But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy..--Barack ObamaI appreciate Obama's charisma. Even more, I appreciate his message and theme that we are not Two Americas, but One. It is so easy to tear down and divide; I believe that Obama wants to unite and reconcile.
But I couldn't help but wince, frequently, during his speech, when he talked about the problems of Americans. Because a lot can be traced back to the failures of government.
Where is the source of inflation, unemployment, falling home prices? Could it be our government policies of extending mortgages to people who cannot afford them, so that now, the credit markets have ground down to a near halt, and monetary policy which has reduced the buying power of the American household?
And why would we want to isolate and protect ourselves from the global oil markets? Producers send us a prized commodity in exchange for little pieces of paper. We are not utilizing all of our reserves, but even if we did, what would the price of gasoline be if it could only be refined from domestic crude? $15/gal? $25/gal?
And that will still be cheaper than energy from current wind and solar technologies. Until there are some huge breakthroughs there, I'm a fan of exploiting nuclear and geothermal energy--but those require big capital expenditures up front, which will divert trillions from, what? Social Security and Medicare?
Opting out of the oil markets could quadruple our current unemployment rate. Forget losing a third of our wealth to meet the European standard; we could end up a lot closer Mexico's GDP per capita levels.
There were surpluses under Bill Clinton, yes. But he cut 1% of GDP out of the defense budget, which would equate to $500 billion in today's terms. Take that away; no surplus. And what would have happened if the 1993 WTC bombers were treated as enemies rather than criminals, and Bin Laden was apprehended in Africa in 1998, instead of being a diversionary tactic during Lewinsky-gate? What if Jamie Gorelick, Clinton's appointee, does not successfully build the wall between the FBI and CIA and prevent terrorist intelligence operations (her mandate was to prevent the investigation of illegal foreign donations to Clinton and Gore).
Maybe 9/11 doesn't happen.
We do need change, Senator Obama. I hope you can bring it, if elected. I don't think McCain will bring it, given his legislative track record. (But at least he has one).