Obama plan...Can you hear me now?
February 10th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Obama plan...Can you hear me now?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In his State of the Union address, President Obama said the path to "winning the future" must include better access to hi-speed internet.

"Within the next five years, we'll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans," Obama said. "This isn't about faster internet or fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age."

President Obama is taking that message on the road Thursday. Traveling to Michigan's chilly Upper Peninsula to showcase one rural area that has already harnessed long-range wireless technology and the benefits it has offered the local schools, university and businesses. Marquette has a population of about 20,700 residents, is located on the southern shore of Lake Superior and is home to Northern Michigan University, where President Obama will be speaking.

According to the White House, "the next generation wireless network in Marquette is an effective demonstration of how the president's proposal to open up airwaves will spark new innovation, put people back to work, grow the economy and help America win the future."

The president's proposal calls for a $5 billion investment to expand wireless access to rural communities, a $10.7 billion investment to help deploy a nationwide wireless public safety network intended to improve first responder communications in an emergency and $3 billion for a Wireless Innovation Fund supporting research and experimentation utilizing 4G technologies.

At a time when budget cuts and the debt ceiling are on the top of most every lawmaker's mind, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Jason Furman is quick to point out they project the initiative will actually reduce the deficit by $9.6 billion over ten years. Furman calls it a "win, win, win."

"We can reduce our deficit, we can expand our wireless access. We can expand our public safety," said Furman in a conference call with reporters.

To accomplish that, President Obama has set a goal of freeing up 500 MHz of spectrum through a voluntary incentive auction for licensed mobile broadband, which is basically what today's smartphones, BlackBerry devices and iPhones require to communicate. The White House projects this auction will create $27.8 billion in revenue. A portion of that revenue would then go toward the president's wireless initiatives.

Furman emphasized this initiative is an essential part of the "build" aspect of Obama's vision laid out in the State of the Union.

"We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world," said President Obama during his January address. "It's about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a hand-held device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor."

Topics: Economy • President Obama • The News

soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. b124

    A national plan for anything is long overdue.... Landline broadband has too many pockets of no coverage where wire is too expensive to run for the additional revenue.....Looking forward to 4G...

    Now, how about a national plan for energy, corporations and states are suboptimal delivery systems...

    Delivering solutions for todays world through states and corporations is chopped up, random and ineffective...Need national macro plans to deliver efficiency

    February 10, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • Larry

      When you mention long-range plans, a lot Americans think of the Soviet Union's 5-year plans, and being the paranoid, simple thinkers they are, conclude that because the Soviets were bad at it, we would be too. If you pay attention you'll notice there is a consistent theme underlying much of their thinking: If we try to do anything it will inevitably turn out worse than it did when any other country tried anything even remotely similar.

      They love the Constitution, but they believe it created the most incompetent government in the history of the world.

      February 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Pditty

      Can't get these fools to maintain our roads or dependably deliver the mail. You think they can wire the US. Can't wait for their overprice over taxed product that under performs to the point that the private sector can easily compete and do it better ie UPS or FedEx.

      February 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  2. Mad man

    Where of course, our fearless leaders shall have control of the kill switch to shut down total communications or tax under some FCC regulatory legislation should ever need be. Remember how much better your life was before cell phones and the internet, no call waiting, no spam, when you wanted to talk to someone you just called them on the old land line.

    February 10, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • lgny

      So, we should do no improvements because some day some one might try to do mischief with them?! Should we go back to horse and buggy as well?

      February 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |
      • Mad man

        Gee, I didn't realize that Alexander Grahm Bell was a government employee provided taxpayer monies for his innovative thinking, nor did I realize the Wright Brothers were part of the same Federal recipient program.

        February 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
      • Jay in NC

        Should the atomic bomb have been invented? What about torture devices? There are many so called advancements that cause more harm than good. There are other answers other than just going backwards. Sometimes you have to just change roads.

        February 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |
      • lgny

        Wright brothers is a great example... Ever since the first planes, air travel has been heavily subsidized. Air mail was the major supporter of early commercial aviation and you can be sure that TWA did not build all the air ports.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:36 am |
      • Larry

        Mad man: "Alexander Grahm Bell was a government employee provided taxpayer monies for his innovative thinking, nor did I realize the Wright Brothers were part of the same Federal recipient program."

        There are some serious logical flaws with this attempt to prove something. One is that anecdotal stories prove nothing of a widespread nature. Two, this isn't 1875, when Bell invented the telephone, or 1903 when the Wright brothers make their first powered flight. The truth is that to a great extent, a lot of the easy stuff has already been invented. Certainly there will always be opportunities for individuals and small companies, but there's also a need for research and experimentation you can't do in your garage as a side interest.

        Perhaps you could tell us how Mark Zuckerberg, America's youngest billionaire, could have developed Facebook without the Internet, which originated as a Defense Department project. Please don't tell me he could have created the Internet first.

        ENIAC was the first general-purpose electronic computer. Its design and construction was financed by the United States Army during World War II.

        Some innovations come from the private sector with no encouragement from government, and others are the results of research funded by the government. We need both, especially if we're going to be competitive on the world stage in the coming decades. You make be content to settle for whatever people can come up with on their own with no government encouragement, but China, South Korea, India, and other countries feel no obligation to play according to your rules.

        As I said elsewhere, the problem with you people is that you don't study anything. Nor do you even seem to think through anything you say. You just have a collection of beliefs fed to you by people you trust for information not because they are knowledgeable or even trustworthy, but because they pass your ideological litmus test. These beliefs are often contradicted by history, facts, and data, but the beliefs of a religious fanatic will always prevail in his mind against any onslaught by facts, evidence, or reason.

        February 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  3. Chad from Tampa

    So now Obama wants to take over the cell phone industry? We need to get this socialist out of DC before we turn into China.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • ks

      umm...no you idiot..in case you dont already know many cities already provide wi-fi in parks and beach areas etc..i can go to the beach here in san diego and free wifi..i suppose san diego is now a socialist city trying to control its citizens...get over yourself you moron

      February 10, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Larry

      Where do people get these crazy ideas? I'll bet bringing electricity to rural areas got the same reaction back when FDR proposed the Rural Electrification Administration. Do some research on the Rural Electrification Administration, and the Rural Utilities Service.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:18 am |
      • Reality is...

        Larry has handed the keys to his brain over to the people who already control his thought process. Like Obama he thinks people are inherently good and can be trusted. You know, like the Muslim Brotherhood who promote worldwide Islam. People like Larry won't understand till they are given the option to convert peacably or have their head lopped off. Hmmm...maybe they will get the option or maybe just perish in another terrorist attack. Too bad there are plenty of Larrys who hate capitalism and love big government. Press on Mad man, there are still some of us willing to stand for the country and retrieve it from the hijackers.

        February 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
      • Larry

        Reality is...not your happy place.

        Get back to me when you're prepared to discuss this issue knowledgeably and intelligently.

        February 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
      • D-Nice

        Chad and Reality – two more examples of why you can't fix stupid. Just start wearing the tin foil hats guys, problem solved.

