We must vote for those candidates of any party that reflect these values: hard work, self-determination, smaller government, fiscal responsibility and honesty. Look to the character of anyone you chose to support. Their past does matter if they haven't learned from it. Their personal life is as relevant as their public one. We must be able to trust those who will be advising and leading us on what our country must do next. -Glenn Beck

Friday, June 19, 2009

Obama's Health Care is Not the Answer

A few weeks back, a friend invited me to go down to an NBA playoff game. He had tickets to a box suite. We ate prime rib and crab while we watched the game, and then sat and watched the second half from our cushioned leather box seats.

My friend guessed that our box tickets to this game were probably worth $250, but that for this particular game, they could have probably been sold for more like $1000. We had no idea, because the tickets had been given to them by his brother's employer. The ironic thing is, that had I been paying, I would have gotten something from McDonald's Dollar Menu and watched the game on TV. But the story always changes when it's somebody else's money.

This phenomenon isn't uncommon. I've been to a fair number of dinners with clients, and it's always seemed funny to me how freely people spend when they have the corporate credit card.

This tendency is the reason that universal health care simply cannot work. It's not that conservatives wouldn't like for everybody to have completely free health care -- If it were possible, we would be the first in line. But we have the disadvantage of being grounded in reality.

FREE LUNCH

Liberals used to speak of free health care. But that was too deceptive, even for them. It is not free. Just like my playoff game, somebody is paying for it. If there is one group of people in the world who will not work for free, it is doctors. They have been conditioned to feel that they deserve $75 for a 5-minute visit to prescribe some antibiotics after all the investment they put into school. Sadly, it seems like fewer and fewer people get into the medical profession because they want to help people, and more and more simply see the dollar signs.

The liberals now speak of it as "Universal" health care. The intention is noble. Again, most liberals have big hearts. There are many people who can't afford health care, and we ought to do our best to help these people. But we need to look at why health care became unaffordable in the first place.

CHA-CHING!

There is a major problem in the current health care system. The costs of health care are out of control. Have you ever looked at an itemized bill for a hospital visit? My wife recently had a C-section, and as I reviewed the bill, I realized that we had paid $2 per each 800 mg Tylenol. The actual half-hour surgery cost thousands of dollars.

How did the prices get this way? Insurance is supposed to provide for unforeseen circumstances. We buy car insurance in case we get in an accident. We buy life insurance to take care of our family in case we die unexpectedly. But we do not then intentionally get in a wreck or jump off of a cliff.

Insurance should not be for teeth cleanings and baby deliveries and prescriptions. These are things we expect to happen. But somewhere along the lines, people started buying insurance to cover these types of things.

MONOPOLY

When you buy a TV, you shop around and look for the store that will sell you the TV at the best price. When was the last time you shopped around for the best price on a cast for a broken bone?

Insurance has given everybody access to the corporate credit card. For the most part, we don't even look at the prices. We just pay our deductible and our co-pays and don't worry at all about the total cost because the insurance will cover it.

I love college football. Have you ever noticed the price for a bottle of water inside a college stadium? Why can they charge three times as much in the stadium as they could at the gas station across the street from the stadium? It's because there are limited options.

What if another vendor started selling water for $0.50 per bottle inside the stadium? What would happen? Everybody would obviously buy from the new vendor. What would Vendor #1 have to do to compete? They would have to lower their prices. Competition drives down price. So what does the lack thereof do?

The person who is insured doesn't hold the hospitals accountable. The insurance company cares to some extent, but they are detached from the situation and don't find out about the claim until after the service has already been performed. They are content as long as they are turning a profit, and they accomplish that by continually raising premiums.

So year after year, the doctors and hospitals have been working in a veritable monopoly, charging $2 for a single 800 mg Tylenol when you can buy a bottle of one hundred 200 mg Tylenol for $10 at the local drug store. But we don't worry, because we just have to pay our deductible and then it's the insurance company's problem.

At this point, it is financially impossible for any average American to pay for health care out of pocket. If the average American can't afford it, what does that say about the poor?

GESUNDHEIT!

