JENNIFER LOVEN, AP: The $100 million target figure that the president talked about today with the Cabinet, can you explain why so small? I know he talked about -- you know, you add up 100 million and 100 million, and eventually, you get somewhere, but it would take an awfully long time to add up hundred million (inaudible) in the deficit. Why not target a bigger number?
GIBBS: (Smiling) Well, I think only in Washington, D.C. is a hundred million dollars...
LOVEN: The deficit's very large. It's not a joke.
GIBBS: No, I'm...
LOVEN: The deficit's giant. $100 million really is only a step.
GIBBS: But no joke.
LOVEN: You sound like you're joking about it, but it's not funny
.GIBBS: I'm not making jokes about it. I'm being completely sincere that only in Washington, D.C. is $100 million not a lot of money. It is where I'm from. It is where I grew up. And I think it is for hundreds of millions of Americans.
LOVEN: The point is it's not a very big portion of the deficit.
TAPPER: You were talking about an appropriations bill a few weeks ago about $8 billion being minuscule -- $8 billion in earmarks. We were talking about that and you said that that...
GIBBS: Well, in terms of -- in...(CROSSTALK)
TAPPER: ...$100 million is a lot but $8 billion is small?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
What defines the "post-material economy" is a growing willingness to sacrifice money income for psychic income -- "feeling good." Some people may gladly pay higher energy prices if they think they're "saving the planet" from global warming. Some may accept higher taxes if they think they're improving the health or education of the poor. Unfortunately, these psychic benefits may be based on fantasies. What if U.S. cuts in greenhouse gases are offset by Chinese increases? What if more health insurance produces only modest gains in people's health?
Obama and his allies have glossed over these questions. They've left the impression that somehow magical technological breakthroughs will produce clean energy that is also cheap. Perhaps that will happen; it hasn't yet. They've talked so often about the need to control wasteful health spending that they've implied they've actually found a way of doing so. Perhaps they will, but they haven't yet.
We cannot build a productive economy on the foundations of health care and "green" energy. These programs would create burdens for many, benefits for some. Indeed, their weaknesses may feed on each other, as higher health spending requires more taxes that are satisfied by stiffer terms for "cap-and-trade." We clearly need changes in these areas: ways to check wasteful health spending and promote efficient energy use. I have long advocated a gasoline tax on national security grounds. But Obama's vision for economic renewal is mostly a self-serving mirage.
Friday, April 03, 2009
DENVER — A jury ruled Thursday that the University of Colorado wrongly fired the professor who compared some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi, a verdict that gives the professor $1 and a chance to get his job back.
"What was asked for and what was delivered was justice," Ward Churchill said outside the courtroom.
Then-Gov. Bill Owens was among the officials who had called on the university to fire Churchill after his essay touched off a national firestorm, but the tenured professor of ethnic studies was ultimately terminated on charges of research misconduct.