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Failing to see the forest for the trees
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
In a previous letter I brought up some points on the Obama stimulus package in response to another writer. A small part of my response addressed a very small part of the overall stimulus bill, Cash for Clunkers. I believe I devoted only a couple of sentences to this very small part of the overall package, yet, based on the response from two writers, you would think Cash for Clunkers were fighting words not to be uttered in public or among children.

Both writers made a very big deal out of a program which was actually so popular, it was extended to accommodate all those who wanted to participate and ran out of time or available funds. Now I understand how some people would be against such a program, among those against such a deal would be those who were not eligible or just weren’t in the market. Their argument would be based on the belief that they could see no direct benefit, failing to recognize the indirect benefits, including removing pollution gas hogs from the road and the jobs saved at dealerships and related businesses. My dad used to say this kind of logic was failing to see the forest for the trees.

Ignored by both writers were the direct and indirect benefits we all received from other parts of the stimulus bill, such as the three years of funding for those four police officer positions just right here in Manteca. Ironically, the same day a front page had an article penned by Dennis Wyatt with the heading “Obama bucks paying for environment study for transit station”, part of the high speed rail $2.5 billion project awarded to California, touted by Governor Schwarzenegger a couple of days ago. California received the lion’s share of the $8 biullion national fund. The California project includes funds for ACE, which will cut commute time between Stockton and San Jose from over 2 hours to just 55 minutes.

Also ignored was the first-time home buyer tax credit. The reason is obvious, it was an Obama idea and it helped. It should also be obvious Republicans will oppose anything presented by this administration, even if it was originally a Republican idea, such as “pay as you go”, tax cuts for small businesses or the creation of a deficit commission. All called for by Obama and all original Republican ideas, now opposed by the same people who proposed them in the first place. Why? Because Republicans cannot have something pass that may be connected favorably to Obama in any way. One writer even makes the ludicrous claim that “He has been one president who has had no resistance from the Republican Party ...”. No resistance? Excuse me, but that’s about all the Republican Party has done since the day he took office. That same writer attempts to connect the entire national debt and all unemployment stats on one year in office, ignoring the last eight years as if they never happened. The same writer also travels into the future to warn of the coming holocaust of a deep depression complete with bread lines and tent cities, with families on the street and Democrats eating their children. Ok, I made the “eating children” thing up but you get my drift.

On another note, an unprecedented event took place last week, the President from one party attended a caucus of the opposing party to take on any questions, yes, any questions. The President asked that there be television cameras there to record the event. At first the Republican leadership balked at the idea of cameras but fearing they may come off as frightened of one man against about 140 of them, they relented. Further thinking how they may be able to trample all over the President with very technical and detailed questions. They were dead wrong, Obama’s replies were as technical and detailed as anyone could have expected as he spat out statistics and detailed analysis one would expect from a different expert from every field, nothing fazed the man. So amazing were his replies that FOX pulled out of their coverage half-way through to air some Obama critics. One Republican Congresswoman, Virginia Fox, who tried in vain to rattle the President, later tweeted that she came away with an autograph from the President. She must have been impressed. Wonder if the Tea Party people read that tweet, I don’t think they would be too happy about Republicans seeking Obama’s autograph, do you?

Larry Baca
Feb. 2, 2010