        February 12, 2011 at 12:57 am |
      • James

        Mr President–Go somewhere and play basketball–Please !!!

        February 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Peter

      Chad, you are soooo sad. The lame "socialist in the White House" is so tired and unimaginative it's not funny. As soon as you start with this any credibility you may have had is lost completely. Get a brain cell.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Larry

      "So now Obama wants to take over the cell phone industry?"

      Yes. Making high Internet access available to 98% of Americans would constitute Obama taking over the cell phone industry.

      "We need to get this socialist out of DC before we turn into China."

      In 2009, China's GDP grew at a rate 10% according to the CIA Factbook, while ours grew at a rate of 2.8%.

      It's bad enough you people are so ignorant and brainwashed, but it's even worse that you're actually proud of your ignorance.

      February 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • kittykat2244

      Agreed! The phone companies are doing an excellent job of bringing us into the electronic future...why not just let them continue to expand the technologies that they already have?

      February 11, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • fayse

      Chad, you seriously have a problem and a very narrow outlook. We must continue moving forward, we cannot live in the past. The new jobs will be created with innovation and positive thinking. You have one thought in your head and it dosen't appear to be a very good one.

      February 11, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  4. Lynn

    No innovations will happen under GOP rule. Check their list of programs they intend to cut. Everybody get out their cans and string, we're back to horse and buggy days if they have their way.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Henry Miller

      So innovation is only possible if done by government? Is that what you're asserting?

      February 10, 2011 at 10:14 am |
      • Larry

        Yes, there is a place for government. That's why we have one. Business deploys technology where it can make a profit. Government can deploy it everywhere. Are you familiar with the Rural Electrification Administration? It is increasingly the case that high speed Internet access opens up opportunities for employment and certain types of innovation. Those opportunities should be available to as many Americans as possible, not just those in heavily populated areas.

        February 10, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Reality is...

      Mad man – Liz just doen't get it. She's been taken in by those who utilize class warfare. Do you think if she owned a big business she would continue to hold to her beliefs?

      Liz- nothing wrong with improving your quality of life but that would be the individual's job not the government's. If you work and can keep more of your earned money rather than the government taking it then YOU can improve your own quality of life. BTW we often help these other countries in order to protect our own freedom.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • D-Nice

        Do you understand that no company is going to extend high speed internet to some very remote areas because it is not profitable? The free market enterprise has to make money to do anything, is that so hard to understand? You are so wrapped up in the right wing BS you can't even think straight. Taxes have nothing to do with this. I know as a conservative that's hard for you to understand, but the world doesn't revolve around taxes.

        February 12, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  5. Henry Miller

    The president's proposal calls for a $5 billion "investment" ... a $10.7 billion "investment" $3 billion...

    Does this idiot know how to do anything other than spend taxpayer money?

    Sure, wireless access all over the place would be cool, but why does need to be done, with the maximum possible inefficiency and least possible competence, by government? There are already a handful of companies, like Verizon, T-Mobile, etc., that specialise in this kind of thing and know how to do it well.

    But Obama doesn't like and doesn't trust businesses. They might actually–gasp!–make a profit or something. And we all know what Marx and Engels thought about that...

    February 10, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Larry

      I have a cousin who lives a mile or two off the road (long private drive). The cable company won't even consider running a line to his house, and he's offered to pay extra for it. They won't even give him a price. Businesses provide service where it makes them a profit. The government can ensure everyone can get it. Obama's not talking about a government-run Internet company, but about ensuring there is adequate incentive for businesses to provide high speed access even in locales where the lack of a profit potential would not justify it. Are you familiar with the Rural Electrification Administration? The reason this is a good goal is that every year we become more and more dependence on the Internet for business, education, and employment opportunities. It's not just about faster web browsing anymore.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |
      • Larry

        Mad man, what happened to being a land of equal opportunity? Should opportunity now only be available to those wealthy enough to pay large sums of money for access to electricity and high speed Internet? We did this exact same thing with electricity, and I never hear even the nuts on the right claiming that was a bad thing.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:23 am |
      • Mad man

        Tell your cousin to go hire a utility contractor to run his own underground. The reason the utility company won't do it is that it will then be their line and they will be responsible for maintenance of the line up to his connection point. It is not worth the cost for one home...supply and demand my friend.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • Mad man

        Larry, opportunity is not something that is provided for by government. Opportunity is what one makes for one self, government is simply the referee to provide a fair and level playing field for the participants. With stating that, they have failed miserably by providing tax cuts for their special interest groups and lobbying platforms. You apparently believe that Government is our mother and father tasked with providing for us...my personal belief is a streamlined efficient government that enforces our laws, with that will come prosperity and innovation.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:54 am |
      • Larry

        "opportunity is not something that is provided for by government. Opportunity is what one makes for one self"

        This sound bite has no connection to reality. Your place is to prepare yourself to make the most of opportunities when they come along.

        "Wealth is something that happens to you as a result of circumstances over which you have absolutely no control." — William H. Gates, Sr.

        But then, sound bites and rhetoric are all you seem to have. Claim after claim that are not only unsupported, but deny history and factual reality. So far you've yet to produce a single real argument.

        Rural electrification, the interstate highway system, public education, public universities, grants and loans for education — including the GI Bill, these and other things our government has done have played a major role in the development of our country, but you just want to ignore all of it because it doesn't match the ideologically pure fantasies you embrace about America.

        You advocate a society that would be strongly class-based. We would have a ruling wealthy class and a large poor working class, with virtually no mobility between the two. The wealthy could afford the latest technology, give their kids good educations that would allow them to get good jobs and have a better understanding of how to make the most of opportunities their parents created for them or had friends create for them.

        Have you seen Bristol Palin™'s house in Arizona? Please tell me how she worked hard to be able to own a house in Arizona with a three-car garage. Tell me how an overweight girl who can't dance ended up on Dancing With The Stars. Privilege. Connections. That's the America you want.

        In your ideal society, the poor would not get educations because they couldn't afford private schools. None of their associates would have connections to help them get ahead. They wouldn't be sending their kids to private colleges, buying them homes, or creating business opportunities for them. They couldn't enjoy the educational and employment opportunities afforded by the Internet because they couldn't afford it, especially in rural areas. In fact, in your ideal America we'd probably still have a lot of people in rural areas who didn't have electricity or phones.

        Basically, you want a society the founding fathers summarily rejected.

        February 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • Reality is...

        Larry- you can't be serious. Your cousin can't get something he wants so you think the government at taxpayer expense should get it for him? Spoiled child. If he has a private drive that long he should be able to pay for his own cable installation and upkeep!

        February 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
      • Larry

        "Your cousin can't get something he wants so you think the government at taxpayer expense should get it for him?"

        This is what's known as a straw man argument. If you're going to fabricate my side of the argument to have an argument, you don't need me; you can just talk to yourself.

        I was only pointing out that the current situation makes it difficult or impossible for some people to get quality high speed Internet access. I never said anything about thinking the government should get anything for him, but with your level of understanding that simpleton solution is probably the only option that occurred to you. Did you not even read what they want to do?