While the idea of providing health care for those who cannot afford health care is noble, government will only exacerbate the problem. There is not a government agency on the face of the planet that runs efficiently. The government is like a big black hole that sucks in all money in its path.

My son got what appeared to be his first cold a few days ago. My wife and I debated on whether to take him to the doctor because of the simple $25 copay. After a little Internet research, I realized that there was nothing the doctor could do for him because he is so young. But my wife decided to take him, and the doctor told her there was nothing that they could do for him because he is so young. We paid our $25 copay. The insurance company will likely pick up at least another $50 for the 5-minute visit. If we were paying the $75 out of pocket, we wouldn't have gone (unless his symptoms got worse, obviously.)

What will happen if health care becomes free? There would be no reason not to go in for a doctor's visit. The number of patients increases, and the number of people paying decreases, and the doctors charge the same amount. What will happen? Somebody will have to foot the bill, which means taxes will have to increase.

DEEP POCKETS

Any liberals reading might be saying, "So what? We just tax the wealthy more. Done."

The problem is that this removes even one more layer of accountability. Who is going to complain if a Tylenol goes up to $3 per pill? It's the "government"'s money. Prices can (and will) increase, because of the lack of competition. The black hole will continue to expand, and we will have to keep funding it.

THE IDEAL

So what is the solution then? It does no good to complain about something if you can't offer a better solution.

Ideally, we would completely reform the health care industry. Not through regulation -- But through competition. We would all simultaneously raise our deductibles to somewhere in the neighborhood of $5000 to account for truly unexpected emergencies. Premiums would be completely affordable at a couple dollars a month. And then we would shop for the best value (quality & price) for any health care within reason.

Hospitals, dentists, and pharmacies would be forced to reduce their prices in order to compete with other hospitals, dentists, and pharmacies. Since everybody would be spending their own money, they would be a lot more careful about heading to the doctor for unnecessary care. The decrease in demand would force the health industry to lower prices even further and raise quality to draw customers in.

The medical field would feel a little pain as their salaries came back down to reasonable, but that would only help to filter out those who are in it only for the money, which would leave only those who truly wanted to help people.

Prices would drop to the point where the average American could afford to pay cash for health care. And for the truly poor, we would handle that the same way we handle taking care of the homeless -- Charitable donations (with incentive to contribute through tax breaks.)

THE SOLUTION

That would be ideal. But doing so would take a coordinated effort, so it's not likely to happen without government regulation, forcing people to do it. And it's not the proper role of government to tell people where to set their insurance deductibles.

So what is a realistic solution? A well-known conservative, much smarter than myself, with proven business and management savvy, and with a record of reform, has a tried solution that works and moves us closer to the ideal:

The answer is unleashing the markets -- not government

Given the fact that 8 states are now seeing record unemployment thanks to Obama (who is still blaming the previous administration every chance he gets two quarters into his administration and then tells us we haven't reached rock bottom yet)'s economic policies, we have reason to be skeptical that he has the answer to health care.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Case in Point: Michael Moore & GM

Dealers facing tight supply of SUVs, trucks

So how exactly is manufacturing more small cars going to help GM financially...?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Batman Is a Conservative

I watched The Dark Knight last night. This is the second time I've seen it, but it struck me even more than the first time that this movie is a great (and likely purposeful) analogy for the world we live in. In fact, I think what makes it such a great movie is that it hits home for all of us.

But I'm curious to know how many liberals watched The Dark Knight and thought Batman was acting correctly. I've posted briefly on this subject before, but watching the movie has re inspired me.

SOME PEOPLE JUST WANT TO WATCH THE WORLD BURN

There is a great part in the movie where Alfred tells Bruce Wayne the following story:

ALFRED: "I was in Burma. A long time ago. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders, bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. We were asked to take care of the problem, so we started looking for the stones. But after six months, we couldn't find anyone who had traded with him.
"One day I found a child playing with a ruby as big as a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing the stones away."

BRUCE: "So why was he stealing them?"

ALFRED: "Because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money... they can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with.
"Some men just want to watch the world burn."

