Saturday, February 7, 2009

Formula For Catastrophe

At a taxpayer-funded retreat - in a resort that many of us could never personally afford - in Williamsburg, VA on Thursday, President Obama gave a speech to the assembled democrat Congressional Caucus in which he mentioned the word "catastrophe" in relation to our current economic woes. Once upon a time - oh, say, any time in the past eight years - that word was poison to democrats. Once upon a time they referred to such jargon as the lexicon of fear, often with dripping malice. My, how the political landscape has changed in just a few short weeks. The landscape that we once cherished at a gaze as beautiful and wondrous has begun to show signs of rapid decay. Democrats have taken over and well,...there goes the neighborhood.

So intent is this new president on his vision of redistribution of wealth that he embraces the ideologies of his advisers blissfully, and the majorities in both houses of congress are more than happy to push the sled. While I wail about the lack of actual stimulus in the "stimulus package", Robert Reich, Obama's economic adviser, had a hearing on the Hill designed to address such concerns. I was happy to see this but like any Louis Farrakhan sermon, it started out well and finished miserably.

Reich expressed his desire to see the stimulus monies go toward infrastructure, something with which I wholeheartedly agree, but then he stepped off the curb and was hit by a figurative bus. Watch what he says in the video below:

Forget the racial or class struggles; what of the most qualified people doing the work? Democrats blamed Bush for the Minnesota bridge collapse despite the fact that the state ended the year with a huge budgetary surplus. Does Robert Reich now suggest that we hand taxpayer money over to people who simply need a job to fix or build critical structures on which people depend everyday? Who shall bear the burden of culpability in the event of a major collapse if these neophytes pour the wrong concrete mixtures, use not enough rebar, not properly tighten an I-beam bolt?

Certainly, there will be experienced overseers and quality control people with expert knowledge of the processes, but what will the cost overruns be with laymen performing the work? How will such companies bid competitively under those circumstances? Proper planning is key to controlling costs, and no one in the fledgling administration seems to get it. And they are in too much of a hurry to try.

Perhaps even more chilling are the comments by Charlie Rangel, in response to Reich. Any states-rights advocate who watched the video above is probably convulsing right about now. He suggests that state governments need to be bypassed and the governors forced to succumb to the whims of the U.S. Congress. Forgive me, but that is NOT how the Founders set up our government, for as affectionately as we refer to our country as simply "America", we are still the United States of America. Each state is sovereign with a quasi-binding, gentleman's agreement to adhere to a loose set of rules on the national level.

This administration and its allied congress seek to undo all of that. That is a formula for catastrophe.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Inhdeed. And the notion of not white men, brings a vision to mind of what started all of this trouble in the past. Not white men alludes to Mexican, Chinese, and even blacks. This is more than class warfare, it is pure hatred and I am furious.

Years from now some historian will be sitting in the dark trying to figure out why white men did what we are about to do. What that is is not very clear, but you can bet that nothing will get fixed until we do it. White men will fix this by working and paying taxes. We are still the majority and we are still in control. I hope this sounds racist and bigoted. At least the response to it will clearly show who is offended and we might begin to understand why.