at the Department of HHS); $3,000,000,000 - HHS Prevention and Wellness Fund
Department Of Education
$13,000,000,000 - Education for the Disadvantaged; $100,000,000 - Impact Aid (Title VII of the elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965); $1,000,000,000 - School Improvement Program; $200,000,000 - Innovation and Improvement; $13,000,000,000 - Special Education (ref. IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act); $16,126,000,000 - Student Financial Assistance; $50,000,000 - Student Aid Administration; $100,000,000 - Higher Education; $250,000,000 - Institute of Education Sciences; $14,000,000,000 - School Modernization, Renovation, and Repair; $6,000,000,000 - Higher Education Modernization, Renovation, and Repair; $79,000,000,000 - State Fiscal Stabilization Fund
Corporation For National And Community Service
$160,000,000 - Operating Expenses; $40,000,000 - National Service Trust
Social Security Administration
$900,000,000 - Limitation on Administrative Expenses
$150,000,000 - Facilities Capital
National Foundation For The Arts And The Humanities$50,000,000 - National Endowment for the Arts
Department Of Labor
$4,000,000,000 - Employment and Training Administration; $120,000,000 - Community Service Employment For Older Americans; $500,000,000 - State Unemployment Insurance and Employment Service Operations; $80,000,000 - Departmental Management; $300,000,000 - Office of the Job Corps
Department Of Transportation
$3,000,000,000 - Federal Aviation Administration, Grants-in-Aid for Airports;$30,000,000,000 - Federal Highway Administration, Highway Infrastructure Investment; $300,000,000 - Federal Railroad Administration, Capital Assistance for Intercity Passenger Rail Service; $800,000,000 - Capital and Debt Service Grant to the Railroad Passenger Corporation; $6,000,000,0000 - Federal Transit Administration, Transit Capital Assistance; $2,000,000,000 - Fixed Guideway Infrastructure Investment; $1,000,000,000 - Grants at the discretion of the Secretary of Transportation
Department Of Housing & Urban Development
$5,000,000,000 - Public & Indian Housing, Public Housing Capital Fund; $2,500,000,000 - Elderly, Disabled, and Section 8 Assisted Housing, Energy Retrofit; $500,000,000 - Native American Housing Block Grants; $1,000,000,000 - Community Planning & Development, Community Development Fund; $4,190,000,000 - Neighborhood Stabilization Activities; Community Development Fund; $1,500,000,000 - Home Investment Partnerships Program; $10,000,000 - Self-Help & Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program; $1,500,000,000 - Homeless Assistance Grants; $100,000,000 - Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, Lead Hazard Reduction
The idea that when the American people vote for the head of the Executive branch they thereby choose a CEO of Amerika whose judgment is never to be questioned is pernicious. Overthrowing that idea would be one giant step to removing the underlying cause of these recurring crises.