Winning the Future? Or Buying it With Your Money?


President Obama gave his State of the Union speech last night, and in it he said he wanted to “win the future.”  Great emotional appeal to the American people.  Only one problem, though.  The president seems to think that government is the only team that can win the future. 

Government.  The same government that can’t seem to perform its basic duties at a reasonable price, or efficiently operate without multiple levels of beaureaucracy.  That’s why the government has Amtrak, which hasn’t made money in at least the last ten years, and probably much longer than that.  The same government that pays $800 for a hammer.  The same government that can’t even stop fraud by welfare recipients.  Are the these the people you want to trust your future to?  I certainly don’t. 

The president used the word “invest” instead of “spend” last night a lot.  He really meant “spend.”  Even after the last two years of his “stimulus” spending not getting Americans to work, he is staying on a course that will lead to ruin.  He and his Democrat buddies are still pushing the idea that 3.1 million jobs were “created or saved,” but won’t be intellectually honest and say how many jobs have been lost.  It’s about 7 million or so.  Dennis Cucinic (D-OH) appeared on Greta Van Susteren’s show a couple of nights ago and kept with the talking points.  He kept with the class warfare and the nonsense about jobs “created or saved.”  Obama has taken credit for bringing us back from the brink of depression.  The truth is that he has done more to slow economic recovery than to help the economy grow.  The TARP funds, which I hated, and still do, did more to rescue the country from recession than Obama has.  Of course, Bush did hurt the economy with expansive spending.  But the Democrats in the house and senate refused to do anything to investigate Fannie and Freddie.  But that’s all beside the point.

Don’t be fooled by the president’s ideas of stimulating the economy by spending money to develop green energy or high speed rail.  These ideas are bad for the country. 

First of all, green energy is nowhere near where it needs to be to get us off of oil by itself.  The reason for that is that the private sector hasn’t yet figured out a way to make money on green energy.  President Obama last year stood at the doors of a factory that makes solar cells.  The company in question took billions of dollars in government subsidies to make their product.  Fast forward one year later, and the company that makes these cells has had to lay off workers.  Even with the infusion of taxpayer dollars on technology that clearly has a long way to go, the company cannot turn a profit.  I wonder if a private sector company not depending on government money would have the same problem.  They wouldn’t, because their businesses survival would depend on their productivity and efficiency.  If they couldn’t make a profit, they would close down.  Not so with the government picking winners and losers.  The incentive to be profitable isn’t as big or as fast as it would be if the government didn’t help out companies they thought should be winners. 

Next, high speed rail.  This is a union thing.  If the government starts building rails and trains for a high speed rail system, who would do the work?  That’s right.  Union labor.  And who would ride these rails anyway?  As Neal Boortz put in on his radio show on Monday, who is going to drive their car to the train station, pay to park it there, buy a ticket, ride the train, rent a car at the other end of the line, do their business, then perform the whole thing in reverse to go back home?  Why not fly if you have to go through all that?  And, would these trains become like the NYC subway trains?  Canvasses for street artists?  A place for weirdos and sexual predators to hang out looking for a victim?  A target for terrorists?  Besides, these “high speed” rails that have been built here in the US aren’t all that fast.  A rail line in Wisconsin averages 37 miles an hour.  Doesn’t sound cutting edge to me.  People want to compare Japan’s high speed rail system to one that might be built here.  Only one problem.  We aren’t the same as Japan.  Our cities aren’t that close together.  Japan has its population stacked on top of each other.  They need rail service to keep the cars off the roads.  And they are broke, too, by the way. 

It’s telling, too, to mention words the president didn’t use.  He used “freedom” one time.  And that was to describe other countries, not ours. 

The government cannot “win the future.”  We will have to do it.  We the people.  That means private citizens.  Private companies.  He wants to out produce and out educate the rest of the world.  Not without tax reform and getting rid of the Department of Education.  And teacher’s unions.  He did say he wanted to reward good teachers, and hold bad teachers accountable.  Ouch.  That’ll hurt.  The teacher’s unions are dead set against this kind of accountability. 

One last thing here.  Don’t believe that this freezing spending for five years will do a damn thing.  The CBO says it will save $400 billion over ten years.  We are $14 trillion in debt.  Do the math.  It’s a start, but it’s not going to have any real impact.  Not unless the government takes some serious looks at ways to cut costs.  Here’s an idea, and it’s no my own idea, but it’s a good one.  The government should go through the salaries of government employees and put these salaries on par with the private sector.  If a mid level manager makes $50,000 a year in a fortune 500 company, a mid level manager in the government should make the same amount of money.  Not four times as much.  That would save billions every year.  Especially if, during the process of going through the salaries some of these positions could be eliminated.  That would save money too. 

The freeze also doesn’t affect mandatory spending.  Social Security and Medicare are not to be touched.  This spending is sixty percent of our current spending. 

But don’t worry.  I’m sure the president will follow suit after his role model, Bill Clinton, and cut defense spending.  That is where most of Clinton’s savings came from, allowing him to claim a surplus of funds that never really existed.  Sleep tight, America. 

The president will continue to try to buy votes with your money.  And not your votes.  That’s the only way he can “win the future.”  Although one more dead speech like this one and he may not have any chance at all to win anything.

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