American Elephants

President Obama spoke to Congress tonight, trying to stir up some optimism. by The Elephant's Child
February 24, 2009, 11:50 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Health Care, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

I watched President Obama’s speech to the Congress tonight, and I thought it was surprisingly ineffective.  This was to be the optimistic speech, celebrating America and the way forward. An upbeat speech instead of his usual gloom and doom trying to scare Americans into accepting his policies for the economy.

AP’s Ron Fournier’s pre-written article on Obama’s speech said:

Barack Obama is giving America the audacity to hope again.  After describing the U.S. economy in the grimmest of terms for weeks, a rhetorical device that helped propel his $787 billion stimulus plan through Congress, the president used a joint address to Congress to tap the deep well of American optimism — the never-say-die national spirit that every president tries to capture.  And great presidents embody.  “We will rebuild.  We will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,” Obama says in an address echoing Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

We are in the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and there is no doubt that we will triumph.  Just as soon as the stimulus and the new lending fund, and the housing plan to help the folks who can’t pay their mortgages kick in, and we bailout the banks, American ingenuity will make all well again, because we cannot saddle our grandchildren with our debts which were all caused by that nasty previous administration anyway.  Or something like that.

I am troubled about the policies on which he is placing so much expectation. He promises to double the energy we get from renewables.  We now get about 3.1% of our energy from all renewables.  If we double that we will get 6.1%, which is not going to make a big dent in the foreign oil we import, nor will it cut down the energy we get from coal.  In Europe even the Greens are turning to nuclear. Russia’s turning off the gas spigots enlightened a few minds.

He promises vast savings from computerizing medical records, but studies show that Veterans Administration computerization is actually endangering patients, and elsewhere medical records are completely open to identity theft. The expected savings have not materialized.

He seems to believe that nationalizing health care will create vast savings in the cost of medicine in spite of the evidence of every other country, many of which are trying to find ways out of nationalized care.  It doesn’t work, in spite of every effort, and the savings come from rationing, cutting out the use of new and innovative (and expensive) drugs and treatments.  I would feel more comfortable about this if Congress did not exclude themselves from whatever plan results.

Obama announced that he plans “soak the rich” class-warfare economics, to loud cheers from the Democrat side of the aisle.  Repeating the same old failed policies of the past are not a road to an economic Utopia.  Been there, done that, and it still doesn’t work.

I would be delighted to be proved wrong, but I find little about which to be optimistic.

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