It’s time to tear apart some of these Republican myths, and in just one paragraph of Bobby Jindal’s speech we saw many:
While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a “magnetic levitation” line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called “volcano monitoring.” Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.
So let’s start at the top.
$300 million to buy new cars for the government.
Are these some sort of magical cars that grow from the Cadillac tree? Just following the news that Detroit is in trouble says that this is good news. And will these new cars be more fuel efficient than the current fleet? If so then that will also save the government and us money in the long run. So we will be putting people to work, or keeping them in work, and maybe saving the government from the wasteful spending that goes with gas guzzling vehicles. And saving on that gas guzzling also helps wean us from foreign oil. Isn’t that something Bush pushed for?
$8 Billion For High Speed Rails
Yes that is in the bill, but it does not state that any or all of the money goes for this line from Vegas to Disneyland. That is something the Republicans are pushing in order to making jabs at Harry Reid. There is people who want that rail, including Harry, but there are people who want other rails – including the former Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama.
This country has been left behind in high speed rail. Take a quick look at the Eurail which intertwines Europe. For very little cost you can travel from one country to another over high speed rail. People can live in London and work in Paris. The rail is high speed and makes such commutes possible.
Now think of what that would do to our country by opening up more job markets and greater ability for commerce. Spending money on this high speed rail is the equivalent of Eisenhower’s plans for the national interstate, which was also billed for defense. Eisenhower gave us a quicker way to transport troops and gears from one part of the nation to the other. If we took that kind of design and innovation and ended up with a high speed rail that would employ Americans across the country for years to come as they build then man this rail, we could end up looking at America in a different light. Someone living in New Orleans could easily have a job in Houston. A person in Detroit could find work in Chicago. Getting troops from around the country to places like a hurricane disaster could be much faster.
To me and many others in this country, $8 billion is only the start of what we need to spend on high speed rail. They are more eco-friendly and a much faster way of traveling. This investment is highly welcomed. It also provides Americans and tourists a chance to travel when gas prices sky rocket. And anyone with any common sense knows that tourism is a great economic booster.
$140 million for volcano monitoring
The annual budget for NOAA is around $4 billion. Perhaps the governor of Louisiana thinks we should also save money by dropping that? There are estimates of up to 150 active volcanoes in the United States. While most are confined to Hawaii, the west coast and Alaska, there are still other ones spread throughout the country. Spending money to learn how these unpredictable things work is investing in America’s well being, just like the millions spent over the years to study hurricanes lead to the unheard warnings of Katrina. Understanding our planet is key to our survival. Could you imagine a major natural disaster like a huge volcanic blast in the continental United States during these economic hard times? It would be far more devastating than if it happened a couple of years ago. So finding ways to predict and forecast these things is important, not only to our economy but also to our national security.
Now that I have gone through that one paragraph of Jindal’s speech, did you notice a theme there? Everything can be tied to national security. Not only that, but two of the items can be tied to Hurricane Katrina. So is Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of the state still devastated from a hurricane, actually complaining about spending money on national defense and warning systems that can save lives when disaster looms? It sure appears he is.