INVITATION TO PARTICIPATION

Dear Pres Barko Bama:
 
Good job, there Sir.  Good job on the first coupla days in office . . . lifting clouds of suspicion & paranoia that have surrounded our gov’mint for the preceeding 8 HY. 
 
Allow me to comment on the proposed Bailout Budget appearing on my Yahoo Home Page.  Just a few thoughts.  I know I’m just a dog & all.  Just sayin’:
 

We need some kind of guiding bidness document to sort out & direct us going forward so we don’t continue to burn money like we actually had it.  A National General Plan . . . if you will.

 

The first thing that needs to be done is draw an Urban Limits Line around the perimeter of existing urban infrastructure.  No development beyond what exists today.  Plenty of in-fill land available.  No growth inducing development.  No more speculative, if-you build-it-they- will-come construction.  A moratorium on urban sprawl will not hurt anyone’s pocketbook at the present since there is no development occurring anyway.   

 

The proposed budget contains some of the Elements of a General Plan.  A moratorium will provide states time to assess their current status and develop goals and objectives for where they want to go & how they plan to get there in the short-, medium- & long-range time frames.  This information can be compiled in DC so we can stop throwing good money after bad & invest in our country and in our future.  The information is readily available if we just focus.

 

In a National General Plan, the Education and Health Care Elements proposed in the bailout budget seem reasonable and can stand alone.  We can no longer afford to view health care and education as entitlements.  Health Care and Education are investments for a healthy labor pool and an informed electorate.

 

Housing  (copied from the Yahoo article of 1/21/09, OK9 comments in Italics)

What You’ll See:

$6 billion to weatherize moderate income homes, making them more energy efficient.

 

More from Yahoo! Finance:

How to Prepare Your Finances for the Obama Era

How Technology Can Slash Your Monthly Bills

Earn Nearly 4% on Your Cash


Visit the Banking & Budgeting Center

$4 billion for homeowners to take up to 30% of the cost of conservation measures as a tax credit, up to $1,500 per person.  There needs to be consideration given to water conservation.  Millions of gallons could be saved with at-the-tap hot water devices that should be retrofitted into existing structures & a requirement for all new construction occurring in in-fill areas because we don’t want to encroach on the Urban Limit Line.  & don’t forget, people will be employed to manufacture & install conservtion measures.

$300 million for consumers to replace old appliances.  Perhaps appliances should be built with an expiration date.  They must be replaced within 5 years of purchase to keep up with evolving technology.  They should be priced accordingly & manufacturers should consider trade-in for recycling in their business plan.  More jobs.

$500 million to help rural families secure mortgages.

For Those Living in Public Housing:

$16 billion in energy retrofits and improvements.  Jobs.  Jobs.  JobsPerhaps some of the funding could come from bank bailout funds last seen swirling down the black hole of Executive Bonus Packages.

Transportation

What You’ll See:

$30 billion for highway and bridge construction projects.  All highway & bridge projects should be evaluated against the Urban Limit Line to stop encroachment into habitat necessary for other life forms to flourish & to contain development within existing infrastructure capacity.  No growth inducing development funding with bailout money.  .

$10 billion for mass transit, including new lines, buses, trains and stations.

$3 billion to expand congested airports.

$1.15 billion for better land and sea ports including better port security & inspection of incoming cargo.

$4 billion for more police officers and equipment – best watch the speeding!  A lot could be done with electronic surveillance without intruding on personal privacy.  Perhaps patterned after the German Autobahn.

$500 million for better airport screening detectors

 

Personal Transportation Element:  Why continue to build cars which have to be given away to get them off the lots?  Auto bailout money should be directed toward building basic transportation vehicles to be distributed to people who can’t afford to purchase a new vehicle every other year & get old smokers, clunkers & basket cases off the road & improve air quality.  Auto Bailout money could be wisely applied in this area.  While auto makers are retooling for this project, auto workers can be occupied combing DMV records to coordinate the distribution of the basic transportation cars to get workers to/from the millions of jobs that are going to open in the green fields.  If they can build a car with computers, workers can use computer skills in other areas. The aforementioned old smokers, etc can be retrieved & recycled.  There’s nothing in the Constitution that guarantees a new vehicle with all the bling & whistles & the present auto production system is failing anyway.  We would do well to emulate the Japanese model of auto ownership.  In order to keep auto technology current the fleet should turnover every 5 years.  Special exceptions can be made for collectors but that’s another topic.  Autos should be recycled by trade in.  Dismantling for reuse should occur on-shore.   If we can facilitate the turnover of the TV fleet we can facilitate the turnover of the transportation fleet for cleaner safer vehicles.

 

Other Infrastructure Improvements

What You’ll See:

$31 billion to modernize public buildings, making them more energy efficient.

$3.1 billion for improvements on public lands, including new roads, trails and facilities at national parks.

$6 billion for broadband Internet access in rural areas.  Before shutting down analog TV, we should make sure that every citizen & voter has access to TV transmission.  Everyone that needs one should be provided a converter box.  There should be no black out areas.  Many citizens/voters only source of news & information is the TV.  We want an informed electorate.


$400 million for flood control efforts, which include buying and preserving open land around the country.  Amen to that one!

$6 billion for communities to replace aging sewer lines.  & water systems & drainage lines.

$4.2 billion for towns to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant homes.  Bank accounting books should be opened and scrutinized by regulators.  All the foreclosed & banks owned homes & buildings should be weatherized, old appliances replaced & green energy systems retrofitted on all properties at the expense of the banks, who have, after all made plenty of money on the resale of existing homes over many years & received unaccouteded-for bailout fumds.  Then the houses can be placed on the market for sale under new loan & banking guidelines that do not prey upon the borrower.

 

$32 billion for a "smart" utility grid and renewable energy production, although in the long run this could change the way you use appliances at home and clean the air.

$10 billion for science research facilities.  1 research project that seems fairly obvious is to find inexpensive energy for sustainable individual construction so that buildings can become the equivalent of the Personal Computer generating some, if not all of their own energy.  A centralized power grid makes all buildings vulnerable to energy black/brown outs & at the mercy of the energy provider to keep the grid operational.  Surely people left without power for days at a time in cold climates would benefit from a de-centralized energy grid.

 

Waste Management & Recycling Element (& this is merely a suggestion)

We can no longer afford to view land fills as NIMBY necessary evils.  They are as much a resource & infrastructure consideration as bridges, highways & clean water.  A Waste Management Element would consider the state of our land fills & how much space remains to be filled.  We can no longer afford a Use-it & throw-it-away way of doing business.  We need state & local recycling plans that interface with each other and offer individuals & businesses options to recycle that don’t just wind up sending our junk offshore for other countries to break down & reuse & pollute over there.  Pollution is not & never was a local issue.  The costs of waste management & recycling must be considered as a line item above the bottom line for any reasonable & realistic bidness plan.

 

(Again, this part is merely a suggestion) Small Bidness Assistance Element  Small bidnesses that depend on small 1 stroke & 2 stroke engines, like for instance Landscape Maintenance Providers, should be provided clean, fuel efficient tools to conduct bidness.  Electric lawmowers & leaf blowers.  Lawn equipment produces a large amount of air pollution & the price to operate is never certain.  All obsolete lawn equipment should be retrieved & recycled. 

 

I know.  Kind of a lotta words.  But it seems, suddenly words really do mean something in the light of day.  For all my BFFs that think a transparent White House is too good to be true, I urge you to go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/ .  It’s a Participatory Democracy like never before so participate.  We put the link on GrandSire’s desktop.  He’s still a bit skeptical.

 

OpalK9 OTJ

 

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