You can't reason with Kim Jong Il. You can't reason with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. You can't reason with Osama Bin Laden. Just like you couldn't reason with Adolf Hitler or Saddam Hussein. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

If Batman were a liberal, he would have apologized to The Joker for other superheroes treating the mob bosses so poorly in the past and set up a peace summit with The Joker to discuss how the mob bosses and Gotham could get along better.

IF I GET HIM TO YOU, CAN YOU GET HIM TO TALK?

Another great part in the movie is when Mr. Lau, who launders the money for the mob bosses in Gotham, has escaped back to his safe-haven in China. He tells the mob bosses:

"As the money is moved, I go to Hong Kong. Far from Dent's jurisdiction. And the Chinese will not extradite one of their own."

Gordon and Dent realize the same thing as they meet to talk about what to do about all of the money that has been hidden. Batman then says:

"If I get him to you, can you help him to talk?"

Then, in one of my favorite parts in the movie, Batman goes to Hong Kong and steals Lau from his safe-haven and brings him back to the U.S. There was no warrant, no negotiation with the Chinese government to try to bring him back, and Dent threatened Lau with his life (by telling him he would lock him up at county) in order to get him to talk. And he agreed.

If Batman were a liberal, he would have had the police try to work through the Chinese government to get Lau back while Lau provided the ability for the mob bosses to function at home. And Lau would have stayed at China, because they don't extradite their Chinese nationals.

If Al Queda, who is seeking to do harm to the U.S., is in Pakistan, and the Pakistani government won't cooperate, we do the same. We go there and take care of the problem. We fight terrorism wherever it is. If Iraq is a safe-haven for terrorists, we move in. Afghanistan? The same. If there are people who we have intelligence on (just like Bruce Wayne got to look at Lau's books) that are seeking to do us harm, we detain them.

The Geneva Convention protects our troops from torture by foreign countries. But the Geneva Convention is for soldiers who wear identifiable clothing and come out in open war. Al Queda is not a country and does not abide by the Geneva Convention. The debate over waterboarding is silly when Al Queda beheads innocent civilians for no reason. Waterboarding is mild compared to what they would do and have done to our troops. Saying "pretty please" does not get the information needed to save lives -- Waterboarding does. We act civilly with civilized people.

THIS IS HOW CRAZY BATMAN'S MADE GOTHAM

A little later in the film, you'll remember that The Joker releases a video of a Batman impersonator he's caught. After forcing the captured individual to read the message, The Joker says:

"This is how crazy Batman's made Gotham. You want order in Gotham? Batman has to go. So... Batman must take off his mask, and turn himself in. Every day he doesn't... people will die. Starting tonight. I'm a man of my word."

If Batman were a liberal, he would have taken off his mask. (In fact, he is tempted to do just that until Harvey Dent steps in.)

Batman didn't make Gotham crazy. The reason Batman ever came into existence was because Gotham was already crazy. We didn't create terrorism by anything we did. As I mentioned in the previous post, what did we do to Al Queda to provoke 9/11?

Al Queda would have us believe that the deaths in Iraq and elsewhere are coming as a result of our being there, and people have a natural tendency to want to stop the deaths. How many more Americans would have died had we not taken the fight there? We can't give into the demands of terrorists because of fear.

If Somali pirates capture a U.S. ship, we take them out. It's that simple. Obama actually got this one right. We do not negotiate with terrorists. We don't let fear control our actions, or the terrorists win.

BEAUTIFUL, ISN'T IT?

The most obvious (and likely blatant) analogy in the film comes toward the end as Lucius Fox discovers that Bruce Wayne has built a machine that gives him the ability to "see" the city by using sonar through cell phones.

BATMAN: Beautiful. Isn't it?
FOX: Beautiful. Unethical. Dangerous. You've turned every phone in the city
into a microphone...
BATMAN: And high frequency generator/receiver.
FOX: Like the phone I gave you in Hong Kong. You took my sonar concept and
applied it to everybody's phone in the City. With half the city feeding you sonar you can image all of Gotham. This is wrong.
BATMAN: I've got to find this man, Lucius.
FOX: But at what cost?
BATMAN: The database is null-key encrypted. It can only be accessed by one
person.
FOX: No one should have that kind of power.
BATMAN: That's why I gave it to you. Only you can use it.
FOX: Spying on thirty million people wasn't in my job description

Batman then points to a TV screen to see The Joker saying "What does it take to make you people want to join in...?" as he tries to turn the citizens of the city against each other.

