jump to navigation

What Would You Do?. October 24, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: ,
6 comments

My local Public Radio station, WAMC out of Albany, New York, has a daily “Morning Poll Question” which listeners are invited to call in and answer.  Sometimes the questions are light or whimsical, about favorite movies or favorite moments, and sometimes they’re topical, about where people stand on political or social issues.

Today’s question was something like, “What should the first priority of the next President be?”

I liked the question.  It was polite and unassuming, yet it demanded that you step forward and state your position.

The first few callers made their cases for Job One, but I was busy at work and missed the gist of their ideas.

Then a woman called and said, “If I were President for a day, I’d…”

Her answer involved making a list of objectives, short term, medium term and long term, and prioritizing them, and then getting all of the important things started, recognized and codified, so that long term goals would be pursued through subsequent administrations.

It sounded like a very practical, “management style” approach, and seemed very worth considering.

But I was more interested in her perspective, in her rephrasing of the question, to “If I were President…”

Kinda gets you thinking, doesn’t it?  About what your first priority would be if you were President.

Think about it, and get back to me on that.

A Matter Of Priorities October 31, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: ,
14 comments

On October 22 of this year, our current misAdministration submitted to Congress a request for another $45.9 billion in war related spending. This, if approved, will bring the total expenditure on The Iraq War to the obscene figure of $611 BILLION.

That’s $611,000,000,000. Closing on two-thirds of a Trillion dollars.

Meanwhile, the T-word elicits eye-rolling dismissals from the pundits on The Reicht who poo-poo these totals as Chicken-Little Quackery being foisted on the Good People of America by Lefty Islamo-Fascist Sympathizers.

Assuming for a moment that these figures are, at a minimum, true (some costs are doubtless sequestered away deep in the shadows within the Orwellian Machine which has replaced our Legitimate Government,) why should we care? Truth be told, We The People will pay for very little of it.

That onerous task will fall to our children, and our children’s children. Because, you see, we’re borrowing that money from China.

The trouble is, my children never signed for this loan; they expect to be kinda tied up repaying the astronomical costs of their college educations and struggling to afford their sky-rocketing mortgage payments and health care costs. And if you came right out and offered them this Illegal War of Aggression for the bargain price of $611 billion dollars (and counting,) I have a pretty good idea of where they’d tell you to stuff your idiotic idea.

I’m betting your children wouldn’t sign for it either.

So the pResident reaches his greasy mitt (hey, is that a coincidence, or do I detect a pattern here?) into the breast pocket of his plaid sport coat and produces a sheaf of fine print filled with obfuscations and disclaimers and hands Congress a Collective Pen (“Don’t worry ’bout a thing, Kid, I’ll take guuuud care of ya!“) and after the requisite pissing and moaning from the Dem’s side of the aisle, they sign it (trust me, it’s a Done Deal.)

Six Hundred Eleven BILLION dollars and counting.

Do you ever wonder what part of that will come from your community?

Do you ever wonder what else you could pay for if you were to borrow that amount?

Well now you can stop wondering and look it up. The National Priorities Project, a non-profit entity headquartered in Northampton, Massachusetts, has done a tremendous amount of good work compiling and analyzing the relevant facts and figures to give us answers to these semi-mind-boggling conundra.

For instance, My Little Town (population 1,358) will contribute a proposed $900,000 in FY 2008. That’s about $663 for each man, woman and child. And since The Progeny aren’t going to contribute substantially to the total (just yet,) it looks like I just signed off on a loan for $1,988. And that’s on top of the $7,500 I borrowed to pay “Our Share” through FY 2007.

Good thing I had my dick shortened back in ’95.

So let’s say The Good People of Massachusetts had agreed (we did not!) to sign off on these loans through FY 2007. What other sorts of things could we have secured for ourselves and our neighbors and our children?

How about health care for 3,752,224 people?

How about 190,930 new elementary school teachers?

How about outfitting 20,093,811 homes to run on renewable energy?

The National Priorities Project Federal Budget Trade-Offs Page has lots of such “what-ifs” to ponder, allocated amongst many, many municipalities, counties and every State. I’m grateful to have this information as grist for the discussion mill, and hope that by sharing it around the ‘Sphere we can better make the case for moral government and the rule of law through the evocation of fiscal sanity.

True Conservatives, after all, care about such things.