Saturday, December 06, 2008

Details On The Obama Plan - From Crisis To Opportunity?

Today, in Obama's weekly address he started to reveal some details of his upcoming stimulus plan. Take a look:

The cliff notes version is that the plan will consist of:

  • A massive effort to make public buildings more energy efficient
  • A massive investment in infrastructure
  • A plan to modernize and upgrade school buildings across the country
  • A push to add more broadband lines
  • A plan to modernize the health care system by leveraging electronic medical records and other technology

None of this is actually anything new, in that these are ideas he's been talking about throughout his campaign. What is new is the notion that these programs are going to be the ones he comes out of the gate with.

I have to say, I'm impressed. He's managed to link health care, education and energy to either creating new jobs or cutting waste. Who can't get behind these efforts?

These strike me as both effective and plausible actions to take. While the suggestion of making our government buildings more energy efficient isn't as sexy as, say an electric car, this is something we can today and on a large scale. Consider the trivial move of replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs:

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if every U.S. household replaced just one regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, it would prevent 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars off the road. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that by replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs at the same minimal rate, Americans would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year.

It seems to me like entrepreneurs would do well in helping to meet the above program's needs. Heck, what about the companies that manufacture all these new light bulbs or insulation?

Of course, the big question is, can the Obama administration pull this off without a huge amounts of abuse of the system. That remains to be seen. And while I have lots of other questions (like, when can I read the details of the plan?), my biggest one is -- why the heck haven't we been doing these programs for the last 4 years?

Oh, and one issue I do have with Obama's address. He mentions:

As we renew our schools and highways, we’ll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they’ll get that chance when I’m President – because that’s how we’ll strengthen America’s competitiveness in the world.

Uh, didn't Tim (not Al) invent the Internet? And isn't he English?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:45 PM

    I'd like to Post a Comment

    Did you hear the good news? Obama is making it better for us already! Most people don't realize how much money there is out there. During economic times like this, there is more money to be had than ever. Because of the bailouts and economy, lenders are bending over backwards to bail you out too. Believe it or not, there is people getting tons of cheap money nowdays to start businesses, buy homes, pay off debt, and more. Bailout is for YOU