If Batman were a liberal, this machine never would have been built in the first place. The two ferries would have been blown up, and the Joker would still be roaming free in the movie. Ultimately, it was this device that allowed Batman to save the hostages and locate the Joker. And after that mission was accomplished, the machine was destroyed.

Conservatives value privacy as much as anybody. But we understand that desperate times call for desperate measures. And measures such as the Patriot Act allow us to protect ourselves against those who would seek to do us harm. There has been a lot said about this over the years, but this power has ultimately made us safer.

THAT'S THE SACRIFICE HE'S MAKING. NOT TO BE A HERO. TO BE SOMETHING MORE.

There are many more analogies, but I'll just touch on one more. At the point where Batman is about to reveal his identity to stop The Joker from killing innocent people, Harvey Dent steps forward and identifies himself as Batman. Rachel is astounded that Harvey would do that and that Bruce Wayne wouldn't stop him. Alfred again says something profound:

RACHEL: Why is [Bruce] letting Harvey do this, Alfred?
ALFRED: Perhaps both Bruce and Mr. Dent believe that Batman stands for something more important than a terrorist's whims, Miss Dawes, even if everyone hates him for it. That's the sacrifice he's making- to not be a hero. To be something more.

I believe President George W. Bush will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents this nation has ever known. The illogical hate that people have for him makes absolutely no sense.

Politics are dirty, but I have never seen a President in my lifetime take the kind of abuse that George W. Bush has taken. And he takes it humbly, without defending himself. He could have saved his popularity rating by taking polls and doing what was popular. He could have gone on late night talk shows and done comedy skits and blamed everything on the previous administration long after he took office to gain popularity.

Instead, he did what he knew needed to be done in order to make this country safe. And he took a railing unparalleled in modern history for it. He didn't try to defend himself by showing that hundreds of chemical weapons have actually been discovered in Iraq. He didn't schedule prime time news conference after prime time news conference to explain why he was doing what he was doing.

He and his administration put their heads down and pushed forward with what they believed was the right thing to do and didn't let unfavorable poll numbers deter them from that path. And nobody can dispute that we have not had a terrorist attack on American soil in almost 8 years. NEWS FLASH: It's not because Al Queda wouldn't love to attack us. It's because they are using all their resources to try to defend themselves, as tens of thousands of the taliban have been sent to Allah.

THE END

The Dark Knight is only a movie, but we live in a world with people like The Joker who would love to see the world burn. It seems comical to me that anybody who loved the movie and thinks Batman was justified in everything he did could turn around and bash George W. Bush for his policies.

Personally, I think Batman and Bush would get along just fine.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama & Ahmadinejad: If you were President, what would you do...?

IRAN

Earlier this morning, President Obama stated in a speech given in Egypt that "any nation, including Iran, should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

This seems fair, right? Why has the U.S. made such a fuss about Iran having nuclear weapons anyway? First, let's check out a map of the Middle East:



Then, let's review some of the things that Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said about Israel (which sits within missile range of Iran):


  • "Our dear Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khomeini) said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."

  • "Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken. Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation."

  • "You should know that the criminal and terrorist Zionist regime which has 60 years of plundering, aggression and crimes in its file has reached the end of its work and will soon disappear off the geographical scene."

  • "The Zionist regime has lost its raison d'ĂȘtre. Today, the Palestinians identify with your name [Khomeini], your memory, and in your path. They are walking in your illuminated path and the Zionist regime has reached a total dead end. Thanks to God, your wish will soon be realized, and this germ of corruption will be wiped off."

  • "The Iranian nation never recognized Israel and will never ever recognize it ... But we feel pity for those who have been deceived or smuggled into Israel to be oppressed citizens in Israel."



I don't see why we would be worried about Iran having the technology to destroy an entire nation...

