Sunday, March 08, 2009

Obama's Plans

President Obama's plans for America are immense, scary huge, encompassing the financial markets, healthcare, energy, infrastructure and education. That's good, because they have to be.

Newt Gingrich, on Meet the Press today, called it "radical." It is. It has to be.

Some say Obama should concentrate on the economy first. They are fools that miss the circle of life, the intertwinededness of it all, that requires a systemic change in several sectors to be successful.

Healthcare reform can fix the economy by saving us a trillion dollars a year. That's the amount we spend over that the industrialized nations that have universal health care spend. The way to work this into the market is for the government to offer a policy that costs less than the shysters of medical service brokerages charge businesses today. Business owners will jump on that bandwagon in a heartbeat and lead the way to universal healthcare becoming the norm by way of attrition among the Anthem/Blue Cross/etceteras of the industry.

Energy reform works on two levels: government spending now to create jobs that boost the economy plus taking us off the foreign oil addiction. Cleaner air, too. This policy has the greatest chance of continuing our economic freedoms into the next century.

Education is the future of our nation. The government needs to take education spending to a higher point at all learning levels and in all neighborhoods. The colleges need to spend some of their holdings (Harvard has, what, $60 billion in endowments!?!) and parents need to step forward and get involved - again, in all neighborhoods. A works program of young teachers learning that career would go far.

Which leaves the financial markets. Never let it be said that capitalism didn't take the bailout. They took it, alright, and it looks like they'll keep taking it for a while. I'm disgusted by it, know it wrong, but also know that this is how big business runs - get income from whatever source is available, pay it out to as few people as possible, run when done. Unfortunately, we're stuck with this one with the only question remaining of "When will it be enough?"

Capitalism doesn't work without controls, heavy controls. Libertarianism doesn't work either, the environment would be gone if they'd been running things the last 50 years. Socialism doesn't work either, it stifles the creative/greed of man.

We need something new, and that is what this administration was voted in to bring. By sweeping the old ways out the door and implementing programs that build the economy while building for the future, by replacing energy and healthcare systems that are the robber barons of the day with sources that commoditize and control costs for the people, the Obama administration - with the help of your senators and representatives - hopes to turn the tide not just of the past 8 years, but the past several decades.

There's guilt to go around, for sure. Both sides of the aisle are to blame. But there is the greatest of evidence to show that the GOP policies of lower taxes, higher debt, freedom of markets, and social conservatism did not work, will not work, and need to be chucked under the bus.

We're moving forward. Let's roll.

For a beautifully written personal sense of what it is to live in California's "Inland Empire" these days, a really nice piece by Susan Straight in today's L.A. Times can be found here.


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