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02.25.2009: Good Speech Last Night... and I want to make a few comments about it...
Seriously, I thought you gave a very good speech. Unlike so many other previous Presidential Addresses to Congress, you actually mentioned specific goals and ideas.
That was extremely refreshing, believe me. There are tons of people out here in your country who really are fed up with the lack of wisdom, foresight and concrete actions which has characterized Congress for the past, oh, thirty years or more... maybe forty.
You actually got several standing O's from the Republican side of the room. I congratulate you on that. It was a real accomplishment: one you and your entire family should be proud of you for.
I've been sending many web links and messages through your new web site, and sometimes it's almost as if you've read some of them.
Your comments about how the recovery process won't be instantaneous and that there really will have to be some give and take on all sides in this recovery were music to my ears. Almost as if I'd written those things to you already, because I have.
One thing I think you kind of slid over, because there were, of course, so many Democrats in the audience, is that jobs in America really are created by businesses and you got on thin ice when you mentioned the "under $250,000 tax cuts." Why? Because many small companies in America are in that "tax bracket" and will be paying those higher rates under your programs, and I've been trying to tell you that it's really a bad idea.
Here's a new spin you might try... get your team to provide you with a histogram [bar chart?] showing the number of companies in the US by number of employees and by taxable income.
Unless you're a blind, dumb populist, you should be able to see that there are tons of companies, not just people, who make over $250k a year, and they are the ones you really should be helping with lower taxes, higher profitability, and thus the capacity to expand, hire, and turn this boat around.
If I'm all wet on those numbers, you can hold the graph up at your next news conference to prove it. If I'm right, you should beat a path down to Congress and explain to them that the 250k number was a mistake and maybe it should be a bit higher... not because of "rich individual taxpayers," but because there are so many small companies in that tax bracket.
Give it a shot. Let me know what you think.
This also goes along with my previous letter, pointing out that to really do well for this country, the right kind of stimulus does several things:
The more we have solar power decentralized by putting it on "virtually every rooftop in America" the harder it is for a terrorist group to knock out the entire grid. The redundancy and distributed nature of this kind of generation should be self-evident. If it isn't, call me or write me and I'll make some diagrams simple enough for Congresscritters to understand [I think I can do that, anyway, but it's worth a try.]
One of the nice by-products of developing solar generators for private homes and better batteries for plug-in cars is that the same batteries can store solar power for the home, too, and increase the size of the battery market, since the same technology could be used in cars and homes, and homes would be a lighter stress and more benevolent environment for the batteries. Sorry, but that's the engineer at this keyboard sneaking those ideas in, since you might not run across them otherwise...
And the final item, "saving money for the country" comes from not having to buy as much oil for transportation or heating if we can cover enough roofs with solar cells. A Manhattan Project type of crash program with tax breaks for manufacturers, money funneled into research, and other breaks for end-user buyers [LIKE ME] will flip the economics of oil around the world so hard that terrorist groups will have to figure out how to sell sunshine to support their activities!
One other item for this list, again, is LED research. I just bought a trio of small LED lamps, each of which are rated at the light-output equivalent of about 40 watts!!! I had previously replaced the five 40-watt lamps with CFLs which consume about 4.5 watts each, and now I've replaced all five of them in my upstairs hall with LEDs that consume about 1.5 watts each. I've taken that one switch and moved it from 200 watts to 22 watts to 7.5 watts!
Bad news: they're the cold-white light [aka 5000 degrees K] that aren't all that comfortable to the eyes. Area lighting for homes needs equally- or more-efficient LEDs that would do the same job for about one watt each, but be more like the 3500-degrees-Kelvin light spectrum that incandescents put out.
That is the key area for research. One watt in, equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent-worth of light out, and an incandescent spectrum instead of garish blue-white.
And we'll own the world for energy efficiency, low carbon emissions and outflow of money for oil.
Make THAT your own "Manhattan Project" or "Apollo Program" and you'll find a place in the history books on the good pages instead of where your immediate predecessor and a few others landed.
Cheers, and more to come...