MoveOn Obama Budget

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

The mail arrived.  It was from MoveOn.org.  Overwhelmed with work, I thought to delete it.  I noticed the surname of the sender was the same as a friend of mine.  Only that [cosmic] coincidence led me to open the message and peruse.  I read Daniel Mintz’s words with interest, for he spoke of what I miss in the news.  Mister Mintz did not focus on the folly of a few executives at American International Group, Incorporated (AIG).  The representative  from MoveOn offered what is more real to me, an average American.

As we’ve seen with AIG this week, the powerful don’t give up their special treatment without a fight.  They’re spending millions on lobbyists to quietly kill the provisions that would make them help pay for America’s priorities. 1 And despite all the posturing in Congress over AIG’s bonuses, too many senators are still listening to the banking and insurance lobbyists on the issues that aren’t in the headlines.

So we need to speak louder than the lobbyists . . .

Today’s Washington Post calls it “a populist budget” 2 because it cuts taxes for most Americans while ending unfair tax advantages for the richest among us.  The best part is that it takes all the money we’ll save and invests it in critical national priorities that will help build and strengthen the middle class.

Obama’s budget gives tax breaks to working families instead of CEOs.  And it closes the tax loopholes for special interests that cost us billions, like:

  • The loophole that lets companies take tax breaks for sending jobs overseas.  This will save us more than $200 billion over the next decade. 3
  • The loophole that lets hedge fund managers pay a 15% tax rate on their income, instead of regular income tax like the rest of us.  That will save us more than $20 billion. 4
  • The loophole for big oil companies that gives them huge tax breaks even when they’re posting record profits, saving us more than $30 billion over the next decade. 5
  • The loophole that gives the richest Americans bigger tax breaks for their deductions.  Right now, a teacher who contributes $1,000 to the Red Cross gets a $150 tax break.  A Wall Street executive making the same contribution gets a $350 tax break. 6

Quality references were offered for each claim.  Research for me is more real than rhetoric.  Almost as an automaton might, as I read, I reached for the telephone.  I smiled at the thought that I might respond as directed.  I called my Senator in Washington, District of Columbia.

I was surprised when I heard a ring.  Too often, when I have attempted to connect with this individual Senator I receive a busy signal.  Bill Nelson is frequently busy, but it seems he does not always speak on my behalf.  His record on the issues that are most meaningful to me is as inconsistent as is my ability to speak with someone in his office.  I am; however, thankful that Senator Nelson, is at least closer to my truth than Senator Mel Martinez, of Florida is.

As the phone rang and rang, I wondered, would I only have an opportunity to leave voice mail.  No; a man answered.  He said, “Senator Nelson’s office.”  I shared with the gent as I later did with MoveOn.org.  Now, I offer what was said with any reader who might wish to consider.

In my conversation with Senator Bill Nelson’s office, I shared my name, address, and my serious concern for the constant distractions.  Rather than attend to substance, the need for green jobs, health care for all, quality education provided equally for our children, America cries of a discontent for bonuses.  While the ten percent of the AIG bailout bestowed upon the privileged in additional benefits may be important, for me, it is not the cause for my greater apprehension.  

Tax loopholes, the levees unpaid by the wealthy, the money held back without an approval of the Obama budget, I believe these are far more significant, if we are to create other than the economic crisis we now have.  I reminded the office worker, the last Bush budget proposed was for $3.1 trillion.  That submission did not include the supplemental costs of war we all knew were coming!  In truth, I am fascinated by a fixation that promotes falsehoods.  I think the Obama financial plan is far more restrained than George W. Bush’s expenditure ever were.  

The Senate associate listened, or so I hope.  He was extremely quiet.  He closed the conversation by saying he would pass my message on.  A perceived lack of enthusiasm on the part of the gentleman I spoke with leads me to wonder; can I or we believe much will change.

Please, if you have not already dear reader, as a concerned citizen, would you too call your Senators, Congresspersons, anyone and everyone who might have the power to help pass the Obama budget.  I offer a few ways to locate your Representatives.

References . . .

