By Joe Darby
Well, friends, I’ve recently been writing my usual fare, columns on nostalgia, history and other interesting (I hope) topics that some of you may enjoy.
But this week I think it’s about time for me to get serious again and compose one of my relatively rare columns on politics.
These days I never cease to be amazed at what’s really going on in this country. And in the world, for that matter.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Green New Deal, proposed by some of the new ultra left-wing democrats who have become media stars in recent times? The top star is U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who has shown incredible ignorance of how things really work in the real world. But she’d be a whole column in herself, so I’m getting back her and her colleagues’ ideas..
First, let me say that when I first learned of the GND, it I was pretty amazed and then I just started to laugh. What planet are these people from?
The GND proposed, within 10 years, to rid us of almost all air travel, get rid of our millions of cows because they pass gas and pollute the air with methane, refurbish every, yes every, building in the United States to make it more environmentally friendly, guarantee a job for everyone who is either unable or — get this — unwilling — to work. Oh, yeah, they also want to have 100 percent of our energy come from renewable sources, so there goes all of our oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries. That’s going to be a lot of folks without jobs.
All of this would of course, cost many, many trillions of dollars in addition to simply wrecking our economy. So when the plan forces us all to declare bankruptcy, I don’t know where those trillions would come from in tax money.
The new politicians, many calling them democratic socialists, also want to establish what they call Medicare for All. Now what that would do is put the government in complete charge of all health care, doing away entirely with the private insurance industry. Of course Medicare for All will cost additional trillions and trillions of dollars. When one of the new lefties, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who wants to be your next president, was asked about the cost of these programs, she replied by saying, “The cost is not the question…” then went on to spout the party line. I say, “Well, yeah, senator, the cost is really the question.”
But what the heck do I know?
Let’s go back to the Democrat’s plan to get rid of air travel. They would replace it by building lots of high speed railroads. I have nothing against high speed railroads. They’d probably be nice. But here’s what happened when California tried to set up a high speed rail line between Sacramento and Los Angeles, via San Francisco. They’ve had to cancel the project because its overall cost has jumped from about $44 billion to more than $70 billion and it wouldn’t be completed until some time in the 2039s.
Multiply those costs and delays for what a national high speed rail line would entail and we’re probably talking about a network that would cost oh, say a trillion or two, and be completed by 2080, maybe. I don’t know how our travelers would get around in the meantime, but heck, I’m sure the all knowing new lefties would come up with something. Maybe skateboards. Couldn’t go back to horses because they would leave too much poop in the streets and we certainly can’t continue to use those horrible polluting cars and trucks.
I don’t know. This is certainly boggling this old geezer’s mind. I’m old fashioned. I thought we elected people to propose intelligent remedies to our nation’s problems. Ideas that would benefit the country, you see. So I despair for our country. I don’t think Donald Trump is the answer. To me, he’s still the bully-in-chief. And who knows what shenanigans he may or may not have gotten up to that we may still learn about?
I hate to end on a gloomy note, though. So let’s think about something nice. Baseball season will soon be here, as will spring. The flowers will blossom. The birds will sing. People will fall in love and babies will be born. And maybe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her friends will just decide to go away, retiring to a nice commune in California, or the Bahamas. Maybe.