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As Long as We Remember...

September 23, 2011

A Way Outů

Patrick Kjellberg

Getting through the debt crisis will take 20/20 vision, common sense and a 2020 policy. Right now the president and Congress are having the age-old debate of taxing the rich or not taxing the rich.


Admittedly there have been some great sound bites. Rep. Michele Bachman, Republican presidential candidate flop from my home state of Minnesota, said “everybody has to contribute to reducing the debt, even if it’s just a dollar.” This statement, in essence, suggests that we should pan handle from the poor to eliminate the debt and deficit. It sends my Irish eyes smiling on their way to laughter to think there is actually a politician out there who thinks taxing the poor is a solution to the debt crisis.


Even if there were enough resources or income potential among the poor, which there isn’t, it certainly wouldn’t be fair. After all, isn’t that what the Republicans are all about? What’s fair?


I mean, do you really think it is the poor that caused this mess? Do you think that it is the poor that benefited from the unending war? Are the poor the recipient of those big federal contracts? Are they the share holders of the weapons-producing companies?


Even the engagement with the people who caused 9/11 and the initiation of the Gulf War II wasn’t by the poor. It was the quest for cheap oil to subsidize the life styles of the middle, upper middle class, and the rich. It’s like asking a group of people to pay for an over-extended party that they weren’t invited to, much less attend.


Enough laughter about the bombastic solutions provided by a mostly entertaining, but grossly incompetent, base of politicians.  Let’s delve into the solution by looking at the root of the problem: our demand for oil.


The demand for oil is fueled by our desire to live in places and drive vehicles that – as a nation – we cannot afford. Next to the war mongers, the roads bill is what is breaking the bank at both a state and federal level. What empowers the war mongers is the demand for cheap oil so we can live out in the middle of nowhere and drive the consumptive grocery getters. So, the problem began here, thus so must the solution.


The concept is quite simple: the 2020 solution is a move to have 20% of our energy consumption to come from renewable sources. This is much like the 2010 initiative set for by Germany. If they can make it happen, so can America.


The mechanism by which this reduces the debt is to really “broaden the base” through a new industry. As the demand for oil goes down and fuel prices go down, we increase the tax and that will put the tab for this run up in spending squarely on the shoulders of who caused the problem. Not to mention taking money out of the hands of our enemies and keeping the war mongers at bay, thus creating an opportunity to cut the biggest single expenditure in the budget.


Strange, but this is a peaceful solution to solve the debt crisis while at the same time benefiting the environment, and creating jobs in a new industry.


I will explain exactly how brilliant this solution is next week.


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