Friday, November 13, 2009

A quick kudos to President Obama ...

assuming the following is true: ["After spending binge, White House says it will focus on deficits"].
Since I'm always criticizing the president for the clueless and inept things he does, let me be a bit positive here. This is a great idea. In fact, I'll go one step further: Mr. President, have government agencies propose three budgets - a spending freeze, 5 percent cut, and 10 percent cut. I mean, imagine, if you cut the Defense Department budget by 10 percent, you're talking $70 billion right there! That's 10 percent of the TARP money! That's a lot of cash. And the country will be just as safe as it is now. Trust me. This is just the start. Taming the federal government beast will not be easy but it has to be done.
In addition, I would add, that now may be the time for some creative revenue enhancements to pay down the debt. For example, I and others have consistently stated that there should be a very tiny tax on Wall Street transactions. When I say tiny, I mean like a fraction of a penny or even a penny. This will raise hundreds of billions of dollars and will never be seen by 90 percent of the American public. Just do it already. Use that money to end the deficit and pay down the debt and big done with it. Sure, the Republicans will go apeshit and attack you or the Democrats for raising this tax. But I can tell you that I and others will watch your back if you do this. Someone really needs to stick it to the Wall Street man already.
I'm also glad to read the "cap and trade" may be delayed. This is a good idea, I think. Despite what everyone says, cap and trade isn't needed. We are already doing a lot to address climate change. And there are many other ways to address the issue without taxing the people or putting manufacturing at risk. Here are just a few:
First, all the climate change activists need to stop globe-trotting all over the world, lecturing people, and spewing pollution into the atmosphere. Every time I see all those folks in Davos, flown there on their private jets, lecturing me about my electricity use, I want to scream. Stop traveling. Use all the great technology we have to do remote lectures about climate change.
Another is to plant more trees. This is something simple and easy we can all do. It is something Al Gore recently recommended as a way to significantly reduce carbon dioxide. Trees devour carbon dioxide. If for every tree that was cut down, another two were planted, we would be well on our way. In addition, at the same time we're all trying to cut down on energy use, if we all planted new trees each year, it would make a difference. It's true. As the Arbor Day Foundation states, "Plant a tree for your tomorrow ..."
There are enough tax credits now for alternative energy, although there should be more work on this front. There is a market for alternative energy but the key is cost. Very few people right now can afford solar panels even with the credits. More should be done to subsidize this maybe with another 10 percent cut in the defense department budget or something. We wouldn't have to fight wars for oil or natural gas pipelines now would we?
We also need to rid the world of the concept of "free trade" which is a lie and pits workers in one part of the world against workers in other parts of the world, creating unrest, economic hardship, and chaos. The prime global economic concept should be micro-economies, where each country produces goods and services for itself and trades anything that is leftover. This will limit the pollution of transportation of goods AND raise incomes and economies up to the first world level. Right now, we're in a race to the bottom instead of raising the boats up. This will stabilize the world and reduce pollution on a massive scale.
And lastly, desalination plants must be built everywhere, starting in areas in need of clean drinking water, in an effort to turn potentially rising sea levels due to ice caps melting. The fresh water can then be piped into areas that need it. It would be no different than the efforts to bring wired phone lines and Internet to different parts of the world. This is a total no-brainer and yet the greatest minds of the climate change movement haven't thought of it - they are too busy lecturing us about our computer use while blowing through all kinds of energy themselves. Imagine for a second if the world spent less money on military weapons and more money on this effort. Hey, GE will get the money either way, since they are the main company building desalination facilities and also building military items. Fresh water piped into areas that never get it could be used to grow food in regions that have never had farms, further lowering pollution caused by the shipment of food products from one part of the world to the other.
It must be done and must be done now.

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