On Supporting The Future Of Transportation, Obama Offers Nothing But An Empty Suit....
- George Carlin -
by Rick Carlton - Automotive Opinion
In his last 2009 show, and just before leaving the temporal world, George Carlin offered a straight-forward assessment of the sorry state of the human condition as reflected above. However, his treatise can also be seen as a quality metric of Barack Obama's attempts to pander to the idea of encouraging and strengthening future development of transportation infrastructures, while at the same time doing nothing.
As the current President loves to remind us, in 1961 John F. Kennedy directly challenged the American people by saying that, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth," while going on to say that we should engage in these efforts "...not because they are easy, but because they are hard." After an eight year thrash to build technology that was Federally funded to the tune of $24 billion (approximately $1.74 trillion today), and designed and built from the ground up, we got the job done. In addition to experiencing a surge in national pride, the country also engendered a new and vibrant aerospace industry that created millions of new jobs during the ensuing 20 years (which the current administration is in the process of dismantling - but another topic entirely.) So clearly, to borrow a comment from subsequent election rhetoric, Barack Obama is "...no Jack Kennedy."
Kennedy had the benefit of exceptional personal vision, offered more than just a passing acquaintance with the country's technical history, and his goals were singularly oriented to United States economic interests. Along with the more esoteric, however, he also brought practical risk-management experience based on the wages of life and death earned in WWII, prior to moving into the house on Pennsylvania Avenue. However, while Obama is adept at producing appropriate platitudes on cue, he doesn't know "what he doesn't know," particularly related to the real cost of developing anything of significance, let alone trying to begin a true 21st Century transportation system. Instead its all homeboy high-concept, but never grease under the fingernails, and as a result these experiential limitations do not lend themselves to the pure will necessary to engage the country in creating a transportation-oriented "High Frontier." Nonetheless, energizing a nearly comatose CNG production segment, designing a logical domestic EV delivery grid, or simply producing a reasonable compromise for high-rate domestic oil production and refining is just as important today, as getting us on the moon was in 1961.
Instead, however, it appears that Mr. Obama is entirely head-locked on his series of ill-managed and enormously pricey social agendas, to the detriment of other more practical and immediate needs. So, while talking your way through "Transforming America" Mr. President, it would be helpful if you'd direct a couple of dollars toward meaningful transportation infrastructure and innovation development, so the rest of us can take advantage of those capabilities to actually move the country forward again.