        "If he has a private drive that long he should be able to pay for his own cable installation and upkeep!"

        How do you conclude this from that fact that there's a big strip of dirt driveway between his house and the road?

        This is a common problem for you people. You haven't studied anything, and you're convinced in your ignorance that there really isn't a problem to solve, so you say stupid stuff like this to justify that fantasy. You just made up a set of conditions you claim he meets so you can tell yourself he could do something.

        If you come up with a valid argument why this is a bad idea, let us know. So far your only tactics are belittling and insulting people you don't agree with.

        As I told Mad man earlier, you people never discuss anything knowledgeably. You have a bunch of beliefs that have been poured into your head by Beck, Limbaugh, or some other source who passes your test for ideological purity, but you can't actually back up those beliefs, so you resort to "winning" arguments by trying to bully people with insults and ridicule until they walk away because you're more obnoxious than they want to deal with. I can't be bullied, so you might want to try a different tactic, assuming you're capable of anything else.

        February 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  6. Mad man

    No, what I was getting at is that it should not be the Federal Governments job or responsibility to provide everyone in America with high speed internet service. Right now, the Fed already provides cell phones to welfare recipients for free at the cost to tax payers that if properly investigated would most likely expose massive fraud of recipients. It is just like a recent 9% property tax increase in our area, passed to give City employee's a 4% increase and my personal favorite to pay for a dental care program for the homeless. They are taxing people that are laid off, underwater on their mortgages and unable to pay for their own families dental and healthcare needs to give to others? We are broke!

    February 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Larry

      What part of "we'll make it possible for businesses" do you folks not understand? Why do you hate your country and its rural citizens so much? This makes sense, just as it made sense to make electricity available in rural areas in the 1930s and 1940s. It's exactly why we have a government. It makes us more competitive with countries that already have high speed access for the vast majority of our population.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:27 am |
      • Mad man

        I like that, we don't get it? You don't get it! When was it government's job to make it possible for businesses? If it is a viable business opportunity, the free market concept of supply and demand and profit will make its own opportunity. You need to move to Europe.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • Larry

        It's you who don't get it. You don't get that you live in a society. In a society everyone contributes and everyone benefits, but some benefit more than they contribute and some benefit less than you contribute. You are clearly ignorant of history, because America has never worked the way someone has conned you into believing it worked back at some point in the past. The interstate highway system, rural electrification, public education, the GI Bill to provide college educations, these and many other examples are part of what made this country a land of opportunity and a world leader on many fronts.

        You ignore history and parrot talking points from the right, probably because you are ignorant of history. The society you want would be a disaster. You are an ideologue who has chosen to accept all the rhetoric from the right without question, to let talking heads tell you what to think, fear, and hate. It never occurs to you to question anything they say on their path to earning tens of millions of dollars annually by keeping people like you in a perpetual state of anger and frustration so you can't calm down long enough to realize you're being played like a cheap fiddle.

        I have never seen anyone who says the kind of stuff you say be able to discuss any issue knowledgeably. All I ever hear is generic anti-government rhetoric and regular attempts to evoke a negative emotional reaction with mentions of socialism, communism, snide and sarcastic remarks, and a variety of derogatory nicknames, and use of words like Constitution to give your comments an air of legitimacy. That may get your mob cheering, but none of it constitutes a real argument.

        Issues should be judged knowledgeably and intelligently based on their merits. If you are not prepared to do that, or are not willing to do that, you have nothing to say that will interest me.

        February 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
      • fayse

        Larry, I am with you however, you are confusing these people with the truth and facts which is something they simply cannot comprehend. Instead they rely on soundbites that they have heard from those who have one goal in mind. The Republicans are thirsting after power no matter the cost to America.

        February 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Mad man

      Yes Larry,
      I get that we live in a society, a society of social decline thanks to the numerous government interventions for our enlightenment and benefit, however you seem to forget that we are within a Republic to be governed based upon limits. One thing you have stated that is monumentally correct, and that is that each of our opinions is our own and that we can agree to disagree. Good day sir.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
      • Larry

        "I get that we live in a society, a society of social decline thanks to the numerous government interventions for our enlightenment and benefit"

        Sorry, but this doesn't really hold up to rational, objective analysis. This is just another baseless claim to justify an anti-government sentiment. It reflects your ideology, nothing more.

        "we are within a Republic to be governed based upon limits"

        More rhetoric.

        "Good day sir."

        Yes, run away before you run out of patriotic sound bites and real evidence gives you a panic attack.

        February 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Larry

      "It is just like a recent 9% property tax increase in our area, passed to give City employee's a 4% increase"

      No, it's not just like that. In fact, it's not anything at all like that. You make this claim because you want to transfer the outrage you expect this situation to generate to a completely different situation.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
      • Mad man

        It is a comparison of government in their never ending quest to tax ti spend someone else's money on some poorly thought out idea.

        February 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Mad man

      You ignore history and parrot talking points from the right, probably because you are ignorant of history. The society you want would be a disaster. You are an ideologue who has chosen to accept all the rhetoric from the right without question, to let talking heads tell you what to think, fear, and hate. It never occurs to you to question anything they say on their path to earning tens of millions of dollars annually by keeping people like you in a perpetual state of anger and frustration so you can't calm down long enough to realize you're being played like a cheap fiddle.
      Ahhh yes Larry, who is parroting whom? You spew your little googled tidbits of skewed historical factioids derived out of some leftist propaganda article you read in your long running career of trollism. I will bet that either you or Liz is a Government employee of sort, having survived your entire miserable existence living off of the tax funded nipple and without your substantiation for the necessity of government and its continued over reach, well you see that you are nothing.

      February 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  7. Inmyopinion

    I completely agree. This is great. We need it badly. This should help every American become informed of the cultures, languages, customs, beliefs, foods, politics and laws of other countries since many Americans will never have the chance to travel abroad and the impact those countries have on us as well as us on them, such as Egypt's political situation which impacts the Suez Canal controlled by Egypt. If ships are unable to travel this canal and use the South Africa canal they run the chance of encountering Somalia pirates and paying higher toll fees.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Larry

      "This should help every American become informed"

      Maybe that's what they fear most. It's easier to control people if you limit their access to information.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
      • Mad man

        And as you evidence it is easier for them to be led to the trough...baaaa!