Conservatives believe that the U.S. has a responsibility as the world power to use that power to maintain order in this world we share. The entire world has benefited by the generosity of the U.S. The U.S. has never used its power to conquer and expand.

After World War II, we helped to rebuild Germany and Japan and other nations that had just sought to destroy the U.S. A quick Google search just showed that the U.S. gives an average of $18 billion per year to other countries in foreign aid, asking nothing in return.

What other nation in the world would do that? What if Germany had won in World War II? How would they have used that power? What if Russia had won the Cold War? What would our world be like? What if Iran was the world super power? The U.S. does not act out of self-interest.

IRAQ

"Hey! -- What about the unjust war in Iraq? Bush lied, people died!"

How many more Iraqis would have been raped, killed, and tortured if Saddam Hussein were still in power? Even Barack Obama agreed in his speech: "Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible."

The U.S. did build diplomacy. They went to the United Nations. They did everything by the book. The U.N. inspectors were denied access in Iraq. If the inspectors had been able to do their job and nothing was found, the U.S. would not have attacked Iraq. Everybody at the time (including yourself, if you're being honest) thought Saddam Hussein had WMDs (and likely did)... especially when he wouldn't let the inspectors in.

Let's think about this logically. Why else would we attack Iraq other than to protect ourselves? For oil? Why haven't we taken a drop of oil then? It makes no sense. Just like in Japan and Germany, we quickly handed back control in Iraq to the native people. If the Iraqis told us to pull our troops out tomorrow, we would leave.

EVIL

The U.S. has used its power well to maintain order in the world. The world is better off because this great nation exists. We need to continue to protect countries like Israel who has done nothing to provoke these threats from Iran.

Allowing Iran to have nuclear capabilities would be like taking Dawenette Knight, who stalked Catherine Zeta-Jones (and even said in a letter, "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs"), and saying "Alright -- If we give you a backstage pass and a knife, you have to promise you won't kill anybody. Okay? Promise?"

One stark contrast I've observed between conservatives and liberals is that liberals believe that if we are just nice to everybody, everybody will be nice to us. They don't seem to believe that true evil exists in the world.

To those people, I ask: What did the U.S. do to provoke the 9/11 attacks? What could we have done different to appease Al Queda so that they wouldn't have attacked us?

If there were a button that Osama Bin Laden could push right now that would wipe the U.S. off of the face of the earth, he would push it in a heartbeat. Even if we said we were really, really sorry for being infidels.

What Obama and liberals need to understand is that evil does exist, and that no amount of pandering and apologizing will change that. The U.S. needs to continue to make this world safe for all inhabitants.

If you were President, what would you do?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Michael Moore & GM

Something astounding happened today: For a brief second I thought Michael Moore and I agreed on something. Then I read another paragraph or two of his column.

I know I'm beating a dead horse on the auto bailouts and nationalization, and I hadn't planned on posting any more on the subject. But what I just read changed my mind. I believe that this column by Michael Moore exemplifies everything that I've spoken about in my other posts on the topic.

Michael Moore is a liberal and represents many of the liberal viewpoints. He says many of the things that liberals only think. His viewpoints come from the extreme left, where President Obama's viewpoints lie (according to his voting record.)

Here is a link to the column that Michael Moore wrote this morning in response to the government takeover of General Motors:

Goodbye, GM ...by Michael Moore

(For length's sake, I won't go through this paragraph by paragraph. I'll just hit the highlights.)

I'll start with the paragraph that made me think for a brief second that we actually shared a common point of view. Moore starts out talking about what has happened to his hometown in Michigan as GM has fallen apart. He talks about some of the things that led to the downfall of GM, and we almost agreed until he said that GM "was hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of workers for no good reason other than to 'improve' the short-term bottom line of the corporation." (I've mentioned before that unions are one of the major problems because they force companies to pay employees more than the market. It is nearly impossible for a unionized company like GM to compete with a non-unionized company like Toyota when they have to pay their employees almost double what their biggest competitor does for doing the exact same job.)

So this then led to the sentence that made me think that Michael Moore and I actually agreed on something. Here it is:

"Let's be clear about this: The only way to save GM is to kill GM."

