Was it ironic that CNN went right to the polls once Obama stopped speaking, Jindal said his – erm, opposition piece and the polls all showed that people were still happy with what Obama said?
I don’t think so – although I was disappointed with Jindal, the rising ‘star’ of the Republicans. That I do find tainted with irony – he is – well – not white – he has a similar but not same story as Obama and to add to that he said exactly what the right-wing wanted to hear – drivel as usual.
What I did watch with close scrutiny was that earlier I had heard, like so many, that Obama would be spending and cutting to bring the deficit down by half by the end of his first term. That really got me thinking as to how he will do it.
America, like so many industrialised nations, have so much waste it is unbelievable that we, the general public, put up with it. You don’t have to be a Republican to know that waste is a real cash plughole where money just flows out through either just incompetence or fraud. I know where I think most of it goes, but that is the cynic in me.
The president struck an optimistic tone, asserting that “we will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”
Obama focused on the three priorities of the budget he will present to Congress later this week: energy, health care and education.
The president said he sees his budget as a “vision for America — as a blueprint for our future,” but not something that will solve every problem or address every issue.
“It reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited — a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession,” he said.
Obama said his administration already has identified $2 trillion in government spending cuts that can be made over the next decade.
Indications as to where Obama is going to go with capping this waste was made in such things as telling John McCain that he doesn’t really need a new, multi-million, helicopter.
But what I did like about the speech was that Obama isn’t going to just stop at what he has already achieved – he is going to attack that waste – or I hope he is.
And one area where that waste is most prevalent is in the US’ military budget – not the everyday running – but with such things as:
McCain and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the cost of 95 major weapons systems — ships, aircraft and armored vehicles — have ballooned by a total of 30 percent in recent years, to about $1.3 trillion. The senators announced an effort, including legislation, to rein in that spending and tighten Defense Department oversight.
$1.3 trillion! You cannot imagine near a trillion in the stimulus – but this waste has been going on for years! That money could insure each American with healthcare for years!
McCain and Levin singled out the Navy’s planned construction of Littoral combat ships, a class of small vessels designed for coastal operations, for particular criticism. Levin said the ships are “way beyond” their projected construction time of two years, and the program has grown from a cost per ship of about $220 million to more than $500 million, according to a November report from the Congressional Research Service.
“We can’t have a ship that’s a small ship that’s supposed to be built in two years run completely out of control to double or triple or quadruple its original cost estimates,” McCain said.
Now that McCain – and some of his fellow Republicans – have shown that they can see the problem the president has they can get over their fascination with tax cuts for the rich and be really bi-partisan with the up coming budget and help Obama get that deficit down?
I do hope that they can. Obama can reach that goal of halving the deficit while increasing spending – you simply have to get rid of that waste! And to do that the Republicans have to be more co-operative and bi-partisan.
That can save trillions of dollars – literally.