        February 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  8. Ryan

    I live in a rural area of Michigan just like the one the president visited (I have a relative in NMU, and I live a couple hours from there, near the Mackinaw Straits), one where hi-speed internet isn't widely available. Even satellite coverage is poor. When my family goes camping, we have a five-minute window of staticky coverage for our cell phone before it gets cut off completely for approximately 15-20 minutes, when we get another brief window.
    However, I do know that most people in my area would rather wait for the developers to install hi-speed internet and proper satellite coverage in their own time rather than risk having a government-funded plan.
    Just look at what happened recently in Egypt, and in areas like China, Russia, and other parts of the world where the government controls the flow of electric information. It can easily and quickly be controlled. In Egypt, the internet and satellite service were shut down when people were protesting the government. In China, anything printed on the internet or any anti-government or anti-Communist sites are blocked by the Great Firewall of China. If the government didn't control the internet, this wouldn't be possible.
    This seems to me to be another of the President's attempts to try and move this country closer to Socialism. The Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Albania, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Vietnam, Nazi Germany, Imperialist Japan, and a host of other countries both past and present have attempted to control what people see, think, and believe by controlling the media. Many of those countries did so by offering a very low-cost, widespread, government-funded initial program to the people (sound familiar), which drove out much of the competition until they had a monopoly. They then outlawed anti-goverment media.
    Also, for any liberals or Democrats who simply think anything President Obama says goes, remember this. If this really happened, and someday the largest media in the United States was goverment run, just think what could happen if the Republicans got control of Congress and the Whitehouse. We'd have the Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin Show all day, every day, so think twice before promoting it.

    February 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Larry

      People have succeeded in making you afraid of government, but that's about all I learned from reading your comment. Obama's not talking about a government-run Internet company, which would be the socialist approach. Did people in rural Michigan get electricity because some power company thought it would be profitable, or because the Rural Electrification Administration made it possible.

      Please start thinking for yourself instead of listening to people who want to control you with fear and paranoia. The founding fathers gave us a government for a reason. Sometimes it makes sense for government to have a role in something and sometimes it doesn't. Rejecting government involvement out of principle, without bothering to study the pros and cons, is the act of an ideologue, not a patriot. There's nothing wrong with using government when it makes sense to do so. That's why we have one.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:12 am |
      • Mad man

        Okay, Larry, the founding father's gave us government for a reason and they also ensnared that same government with documents to operate within such as the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and Constitution. These documents provided the fundamental ground rules under which our government is to operate. Our current government has surpassed many of these ground rules and in the case of the commerce clause has completely pushed the envelope of what it was ever intended to provide for. I am not so adamantly opposed to making America better for our citizens however with a 14 trillion dollar deficit, runaway inflation looming and a 20% (unreported) unemployment rate I realize that our spending has killed us all. FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND LIVE WITHIN OUR MEANS NOW!

        February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am |
      • Larry

        You haven't presented a rational case against this. All I've seen from you is angry, anti-government rhetoric, hardly my idea of a solid basis for national policy. Mentioning the Constitution and the Bill of Rights doesn't constitute an argument for or against anything, or does it make you sound like a better American than other Americans.

        You talk about unemployment, but high speed Internet access can lead to higher employment for people in rural areas. It can open up opportunities for jobs where people work from home, offer educational opportunities, and make it easier for people to find and apply for jobs for which they would be a good match. I see reasons this is a good thing, and all you have is anti-government rhetoric someone has obviously been feeding you to blind you to the fact that yes, sometimes it makes sense to have a role in something.

        By the way, the deficit is $1.4 trillion, the total debt is $14 trillion, and you don't need to lecture me about it. I was sounding the alarm about the debt long before it was a popular pastime. Back then people just pooh-poohed me and talked about how the debt/GDP ratio wasn't bad.

        But even when you're in debt sometimes it makes sense to spend or invest money. Businesses do it all the time to improve infrastructure, expand their capacity, market their products, and so on. Students borrow money to finance their educations. Medical students incur large debts getting their education.

        You aren't opposing this because you've carefully considered the pros and cons, you're opposing it on autopilot. Have you studied their claims this would reduce the deficit, or just dismissed them out of hand? If you don't have an argument based on rational, informed analysis of the pros and cons, you really don't have an argument. All caps and popular generic talking points are not arguments, but they do tell me you haven't studied this.

        Not all spending makes sense, but some does, and I think this does. If you're really that concerned about reducing the deficit, spend some time studying health care issues. Serious health care reform could save us hundreds of billions annually. Compared to that, this is a drop in the bucket.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:48 am |
      • Larry

        Do you consider Thomas Jefferson to be one of the founding fathers?

        "The only orthodox object of the institution of government is to secure the greatest degree of happiness possible to the general mass of those associated under it." –Thomas Jefferson to M. van der Kemp, 1812. ME 13:135

        "The great mass of the articles on which impost is paid is foreign luxuries, purchased by those only who are rich enough to afford themselves the use of them. Their patriotism would certainly prefer its continuance and application to the great purposes of the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of federal powers." –Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806. ME 3:423

        "The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. ... Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." — Thomas Jefferson to Thaddeus Kosciusko, 1811. ME 13:41

        February 10, 2011 at 11:54 am |
      • Mad man

        Sorry pal, you will never convince me with your patronization and condescending script...
        My entire view of what has transpired is on a completely different plane that what you apparently live on. The problems with healthcare insurance premiums go directly hand in hand with failed government, over regulation, unchecked litigation, lack of enforcement of law and typical of a nanny State set up. Our housing bubble collapse is directly attributable to the Federal government "giving business the opportunity" to provide the exact content of your Thomas Jefferson ideology. I prefer to maintain, government is the problem and nearly everything it consumes it destroys with over-burdensome regulation and bureaucracy, politicizing every aspect to empower the politician pushing it.

        February 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
      • Larry

        "Sorry pal, you will never convince me with your patronization and condescending script..."

        Religious fanatics can never be convinced of anything that contradicts what they've been brainwashed to believe. I never had any expectation of convincing you. I've dealt with, and seen other deal with too many people like you. It doesn't make any difference what approach they use, from the most patient and respectful to the most obnoxious. It doesn't matter how much evidence they present or how logically valid their arguments are.

        You've been conditioned to resist any onslaught of facts, logic, reason, and evidence. That's why you never use those — you've been taught to distrust them. You clearly don't understand what constitutes a logically valid argument, which is why you using logical fallacies. You will reject data claiming it can be faked, manipulated, or something similar, or you'll attack the source of the data, without actually demonstrating any problems with the data presented. Any source that doesn't support your views will be summarily disparaged as liberal or otherwise lacking in credibility, or the information present will be declared propaganda or some such thing.

        The defense mechanisms are all in place. Now, it's true there are less-than-reputable sources out there, bad data, propaganda and all that, but you should be able to identify the problems in someone's argument if it isn't valid, and you people never even attempt to do so.

        February 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  9. mantaec

    Why do we have such a slow internet when countries like Ecuador have service that is 3X faster up and down? The U.S. has one of the slowest internet connection of a free world. The cost is outrageous compared to other countries also. The companies need to turn loose of what service they have tucked away. Current large businesses have extremely high speed. But we little people have to pay out the butt for the rich to get richer.
    If the gov can step in to turn the so called 'fast' internet up to a decent speed, let them. But not to the extent of $10B unless that money is recouped from the corporations that handle the services.

    February 10, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  10. E. King

    In western Mass. we have no high speed internet or cell service. Three years ago I was in a very remote part of northwestern Iceland dipping my hands in the Arctic Ocean while my hostess talked on her phone. HIgh speed internet is country-wide. Kenya, Botswana and Bonia have better internet and cell service than we do here. How unbelieveably absurd !!!