Build a Green Economy; Jobs Will Come



Green Jobs Now (by Free Range Studios)

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

The skeptics snickered; if man was meant to roam far and wide, he would have been born with wheels on his heels.  They said it could not be done.  Yet, circular tubes were made to ease travel on the ground.   Cynics sneered when someone said we might travel on water.  People would be born with buoyant blubber if they were intended to float and move with the flow of the current.  Rudders would protrude from our behinds if we were supposed to navigate the seas.  They said it could not be done; still someone invented a boat.  If people were meant to fly, disbeliever declared, humans would have wings.  Orville and Wilbur Wright did not accept that logic.  Travel to the moon; how absurd an idea.  Surely, the skeptics thought, if he was destined to soar to such heights, he would be physically able to propel himself far above the atmosphere.  Then, John Fitzgerald Kennedy set a goal and devised a mission.  Neil Armstrong took a giant leap for mankind.  Currently there is a cry for green energy.  However, doubters think the job cannot be done.

The costs are too great.  The technology too primitive.  Our conveniences would be lost and what of jobs.  If America or the world were to invest in other, more expensive industries, people would be put out of work.  Critics continually counter, we cannot endow renewable energy propositions.  There is no need.   Those who love life as it is believe there is an endless supply of fossil fuels.  Countless rely on the hope that conveniences will be preserved.  Humans know what they know.  People prefer familiar creature comforts.

Improvement is beyond a collective imagination, just as it was centuries ago, or in the more immediate past.  The prospect for progress is frequently limited.   Even scientists can be technicians.  Experts, often only explore within a realm of possibility.  Few feel a need to change.  Less see beyond the horizons.  

Certainly, the Earth is the center of the universe.  The planet is flat.  Electrical energy cannot be captured.  People cannot communicate through wires or even the air.

UN: Millions of green jobs to be created by 2030

By David Beard

Boston Globe

September 25, 2008 05:49 AM

Alternative energy technologies will create millions of new jobs in the next two decades, including 11 million alone in biofuels, according to a UN report.

Climate change and the efforts to reduce it already have created new jobs and investment — a process that will accelerate with the inevitable shift from fossil fuels to wind, solar, and geothermal power, said the UN Environment Program. Click here to see the agency’s summation of findings.

Among the findings:

  • Clean technologies are already the third largest sector for venture capital after information and biotechnology in the United States, while green venture capital in China more than doubled to 19 per cent of total investment in recent years.
  • About 2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone, and the potential for job growth in the sector is huge. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030.
  • Renewable energy generates more jobs than employment in fossil fuels. Projected investments of $630 billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs in the renewable energy sector.
  • Investments in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional 2 million-3.5 million green jobs in Europe and the United States alone, with the potential much higher in developing countries.

The BBC quoted the agency’s director, Achim Steiner, as saying a delay in transforming to a low-carbon economy it would “miss a major opportunity for the fast tracking of millions of new jobs.”

Granted, life as people know it to be today, might be different.  Recognizable employment opportunities may not be realized, or these may not be as is customary.  However, the careers created  will more than compensate  for what was, and the newer job scene will be clean.  The terminology, technology will be perhaps, a bit tidier, neat, and even keen.  There is a Silver Lining to Climate Change – Green Jobs.  In the United States alone, while slow to travel the path towards pure energy, in 2005, the environmental industry generated more than 5.3 million jobs.  This number is  ten times greater than the US pharmaceutical industry produced.  In this nation, it is well-known people desire more drugs.  Doctors prescribed and the public pours millions into miracles cures, at least those ingested into their bodies.  Yet,  imagine;  a less  traditional task creates a more significant need for people power.  Perhaps, if we build this field the financial rewards, the environmentally friendly effects, and employment will come.

If people believe, they may wish to encourage a bequest.  Write to a Representative.  Submit a statement to those who have power of a political sort.  Use the computer that did not exist only decades ago to do a deed that would have been impossible to achieve tens of years ago.  Click and communicate with Members of Congress.

Dear Elected Officials . . .

I’m ready for Green Jobs Now.

I urge our elected officials to invest in creating millions of green jobs by repowering America with 100% clean and renewable electricity within 10 years. We can create new pathways out of poverty and curb global warming at the same time. We will do this by retooling our factories, rebuilding our communities, and repowering America with clean energy. ??

Signed,

Please remember the words of Spanish Philosopher and Writer, Miguel de Unamuno.

“Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.”

Renewable Sources for Energy and Information . . .