Sunday, January 25, 2009

1 Leg of a 3-Legged Stool

"The recovery package that we're passing is only going to be one leg in, at least, a three-legged stool," said Obama. "We are also starting to put in place the kinds of reform elements - oversight, transparency, accountability - that's going to be required in order for the American people to have confidence in what we're doing."

A few preliminary highlights from Obama's recovery package:

The NYT said the Obama administration plans to tighten the U.S. financial regulatory system, including stricter rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers. The broad changes include increased oversight of the complex financial instruments that helped spawn the current economic crisis, the newspaper said on its website.

--- Tightening the regulatory system and adding extra oversight was supposedly done after the 1980s S&L crisis and various sundry corporate scandals. Maybe it will work this time. What's that you say? Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

Oh look! Paul Volcker, one of Obama's chief economic advisers. I'll be damned Bubba. Paul Volcker, the same guy from the Reagan era and S&L crisis. Come on Toto, close your eyes, there's no place like change, there's no place like change.

Obama used his first weekly radio and Internet video address as president to press the case for quick passage of the economic recovery plan. Saying more people filed for unemployment this week than at any time in the past 26 years, Obama warned joblessness could hit double digits and the economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity if nothing was done. --- $1 trillion short of its full capacity - what the hell does that mean? It means you can expect your taxes to rise to cover 1 trillion in spending. Not more taxes on the rich, but for items that Joe Average spends on: Gasoline, diesel fuel, utilities, tobacco, alcohol, consumer taxes, your county, city, state, and property tax will rise. Expert advice now, as it was in the 1980s: Clip coupons, car pool, shop secondhand stores.

'If we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse,' he said. Obama hopes to sign an economic recovery plan into law within a month. --- He must do it quickly before the peasantry catch on to these scare tactics.

The White House posted a four-page report on its website,, on Saturday outlining the impact of the stimulus plan. Aides said the report began to put 'meat on the bones' of Obama's previously stated goals.

President Obama believes that if we do not act quickly, this recession could linger for years – and America could lose the competitive edge that has served as the foundation for our strength and standing in the world. That's why the President has put forth an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will jumpstart job creation and long-term growth.

--- Huh? We were told in the 1980s that because of overpaid workers and skyrocketing benefits the US had lost its "competitive edge" on the world stage - US companies had to seek cheap labor in order to compete. We've been jumpstarting job creation for the past 80 years. Obama says he will create millions of jobs that cannot be outsourced. He's counting on construction jobs, as presidents before him have - as if there aren't enough ghost malls across the country and gazebos, and bridges and roads to nowhere. This is a trillion dollar pork barrel.

Highlights of The Obama Plan:

* Doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years. --- Alternative energy is approximately a little less than 1% of all energy use - so Obama wants to up that to about 2%. Okay, so what does that mean? It means, the government will increase taxes to raise money to cover investment and production of solar power, wind power, wave power, biomass power, and other alternative energy sources - none of which are priced competitively with gas and oil, therefore those few wealthy dabblers and electric car celebs who can afford alternative energy will be given tax credits and those "green" corporations will receive tax incentives and probably government subsidizing. And you my little paychecker to paychecker will help make up the difference by paying more tax on gas, oil, coal.

* Modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills. --- This means some of your higher tax will give millions to slum lords to improve their rental property with a little spray foam insulation and/or some new windows, which will be done by crony contractors. A few low-income homeowners may slip in and get some foam and windows. This type of home energy retrocrap went on under both Reagan and Clinton, usually in cahoots with HUD. I'm sure Chicago building contractors are drooling over this one. Modernizing 75% of federal buildings sounds like most of the money is going to the bosses offices. We've "modernized" federal buildings before, about every decade.

* Making the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized, to improve care and cut costs. --- This means part of your higher taxes will be given to physicians and hospitals and clinics for new computers; supplied by crony contractors and overpriced. I live in Podunk and all the clinics/hospitals have medical records computerized. Does the government want all medical records linked into a national database, similar to the FBI's IAFIS system? Your care will not improve with Dr. Plentymoney's new computer, and maybe doc will cut costs by firing file clerk Wendy. The health care industry is a huge porker.

* Equipping tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries. --- Again, crony contractors and inflated material cost. Johnny Jetson can barely read but he will get a few minutes access every school day to a new Dell with Vista.

* Expanding broadband across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world. --- This is one of my favorites. I'm a small business owner in a rural town and cannot compete with my counterparts in the world because they work for 75% less money. But, to be fair, a lot of tech companies are going to appreciate it, i.e. Verizon, SBC Communications, Time Warner, Comcast.

* Investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries. --- Ahh haa, viva Viagra and government pet rocks. Or more science, research, and tech to keep up the funding for folks like:

Lockheed Martin Corp
The Boeing Company
Northrop Grumman Corp
Raytheon Company
General Dynamics Corp
Bae Systems PLC
United Technologies Corp
L-3 Comm Holdings, Inc.
Saic, Inc.
Kbr, Inc.
McKesson Corporation
Computer Sciences Corp
Bechtel Group, Inc
Navistar Defense LLC
United States Government
Macandrews & Forbes
ITT Corporation
Bell Boeing Joint Project
General Electric Company
Humana Inc.
Los Alamos Natl Security

But remember folks, this bold new plan is swift, transparent, it's oversight, it's accountability, it's change, it's like no package any president has ever promised or tried before, and you can be confident ... it's ... it's ... it's a stool (double entendre).

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