Duane gets it exactly right

We built this and it built the Southwest

Duane Graham has a very insightful post on the Obama Speech over at The Erstwhile Conservative (for those of you who don’t know him, he’s in Joplin and wrote very movingly of the devastation that city suffered from the tornadoes a few months back.)

He liked this part of Obama’s speech (and I agree – it had real power):

OBAMA: We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  Founder of the Republican Party.  But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad — (applause) — launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges.  (Applause.)  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.

Ask yourselves — where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports?  What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges?  Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill.  Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?

How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip?  What kind of country would this be if this chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?  (Applause.)  How many Americans would have suffered as a result?

In his own voice, Duane adds:

Recently I heard a story about the eventual deterioration of important National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites, which provide stunningly accurate forecasts of major weather events.  In its Tea Party-inspired wisdom, Congress has more than cut in half the funding for the maintenance and upgrading of those types of satellites.

What a small country we are becoming.  We struggle to pay for weather satellites, for God’s sake.

A post and discussion downstream touches on the same subject. Here.

10 responses to “Duane gets it exactly right

  1. Over at the Dog….

    The Regular GOPer’s have turned deaf, dumb and silent….

    That means Obama has scored…..

    What GOP Debate????

    Like

  2. james, I was afraid that the ‘scheduling’ kerfuffle was going to detract from the substance of the speech. But after hearing it, I take it back. Very good speech. The tone was pitch perfect.

    Like

  3. I have been reading your recent posts with admiration. I am afraid to speak my mind when it come to politics so I’ll just say “…yeh, what she said!” Great posts!

    Like

  4. where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways, not to build our bridges, our dams, our airports?

    So. There is a disconnect in statements like this.

    For a long time I’ve mowed my own lawn. I’ve been single, then married without children, a rather slow job and then now, a busy father of 2 with a very demanding job.

    While I acknowledge the lawn needs mowing, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the one that NEEDS to mow it. I provide better value to my family by doing the core things a husband/father/son/brother is supposed to do.

    I see government that same way.

    Should the government see that we build roads and bridges? Sure. Does that government have to be the one that builds them? Nope.

    Schools? Hell yes we need schools. Does the government need to be the one that actually does the educating? Surely not. There isn’t anything about government that qualifies it for better education.

    Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the G.I. Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?

    This concept seems to be the bread and butter of the Liberal. What better way to demonstrate to the Conservative that state sponsored “soshulizm” works for the vets.

    But this isn’t that. The G.I. Bill is form of contract. It IS a contract. It says, if you do this and that thing, I’ll compensate you in this and that way. The fact that we choose to pay our soldiers in education doesn’t mean that we are somehow not capitalists, it means that we see that compensation for services rendered is a valuable thing.

    Far be it from some state mandated “take from the rich and give to the poor”, it’s the very validation of capitalism.

    What a small country we are becoming. We struggle to pay for weather satellites, for God’s sake.

    What would happen if we just put the bid for a satellite out to the market?

    Like

    • pino – goverment usually DOESN’T do the work on construction projects (except during hte depression when workers were sometimes hired directly). It allocates the funds, puts the job out to bid, hires a private contractor who does the actual building. Or sometimes it’s a direct grant to the state or locale, who hires the contractor.

      I twice worked for small specialized governement contractors – one for a umnique kind of battery and one for comjposing and printing Navy manuals. In both case, the work came to us via the bidding process and in both cases there was a single gov’t employee on site – just one – to coordinate with the contracting agency.

      Satelite? Military aircraft? Weapons? Built by private contractors. (maybe not satelites)

      So what’s your point?

      Like

  5. Ms. Holland,

    No one is say that weather satellites are not worthy. The point is the Federal Government has been overspending and hard choices have to be made. And just constantly raising taxes on the rich or anyone our liberal masters have chosen to demonize this week, is no longer an automatic option .

    Like our local teachers . In good times and bad times , for decades they got raises and just raised our property taxes even when some of us had our incomes cut in half. Then they hid behind the children and ranted about how we did not care about education .

    If these cuts are made now, in the future when the economy gets better and tax revenues increase because, now the pie is bigger again, we can shoot up more satellites .

    Being unwilling to recognize reality in the present, will cause Greek style cuts in the future. NOAH can then get their satellite code in Chinese.

    Like

  6. Ms. Holland,
    Thank you for the correction. With all of the flooding in my state, I was thinking of the other Noah.

    Like

  7. Pingback: “…just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do…”- President Obama « Love it or Leave it!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s