When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

A Sputnik Moment and No Rocket Ship

In Weekly Rant on 26/01/2011 at 20:09

Editor’s Note:  Our new Associated Content articles are up.  Be sure to stop by for a look and read my tribute to my old friend, the legendary Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet, who sadly lost his long battle with MS last month.

On the heels of two lackluster State of the Union addresses, one from a president who for the life of him cannot seem to get his head around the concept of jobs; and another from a congressional whiz kid without a clear, concise antidote for runaway spending, tea party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann took both to the woodshed last night.

As one might have expected, President Obama was full of grandiose (unfunded) goals for the remaining two years of his administration and beyond.

“We do big things. 
From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream.”

Here’s the analogy:

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs. 
This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.

An unfortunate choice of words, since our astronauts are now dependent on the very nation we beat in the race to the moon all those decades ago for our rides into space. And, I hasten to add; we actually had some money in the bank in 1961.

But Barack didn’t let that stop him.

We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people. 
 Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy.

By contrast Bachmann hammered away at the President’s madcap spending and regulatory mania, taking a shot at Obama’s predecessor along the way.

After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the $410 billion spending bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don’t have.

Deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama’s direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion-dollars.

What did we buy?

Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s healthcare bill.

Paul Ryan fairly summed up the fiscal situation, while carefully avoiding the massive entitlement programs and top-heavy bureaucracies that suck up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a day like a Hillary Clinton paper shredder.

But as Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel of The Daily Caller aptly pointed out today, if America is in the fix Ryan suggests, then earmark bans and congressional pay cuts, not even a freeze on discretionary, non-defense spending will begin to bring the nation back to solvency.

Understandably, Bachmann did not speak of large-scale bureaucratic slashes last night. Had she have been so bold, Democratic and Republican pundits and politicos alike would have been all over the airwaves suggesting involuntary commitment.

What Bachmann did do effectively, however, was attack the very policies that Obama has created to exacerbate our current national crisis, suggesting:

The President could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system.

The President could support a Balanced Budget Amendment.

The President could agree to an energy policy that increases American energy production and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

The President could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years, many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more.

And, the President should repeal ObamaCare and support free market solutions like medical malpractice reform and allow all Americans to buy any healthcare policy they like anywhere in the United States.

We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators.

America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.

Bachmann’s suggestions, if taken, would roughly move America back to the pre-Obama-tax-and-spend juggernaut and give the country a breather from his ridiculous “green” energy policies that continue stifle job growth.

The next step—and again as Carlson and Patel note—must be wide-scale slashing of entitlements. After that, we would do well to eliminate the departments of Energy and Education, and those are just for starters.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell would be well advised to have a long sit down with tea party Republicans, before going forward from here. Tea party Republicans like Bachmann and Rand Paul have their fingers on the pulse of the nation.

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