    February 10, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  11. Thomas

    Thank you Mr President for transitioning this county out of the Bush Dark ages of ignorance and sloth !

    February 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Larry

      Soon everyone will have access to the internets.

      February 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  12. lgny

    To summarize:
    1. Should the Feds run rural internet services? NO
    2. Should the Feds encourage businesses to expand to rural areas? YES
    3. Should the Feds fund projects to improve first responders communications? YES

    This is not nearly as controversial as it seems.

    February 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Larry

      If you've handed the keys to your brain over to people who want to manipulate you with fear and paranoia, everything is controversial.

      Government agencies, like the FAA, can't do anything right. The private sector, like Enron, AIG, MCI Worldcom, and Countrywide Financial, is always the better choice because they do everything well.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:59 am |
      • Mad man

        Larry, you have beat yourself with your own comment, AIG too big to fail, bailed out by the FED, Country Wide, provided those special business opportunities you speak of by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's poster child Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, Enron and Madoff, investigated thoroughly by the SEC and given the free pass to steal billions of other peoples money. Wake up dude...

        February 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • D-Nice

        Madman – can you read? How can you argue a point if you have no reading comprehension? Larry was giving examples of free market disasters.

        February 12, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Larry, these folks don't seem to care one bit about our 'BIG GOVERNMENT' spending our tax money on ill-advised wars, making the wealthy 'WEALTHIER', during and afterwards, spending to rebuild those countries and training their militaries, and sending them billions per year in 'AID' for subsidizing their welfare systems and livelihoods, which maybe percieved by most as morally good! However, when it comes to the improvement and the enhancement of the quality of lives of AMERICANS, they call that SOCIALISM!

    February 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Mad man

      Hey Liz,
      Wrong, at least for this person, I would love nothing better than to see and exit from both Iraq and Afghanistan. I simply hold the position that until the Fed puts the house in order financially on domestic spending by correcting the billion dollar losses monthly, like Fannie and Freddie, they be cut off from spending the tax funds we do not have.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
      • Larry

        Do you support increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans to help balance the budget? There is a ton of data showing that over the past 30 years, large amounts of wealth and income have flowed from the lower and middle class to those at the top. The top income tax rate is currently one of the lowest in history.

        Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation — an increase in income of $973,100 per household — compared to increases of 25 percent ($11,200 per household) for the middle fifth of households and 16 percent ($2,400 per household) for the bottom fifth.

        Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent’s share of the nation’s total after-tax household income more than doubled, from 7.5 percent to 17.1 percent. The share of income going to the middle three-fifths (60 percent) of households shrank from 51.1 percent to 43.5 percent. The share going to the bottom fifth of households declined from 6.8 percent to 4.9 percent. The share going to the bottom four-fifths (80 percent) of the population declined from 58 percent to 48 percent.

        In 1980, the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay was 24-to-1. Now it's about 240-to-1.

        Reagan's policies, whatever they did or didn't do for the economy at the time, have been a disaster in the long term. The Republicans sold you a bill of goods on taxes. The argument they gave for not raising taxes on the highest income earners was essentially that continuing the tax structure that has pushed increasing amounts of income and wealth to the top while failing to produce jobs for the past 7 years was necessary to produce jobs. Job creation under Bush was the lowest of any president in decades.

        Businesses are sitting on $2 trillion in cash, waiting for demand to pick up to justify hiring people, not for taxes to down. The continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the rich just deprived us of needed revenue. Those cuts have never produced jobs. If people would educate themselves instead of blindly accepting everything their celebrities tell them without question we might have a chance to dig our way out of this.

        February 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • Larry

        I understand the value of fiscal responsibility, but I also understand that short-term benefits can come at the cost of long-term problems. Talk of cutting off spending money we don't have is fantasy talk. That would require us to cut $1.5 trillion in spending, almost all of which goes into our economy, and that's more than 10% of that economy. I'm all for cutting spending, but only after careful considering the long term consequences. Part of the reason we face so many challenges is that we fail to engage in long term planning. Everything is done based on how it will affect politicians in the next election, which is never more than 2 years away. Talk of planning evokes comparisons to the Soviet Union to blind people to the value of having a long-term strategy.

        But for a country to fail in laying out long term strategic goals *and a plan to achieve them* is just stupid. Ordinary people plan their lives farther ahead than 2 or 4 years, so how can it be a good idea for a country to not do that?

        We also need to reduce spending gradually so the economy can adjust. Cutting spending = cutting jobs. If we were to enact massive spending cuts suddenly it would devastate the economy, because that money is used to pay the salaries of government employs and buy goods in services from the private sector. Gradual cuts will allow the economy to find jobs for those who lose theirs as a result of the cuts, for businesses to replace business lost from cuts, and so on. With unemployment at 9%, the last thing we need is to pull $1.5 trillion out of the economy almost overnight.

        February 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
      • Larry

        Correction. In 1980, the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay was 40-to-1. It was 24-to-1 in 1965.

        February 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Mad man

      Actually Larry I am a FAIR tax proponent, a consumption based tax that parallels your Thomas Jefferson ideals. I am for campaign funding reform, I am for term limits and I am for voter reform also. If we are to correct ourselves we have to take the bitter medicine that precludes our recovery from the ills.

      Businesses are sitting on their cash due to the instability evidenced in our current Administration regarding a myriad of legislative issues that will directly effect their bottom line of return, such as healthcare, such as a Cap and Trade Bill, such as Illegal immigration, such as EPA increased regulation of CO2 emissions, it goes on forever. Regulations grow like weeds, that is what lawyers in our government do instead of enforcing the established laws, we get additional regulation. This is just my opinion though, so there you have it.

      Please remember, there was no tax cut, there was simply a non escalation to a higher rate. That is paramount when people speak of this issue, it is their money, not the Feds and the Fed did not give them anything other than an ability to keep their OWN money. Perhaps if the 50 some odd percent of recipients receiving tax dollar rebates that do not pay in were to be cut from the rolls there would be more for the Fed to spend?

      February 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • Larry

        Term limits are a bad idea. At their core they are intended to absolve voters of their responsibility to educate themselves so they can vote bad representatives out of office. They're a form of nanny state government. In essence they say you can't be trusted to vote responsibly, so we're going to take away your right to reelect representatives you like. Thanks, but no thanks.

        "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
        — Thomas Jefferson

        The Articles of Confederation had term limits, and they didn't carry over to the Constitution for good reason. Several states have them for their state legislatures and there is no evidence of any kind they result in better government or better legislation. In fact, many believe the net effect of them is negative for many reasons.

        Google for: "Effects of term limits in Arizona: irreparable damages" and "Effects of term limits in Maine: more power to the executive branch." Both are articles by former legislators.

        Two states have repealed limits and others occasionally consider extending their limits to ameliorate some of the problems they cause.

        We have term limits: we can replace bad representatives at the next election. If that's not working as well as we'd like it's our own fault, but term limits won't fix that. Over time we tend to vote bad representatives out of office more than good ones. Term limits would remove good ones as often as they removed bad ones.

