Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Historic Moment, and Daunting Challenges

I rarely experience chills from speeches. But tonight's acceptance speech was eloquent, humble, conciliatory, but most important, cautionary. President-Elect Obama knows full well that entering his term with a damaged economy and an obscene budget deficit leaves few options. So he asked for us to be willing to sacrifice and work harder. I hope you all heard it, too. Sign me up, let's get to work.

Part 2 of my "Screwed" series never saw the light of day. The premise was that we can't overcome the challenges we face, because we have pissed away the cash and credit needed to solve them. Over a trillion dollars squandered on the Iraq and Wall Street misadventures.

Why, with a trillion dollars, we could:
  • Provide health care to everyone in the USA
  • Educate all of our children and provide activities for them while their parents work
  • Transform our society and economy to be sustainable
  • Rebuild our infrastructure for the 21st century (it's gotta be sustainable, after all)
  • Fund a Manhattan Project to mitigate the climate problem
But, who am I to whine over squandered opportunities? What's done is done, and all those lives and money won't be coming back.

I think we have elected the right person at the right time, except Mr. Obama won't have the luxury of a budget surplus to squander like his predecessor. It will be most interesting to see how the new administration plans its strategy to address all the immediate problems that have been ignored for eight years.

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