Day: August 24, 2011

What The Virginia-Atlantic Coast Earthquake Reminds Us Of: Emergency Expenditures And Need For Infrastructure Investment, Meaning Higher Taxes!

We live in a time when many Americans like to dream that taxes will NEVER go up, and that somehow, we can live within the national budget, even though most Americans are finding if difficult to live within their own family budgets in the present economic crisis.

The Tea Party Movement has co-opted the Republican Party to such an extent that the campaign pitch for the GOP Presidential field and Congressional Republican leaders is that NEVER will they agree to ANY tax increases under any circumstances, a totally insane proposition!

But the events of yesterday, the Virginia-Atlantic Coast earthquake, 5.8 on the Richter scale, the greatest in about a century on the East Coast of the United States, demonstrated that such a proposition will have to be abandoned, whether one likes it or not!

The earthquake affected people from New England down to Atlanta and as far west as Chicago and as far North as Toronto, and it did noticeable damage to the National Cathedral, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC.

Obviously, money will have to be spent to fix these sites in the nation’s capital, and anywhere else where there was damage, at public expense!

But also, nuclear power plants along the Atlantic Coast are seen as in great danger, as they are outdated and need to be modernized. Also, the earthquake reminds us of the poor state of much of the entire nation’s infrastructure–harbors, canals, bridges, tunnels, highways, rail lines–much of it built long ago and in desperate need of major repairs, and often new building requirements to deal with natural disasters besides earthquakes, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drought, volcanoes, rock slides, avalanches, and even tsunami threats!

This means we need to spend money on all kinds of public works projects, as we had done in the past, some of it with private investment included, but still with the absolute need for more public spending, which means more taxes, although it also allows for more employment, which could help to revive the American economy while dealing with real emergency situations!

Now the growing threat of Hurricane Irene, which is judged possibly to be the worst hurricane to hit the Northeast in many decades later this week, will add to the emergency spending crisis, and the need for infrastructure investment, but with the realization that MORE public spending will be unavoidable, no matter what the people of this country wish for!

Libya Success Proof Of Obama’s NEW Foreign Policy Being A Success!

The overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, even if Gaddafi himself is still at large as the author writes, is a triumph of major proportions for President Obama, and adds to his image of fighting against terrorism and international outlaws in unison with the international community, rather than going “Lone Ranger” as George W. Bush did in Iraq!

Despite all the critics who said Barack Obama was defying the War Powers Act, which he was not; and that the Libyan Civil War should not have been intervened in, as many Republicans declared; or the criticism that we had led from behind, rather than use our own air power and troops on the ground, as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman stated; Barack Obama did PRECISELY the right thing in working with the Arab League, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and with the full backing of his Secretary or State Hillary Clinton and his UN Ambassador Susan Rice in undermining Gaddafi, working with the Libyan rebels, and yet NOT committing ground forces or major American air attacks and spending large amounts of money on the involvement!

So not one person was killed who wore an American uniform; not one plane was lost; and only about $1 billion was spent on this crisis, by the latest estimate!

This outdoes the Kosovo intervention against Serbia in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, where no one was killed and only one plane was shot down and lost!

The Republicans may be unwilling to give Barack Obama credit, but his new foreign policy of collaboration with other nations has been a major success, and he deserves full credit for what has happened!

So even in the midst of economic troubles that the President faces, which threaten his reelection, one must hail the President’s outstanding record in foreign policy and ask again: Other than Jon Huntsman, what are the credentials in foreign policy of ANY of the other GOP Presidential candidates? The answer, unlike with John McCain in 2008, is ABSOLUTELY NONE!

So again, if the Republicans have any common sense, in more ways than one, they will make Jon Huntsman their Presidential nominee, and if so, Barack Obama will have some sleepless nights during the fall campaign of 2012!

Jeb Bush’s Advice To Republican Presidential Candidates: Stop Being So Negative About Obama And Offer Positive Alternatives Instead!

Jeb Bush, former Republican Governor of Florida, brother of former President George W. Bush, and son of former President George H.W. Bush, was on Fox News Channel yesterday, offering good advice to the Republican Presidential field: stop being so negative about Barack Obama, blaming him for everything, much of which is not his doing!

In other words, Bush said it is fine to criticize Obama on making the economic conditions worse, but do not use ridiculous arguments or attacks on Obama. Or as former Congressman Harold Ford, Democrat of Tennessee, said on MSNBC this morning, it is not appropriate to blame Obama for your coffee spilling or your children being sick!

Unfortunately, there has been too much reckless criticism of Obama since Day One, and all it has done is help make the opposition party look preposterous and lacking in substance. As Bush said, the candidates must offer POSITIVE alternatives and a real program of goals if they wish to be able to compete with Obama in the Presidential Election of 2012!

Without naming names, it seems obvious that Jeb Bush is sending the message of the Bush family that they are not happy with Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, not enthused about Mitt Romney, and most supportive of Jon Huntsman. This interview with Jeb Bush comes after his younger son, Jeb Jr, endorsed Huntsman.

And although he makes clear that he is not running for President himself, it still seems to many that Jeb Bush MIGHT enter the race if Huntsman cannot gain support, and if Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann seem likely to co-opt the race, since the Bushes clearly believe that either of them would be a disaster for the Republican Party!

As many have said, if Jeb did not have the last name of Bush, he probably would already have been running!

So his interview with Fox only adds more to the cauldron of Republican Presidential politics!