        The government we want can't run on autopilot. We need to educate and inform ourselves if we expect to hold it accountable.

        February 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
      • Mad man

        So Larry, term limits are a bad idea to prevent our elected officials from becoming corrupted by the massive lobbyist group monies they are barraged with but it is okay for a person to vote simply because they are promised to get a little bit more in their Federal entitlement check each month? Term limits is a great idea, public service was never intended to be a lifetime career, look at Sen. Byrd and Sen. Kennedy, sitting in their depends drooling on themselves up until the end...great representation my man.

        February 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • Larry

        Article after article about the lack of hiring says businesses aren't hiring more people because they don't yet need them. During the recession a lot of businesses learned how to get by with fewer people. The economy (in terms of productivity) has pretty much recovered, businesses are making record profits, and they're sitting on $2 trillion in cash. Why should they rehire people they figured out how to get by without?

        The talk about them being paralyzed by uncertainty is mostly just a lame attempt to put the blame on the current administration for the fact that unemployment hasn't dropped. Businesses have always faced uncertainties and taxes, but they hire people anyway *if they need them*. And in this case they're sitting on records amounts of cash, more than enough to keep some in reserve to cover any "uncertainties."

        Businesses don't hire people to create jobs, they hire them when they believe hiring people will help them meet or grow the demand for their product.

        Google for "Why employers won't hire" (I don't think I can post links here).

        February 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • Larry

        More rhetoric and misconceptions, this time about term limits. Instead of discussing this knowledgeably, you spout the usual language designed to evoke knee-jerk reactions. I pointed you to two articles to read, but believing the Force (aka, common sense) can reveal all truth to you without you having to study anything, you obviously didn't read them.

        Experience in state legislatures with term limits has shown that it *increases* the influence of lobbyists instead of decreasing it. Contrary to what many want to believe, lobbyists are not going around bribing politicians as if they were 1920s Chicago politicians. Lobbyists are people who are hired because they're knowledgeable about specific issues. They're job consists mostly of convincing legislators that what the people who hired them is actually in the best interest of their constituents.

        This is why Obama backed off his promise to not have any former lobbyists in his administration. When he when to fill some of the positions in his administration he found that some of the most knowledgeable people in some areas had been lobbyists.

        Here's what someone who served in the Arizona legislature had to say about term limits and lobbyists:

        "This constant replacement of experienced lawmakers with inexperienced, untried, and often overwhelmed new members has a devastating impact on the Legislature's effectiveness in several ways.

        First, it makes lawmakers dependent on non-elected actors for information and guidance on complex policy issues. Before term limits, it was common for lawmakers to become so familiar with a particular policy area that they became a resource for other legislators and stakeholders. These members were often committee chairmen, whose mastery of their subject areas was beyond question, making them a formidable force for their constituents.

        With some exceptions, this practice has virtually ceased. Today, staff, lobbyists, and executive agency representatives are recognized as the authorities to which lawmakers turn for instruction, making them less capable of making independent judgements and less effective representatives of their constituents.

        Rather than make legislators more responsive to those they represent, as term limits proponents claimed they would do, term limits force lawmakers to rely on non-elected individuals and groups whose interests may or may not be in harmony with the priorities of a lawmaker's constituents. The result is often confusion, with inexperienced legislators unsure of whom to trust."

        February 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • Larry

        "Please remember, there was no tax cut, there was simply a non escalation to a higher rate."

        Oh, I am well aware of that. That's what makes the Republican snow job so funny. The Republicans told us we had to maintain the same tax structure that has failed to create jobs for seven years because we needed it to create jobs.

        As I said, the people on the right never study anything, they just let the people who have passed their ideological litmus test tell them what to think, fear, and hate. We've had those tax rates for seven years, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Bush had the worst record for job creation of any administration since the government started tracking that information.

        Did Republicans fight so hard to continue a failed strategy because they are ignorant of the data, because they believe seven years is not enough time for those tax rates to show results, or because they weren't going to admit that yet another thing Bush and his Republicans Congress did was bad for the country?

        February 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Larry

      Liz, the problem is that these people never study anything. They just accept without question the rhetoric being fed to them by people whose #1 is making money, simply because they wave the flag, make frequent mention of the Constitution, and claim they love their country. They practically worship Glenn Beck, who has never done anything in his life but spout opinions into a microphone, and has been repeatedly caught making false claims.

      I've spent years discussing politics online in various forums and with people in real life, and the folks on the far right are never able to discuss any issue intelligently and knowledgeably. Ever. All I ever hear is rhetoric, derogatory nicknames, myths, misconceptions, sarcasm, and insults. Much of what they believe is factually wrong. They are, essentially, members of a religious cult whose faith in their beliefs and prophets trumps facts, reason, and logic.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • Mad man

        Did I call you a derogatory name sir? My "myths" are based upon my own personal exposure and experiences based upon years of working with various regulatory State and Federal agencies. If I insulted you, I would offer my apologies, however my sarcasm is simply subjective interpretation of the issues you wished to discuss. In fact, I would say it is you that have opened up the Solinsky playbook....

        February 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
      • Mad man

        Try ADA as an example of government over reach at the cost to many privately funded projects. The requirements for slope and grade change for example often result in millions of dollars spent on the development side in filling a site to comply with the onerous regulatory requirements. Requirements that serve less than one or two percent of the population, the entiites that profit off their deficiencies are the lawyers that pursue said deficiencies.

        What I have said repeatedly, is that we need streamlined efficient governance achieved through reduced legislation and regulation and better effective regulatory enforcement. Did you realize that there were over 400 SEC agents auditing and investigating Sachs Goldman during the very time they were failing?

        If I were to run for President, I would be assassinated in the first week for using common sense and the experiences that I have gleaned from actually working my way up from nothing in life.

        February 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
      • Larry

        I'm pretty sure that if we examined your business and experiences with government and regulation in depth we would find at least as much good as bad. My point is not that government is perfect, or that regulation is perfect, but that they have a place and overall they're good. Pointing to a few failures does not invalidate hundreds of successes, successes that largely go unnoticed because they prevent problems that would attract our attention.

        For example, tens of thousands of flights take place in this country every day without incident, and in large part the result of the FAA, which regulates flights, traffic control, airworthiness inspections, aircraft maintenance schedules, and so on. But the success of the FAA goes largely unnoticed because to the average person the system "just works."

        Our food is safe to eat and we know what's in it thanks to regulation. Our air is safe to breath, our water safe to drink. People drive billions of miles annually on tires that don't blow out. Millions of homes are safer because of electrical codes. Toys and paint no longer contain lead. The list of ways in which our lives are better, safer, and more secure because of government is long and varied, but because it all "just works" 99.9% people forget about all that the first time there's a regulatory failure or they hear about some regulation that doesn't make sense to them. Then it's all "government = bad" rhetoric.

        In any case, my real point is that we should look at each situation based on its merits to decide what the role of government should be in it, not automatically reject it in every case based on cynical sound bites and talking point. If you have a rational argument against that position, feel free to share it.

