Saturday, December 6, 2008

President-Elect Obama to Invest in Roads, Schools and Energy Efficient Public Buildings or "How I Spent $1 Trillion on a Failed Public Works Program"

View President-Elect Obama's weekly radio address.

(First things first: Can we wait until Obama has been sworn in before we start comparing him to Eisenhower, Kennedy, Lincoln, FDR or any other President.

The Key Points:

  • ENERGY: “[W]e will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work.”

How much will this cost? How many people will it take to screw in a light bulb? Sounds like a great theory but changing light bulbs? The government does have a blank check. Can we prioritize our expenditures?

  • ROADS AND BRIDGES: “[W]e will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money.”

Keep in mind the latest government building project -- The Capitol Visitors Center -- cost $350 million OVER BUDGET and about 4 YEARS BEHIND SCHEDULE. The point is that government money typically is wasted through bureaucratic channels.

Obama's "use it or lose it" threat to the States will be difficult to manage because of this exact kind of waste, bureaucracy, corruption and mismanagement.

  • SCHOOLS: “[M]y economic recovery plan will launch the most sweeping effort to modernize and upgrade school buildings that this country has ever seen. We will repair broken schools, make them energy-efficient, and put new computers in our classrooms. Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.”

Every Federal effort to improve education (including President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act) has produced little to no impact. Again, what is the cost? States and municipalities need to figure this out.

  • BROADBAND: “As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m president – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.”

Internet access is a choice. Not a right. It is not a taxpayer's responsibility to fund his neighbor. Let the cable, Internet and ISP companies figure this out through FREE MARKET ENTERPRISE and COMPETITIVE CAPITALISM! People have a choice to spend their money on technology. It is not "every child"s right. Come on, Barack!

  • ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS: “In addition to connecting our libraries and schools to the Internet, we must also ensure that our hospitals are connected to each other through the Internet. That is why the economic recovery plan I’m proposing will help modernize our health care system – and that won’t just save jobs, it will save lives. We will make sure that every doctor’s office and hospital in this country is using cutting edge technology and electronic medical records so that we can cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help save billions of dollars each year."

Mr. Obama has lost us here. Again, a great theory but the cost to update the technology across the board for the health care system (hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, pharmacies, etc) is seemingly astronomical. Not to mention something we call the Patients Bill of Rights. Obama would not even release his own medical records on the campaign trail, now he wants EVERY AMERICAN'S HEALTH INFORMATION STREWN ACROSS THE INTERNET?

These are all wonderful proposals from the President Elect but they are unrealistic. When President Eisenhower initiated the Interstate Highway system we were not in an economic crisis. The amount of spending that has been proposed by Congress and Obama lately totals somewhere over $2,000,000,000,000 (trillion).

Lots a whole lot of ZERO!

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