Granted, I probably wouldn't have used the word "kill"; I probably would have used "let die." But the idea that the government should not interfere and should let the market run its course is one that I support wholeheartedly. I was shocked that Michael Moore would support this company dying.

Then I read on. Michael Moore introduces his plan for GM:

Step #1: "Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

"We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call 'cars' may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet."


(Side note: It just occurred to me as a non-scientific person that, if we are now supposed to refer to "global warming" as "climate change" because the cooling we see is actually caused by the warming, won't the net result be that the polar ice caps stay the same?)

It is always extremely offensive to me when Michael Moore uses these types of analogies. That's fine if he wants to say that automobiles are destroying the planet. But to draw an analogy between that and an unprovoked attack on innocent people at Pearl Harbor is offensive. To compare auto executives to Nazis is outrageous. To compare an automobile to mustard gas used for genocide by evil men or a nuclear missile in the hands of North Korea or Iran is absolutely ridiculous, and trivializes the threats that we face in the world.

(Ironically, if Michael Moore were a citizen of one of these countries he idolizes such as Cuba or Venezuela or China, he would be imprisoned, beaten, and beheaded (or worse) in a heartbeat for an unfavorable documentary about the government. Yet George W. Bush is somehow the evil, murdering tyrant...)

That being said, here is a summary of his plan:

#1: Declare state of war, and transform GM into building mass transit vehicles.
#2: Use the $30 billion bailout to keep autoworkers employed building mass transit.
#3: Announce we will have Japan-esque bullet trains within 5 years.
#4: Build mass transit for large to medium-sized cities using GM factories.
#5: Have the GM plants build energy efficient buses for rural cities.
#6: Have factories build hybrid or all-electric vehicles.
#7: Transform some GM car factories to build solar panels.
#8: Provide tax incentives to those who switch to alternative energy.

Sounds great, right? There is one major problem at this point. Even if Obama decides to follow Moore's plan and declares war on the automobiles, and converts GM to build bullet trains and mass transit, and magically made car factories produce solar panels, and uses taxpayer money to the employees to do all of it... who is going to ride the trains and the buses and buy the solar panels?

With the exception of New York and Chicago and a few other of the largest cities in the U.S., mass transit has failed. Americans like the convenience of being able to get where they need to efficiently and in the time frame they would like. This is the same reason Al Gore takes a private jet wherever he goes rather than flying Delta.

When was the last time Michael Moore or Al Gore took a bus? Or any who are reading who are concerned about global warming? What do you drive? If you really wanted to save the environment, you would trade in your Prius for a Hummer. Why don't you at least drive a Scion xB if you're not going to ride a bike? A bullet-train can do 165 mph? Seems pretty inconvenient compared to 500 mph in the sky for $49 each way.

I don't know about you, but I've received notices that bus routes are closing in my neighborhood. So how is building this multi-billion dollar mass transit system going to help if there is nobody to pay fares? I understand that the government doesn't have to worry about efficiency or making a profit like other businesses, but California is showing us that their are limits to government spending.

Again, conservatives have nothing against mass transit or the environment. We would love to take mass transit if it were as convenient, safe, and cost-efficient as a car. It would be completely ideal to have a battery-powered car that ran like a gas-powered car. We would love to have solar and wind power that is as cost-efficient as current methods. But we are at a disadvantage to the liberals: We have to be realistic. We have to ask, So how is all of this going to sustain itself?

Never you fear. Michael Moore has already considered this. Here is his solution:

#9: "To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for them."

(I do have to pause and mention that I always find it humorous that a tax on gas will stifle the use of gas in the mind of a liberal, but that a tax on business will somehow make business grow.)

This is the only way the plan will work. Unfortunately, this is always the direction liberal actions end up when they don't work in the free market: If you don't do it, we will force you to do it. If a $2/gallon tax, isn't enough, then we'll raise it to $4/gallon. If that doesn't work, we'll raise it to $20/gallon. And if that's not enough, we will outlaw gas-powered vehicles. But believe you me, you will stop driving those cars, and you will take mass transportation.

Again, it all comes back to control, as exemplified by our good friend Michael Moore.