        February 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
      • Larry

        "Try ADA as an example of government over reach"

        This does not constitute an argument against government in everything, and even in concept it has no relevance to high speed Internet access. You really don't understand what does and doesn't constitute a valid argument, do you?

        February 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
      • Larry

        "Did I call you a derogatory name sir?"

        One of your supporters below called me a moron and engage in a baseless personal attack, and made no attempt to present an argument for any position. I rest my case.

        February 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
      • Mad man

        Okay Larry, one more time, during a time of economic crisis of the magnitude we are seeing, my personal opinion for Obama to want to spend billions of dollars on projects like high speed rail and high speed internet connections for those in rural areas is absurd. It is absurd to think that spending more money we do not have with the thought the the citizens living in those rural areas are going to make the quantum leap to use high speed internet connections to gain productive jobs to bolster our current situation is absurd. To think that funneling more money on a project that can only be compared to its predecessor Amtrack as a viable way to produce jobs and catapult our Nation into mass transit is absurd, and Larry I hate to break it to you but, you are absurd. Good day sir.

        February 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
      • Larry

        Mad man: "Okay Larry, one more time, during a time of economic crisis of the magnitude we are seeing, my personal opinion for Obama to want to spend billions of dollars on projects like high speed rail and high speed internet connections for those in rural areas is absurd."

        We weren't talking about high speed rail, and as for your opinion of what we were talking about I've seen no reason to value it. I don't value it because you haven't supported it with any valid argument. You have an unalienable right to your opinion. You have a constitutional right to express it. If you want respect for it, you have to earn it, and you have failed to do that by presenting any real argument to support it.

        "It is absurd to think that spending more money we do not have with the thought the the citizens living in those rural areas are going to make the quantum leap to use high speed internet connections to gain productive jobs to bolster our current situation is absurd"

        I think the belief that the only thing that matters is the current situation is absurd. One of the reason we're in some of the pickles we're in is that no one seems to be able to think beyond the next election, which is never more than two years away. I'm very happy to have a president who can think farther ahead that that.

        Frankly, I think you sound nuts. This is a good thing. All three of the things mentioned total less than $19 billion (and over half of that is to improve first responder communications in an emergency), which is less than Americans spend on pet food annually. I suspect that will be spread out over a few years, so I doubt it would be more than a few billion a year. It will benefit tens of millions of Americans by making high speed Internet available to people in rural areas, more affordable in other areas, and improve first responder communications. It will create some jobs, and the services ultimately provided will generate tax revenue.

        For you to flail around with little more than cynicism about government to oppose something that will benefit tens of millions of Americans for what is really very little cost seems irrational to me. You're ranting about a fly speck when there's cow mature all around you. We can get far bigger savings from the Defense Dept and health care reforms. Go spend some time studying the options there.

        "To think that funneling more money on a project that can only be compared to its predecessor Amtrack"

        No one has been talking about high speed rail. Should I take this sudden complete change of subject as an admission you have no valid counter for my arguments about high speed Internet access and upgrading first responder communications?

        "and Larry I hate to break it to you but, you are absurd."

        See? I told you that lacking the ability to articulate a valid argument you folks just insult people.

        February 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  14. Larry

    "Larry, you have beat yourself with your own comment"

    Not even remotely.

    "AIG too big to fail, bailed out by the FED"

    AIG failed because it made irresponsible business decisions. The federal government was not responsible. AIG basically sold what amounted to insurance on investments. But because it was a form of insurance not covered under normal insurance laws, AIG was not required to set aside some of the premiums to cover losses, as insurance companies are required to do *by government regulations* in normal insurance such as life, home, or auto. So AIG, thinking securities based on mortgages would never generate significant claims, set nothing aside to pay such claims. But then when the housing market tanked they had tens of billions of dollars in claims they'd set aside no money to pay. You can't pin any of that on government beyond inadequate regulation.

    "Country Wide, provided those special business opportunities you speak of by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's poster child Chris Dodd and Barney Frank"

    I've studied this. You obviously haven't. As with all your other posts all you have to offer is the misinformation you've been fed by talking heads on the right. Countrywide, like AIG, like all the companies I listed, failed because it was not run responsibly. Government didn't make any of them irresponsible and you know it. Government didn't force anyone to make toxic mortgages; they made them because they were profitable, more so than they should have been because they were sold to investors as being better than they were.

    The government didn't force rating agencies to rubber stamp triple-A ratings on financial instruments backed by risky mortgages. It didn't force anyone to engage in financial derivatives or credit default swaps. Government's primary failure in all of this, if you study it in depth, was failing to regulate an industry that threw common sense and integrity out the window in the name of making lots of money.

    "Enron and Madoff, investigated thoroughly by the SEC and given the free pass to steal billions of other peoples money. Wake up dude..."

    You first. The fact that they SEC failed to identify the problems in no way makes the government responsible for them.

    "But on Thursday, almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled Mr. Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending.

    “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform."

    Too little government is every bit as bad as too much.

    Nice try. All of the companies listed failed because they screwed up. Period. That was my point, that the notion businesses will always do things well, be efficient, be responsible, and so on, is a myth. The fact is that when you try to blame the SEC for the failure of Enron and Madoff, you're saying we need better enforcement of regulation, not less regulation.

    February 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Mad man

      Ok Larry-
      Here you go, the Fed tells the big banks that they must make a percentage of their housing loans mortgaged via Fannie and Freddie to unqualified recipients or they don't get the cash. As these loans have zero down, they are entirely covered by mortgage insurance provided by AIG or one of its subsidiaries. At this point I would urge you to google the Congressional hearings with Franklin Raines, Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and more of your favorites. So for you to try to tell us all that these entities failed solely upon their own merits, you are full of dung, they failed due to their greed and the inability of the Fed to perform its duties to protect taxpayer money. Your arguments are like a dog chasing its tail, you cannot sway my opinion nor move me with your google moments of bits and pieces of the puzzle. As I said, you and your argument have turned absurd...

      February 11, 2011 at 8:46 am |
      • Mad man

        That is great fayse, follow the leader. Whatever you do though, don't think for yourself....

        February 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
      • fayse

        Larry is correct and you sir are the absurd one and most likely mad man is accurate as well.

        February 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
      • D-Nice

        There you go mad man. If they don't agree with you something must be wrong with them. Wow, this guy is classic.. Typical tea partier. These people are all interested in government but the people who they learned about government from were crack pots. This is definitely the mis-information age.

        February 12, 2011 at 1:16 am |
      • Mikey

        @Mad – Cite the regulation that said that banks MUST make a certain % of loans through Fannie and Freddie. Cite the regulation that said they HAD to make "no money down" mortgage loans. You don't know what you are talking about. First, the biggest problems occurred outside the GSEs. GSE sector did 2/3's of the loans, but only did 15% of subprime. Do the math. A loan through the private conduit was 11 times more likely to be subprime that one made through the GSE conduit. Fannie and Freddie were more the victims of the housing market collapse than the cause of it. Hey, but keep listening to the propaghanda.

        February 14, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  15. Bored of Dumases

    You know... I see all these posts about the government is screwing us here and there. They tax us too much, war is BS, blah blah blah..... quit your bitching.... All it does is get you upset and makes you think you have a voice when you dont... unless citizens grow some frigging balls and stop paying taxes.... all of us... or not vote at all... all of us... or protest some dumas idea.... all of us... it gets you, me, and everyone else no where.... ... Larry.. you are a moron... stop posting and believing you are better than everyone... you're not. And anyone can google government propaganda just like you... Mad Man, run for president, I'll vote for you... Liz... you're a follower... sheep.... follow larry... Bahhh...

    February 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Larry

      Wow, that's the dumbest rant I've heard in a while. Instead of claiming history is government propaganda and telling us anyone can use Google, why don't you articulate an intelligent argument?

      February 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
      • annie s

        Larry, you are far too intelligent and well read for some of these "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" conservatives.

        February 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • Mikey

        Larry, I congratulate you on your yeoman’s work today. As you probably understand, your arguments are unlikely to change the mind of those you are debating. I engage in many of these debates myself. We argue to the rational readers who may not be posting at all. To that end, those you are debating actually assist you in making your argument. If you use sound logic and real facts and they use the usual flawed logic, incorrect facts, inaccurate historical mythology, slogans, paranoid rants, and insults, it allows you to prove your point while they, simultaneously, erode theirs. So, please don’t worry about suffering fools. Instead, think of them as your unwitting allies.

        February 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Larry, you go boy! I think I will follow you on up to WASHINGTON! @Bored of Dumases; LOL! Don't get too cocky! Just remember you will be voting for a 'mad man', OK? HA-HA-HA! Smarty pants!

    February 11, 2011 at 2:01 am |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Mad man; If you bet on that tip, you'd when! I've said often that I was a retired federal employee. I'm sure you've read all about it back in my earlier posts. I worked two years under BUSH, so don't you think that I may have some knowledge of the tricks and schemes of the GWB trade? Yes, I'm surviving off of the pension I paid into for 32 years; but I thank GOD for that, MR! So many didn't get to retire so I don't quite consider my existance as miserable! Oh, BTW, we pay ourselves! We work and pay taxes!

    February 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Mad man; on top of that, as I earned my 'miserable existance' federal pay, it was taxed then and when I retired and started drawing my pension, it's being taxed again, OK? TALK ABOUT DOUBLE TAXATION! So don't you ever accuse me of 'LIVING OFF' of a tax funded nipple! If you consider it a nipple, I certainly earned the right to suck on it! It's the nipple I set aside for my later years! That's why I WORKED HARD to make that my career! I PAID for my pension and am still paying for it! It ain't welfare! OK?

    February 12, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  19. D-Nice

    What is going to happen to these crazy anti-government people when a republican gets back in office? Will they start trusting the government again? It will be interesting to watch in 2024.

    February 12, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  20. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Mad man; BTW, are you asking me and LARRY to substantiate the need for government? It's continued over reach? Well, you 'nothings' can't have it both ways! Oh, AMERICAS' biggest 'over reach' is and always has been based in GREED! We over reach when we set countries up financially with billions of dollars; and our own people here are suffering! I can see why we've got to by friends aka allies, but that's one of the biggest over reaches! Our wealthy soak up our monies to set up businesses in those nations!

    February 12, 2011 at 1:40 am |
  21. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @D-Nice; So true! Very good comments. There are a few intellige thinking conservatives, who truly are beyond bigotry, hate and ANY biases; who really ARE concerned about the future of AMERICA and ALL of her citizens; who may be able to substatiate a valid argument on many issues on 'THE TABLE'; as do liberals. The conservative 'teabagger antagonists' only want to ARGUE vague, unsubstantiated personal opinions stemmed from REPUBLICAN fearmongering soundbites! If one disagrees, BAM! They attack personally!

    February 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  22. Liz Carter in Georgia

    As I sit here today Sat afternoon, FEB 12, 2008 watching C-SPANs' airing of the REPEAL hearing of the AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE, (OBAMACARE) I realize that I'm right when I say REPULICANS are evil, greedy, fearmongerers, who are TRULY in the pockets of insurance companies' LOBBYISTS! The boisterous aggressive manner of their panic-attack questioning at the very informed Doctor DONALD BERWICK, further lets me know that they're a cut above demons in pursuit of putting healthcare back in the ditch! Keep me RICH!

    February 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  23. lance

    time warner cable sucks as a internet provider their over conjested of users and not enough bandwidth, all they do is advertise for more customers and do nothing to keep the internet speed moving.

    February 13, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  24. Anne

    Larry, what you have said is the way I feel. You just never will get through to some people. The media to me reports far too many lies, eg like Ms. Bachman's comment about Obama's trip to India. Incites the crazies. I think honest reporting has gone down the tubes.

    February 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  25. Catie

    Please please please, can we put some of these things on hold. Reducing the deficit is not cutting 1 trillion to add over 3 trillion. That would be like me cutting out ground beef and replacing it with filet mignon in my grocery cart. Unless your goal is to break down our country to build it up any way you see fit. I find a lot of things going on right now very convenient with 2012 around the corner.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Mikey

      You are confusing the deficit and the debt. They are two different things.

      February 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  26. Jack

    Go Obama! Invest in our future! I see a bright future with you in office. While everything might not be perfect, you're doing it right. Stabalizing, restructuring, investing... I don't care what anyone says, you're the man!

    February 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  27. Howard

    Obama is going to bankrupt and destroy America. He is systematically dismantling our economy, our traditions, our history, our constitution, our freedoms, and our national security.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  28. Bill in STL

    What do you think this is Mr. President? Do you believe that Internet for everyone is even close to a chicken in evry pot? Do you believe that this is the opiate for the masses? The sad thing is that it is probably true!

    February 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  29. Liz Carter in GA

    @Howard; you're going to petal that same block of rhetoric and lies on every blog subject, aren't you? Go to WASHINGTON, ask for a meeting with the PRESIDENT! Tell him what you think he should do on all of the fronts you listed! He told us ALL, he was open to ideas and suggestions! I'm sure you have some, don't you? Or are you just spewing more generic poison and hate against the PRESIDENT, so stupid people, who have no idea of what's going on, can read it and simply believe it, because Howard said it? GOD!

    February 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  30. Rick McDaniel

    Nice thought, but in truth, someone has to pay for it, and the US is broke.

    The not nice thought, is that the more people are connected, the more they know when they are being lied to, by politicians, and the more likely Egypt, happens here.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  31. citoemita

    Zealous brother, what you sleep, I specify a subject and a sense of comfort not competent to get it, you give me the right who is the main response. Thank you very much different

    March 11, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  32. Sequoia

    Great cmmoon sense here. Wish I\'d thought of that.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  33. Lucien Skar

    I take care a lot about what I cook because I don't want to gain weight, so I think this receipt can be both useful and something to alternate my quite common meals. Will definitely give it a try, thank you!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:59 am |