THE ECONTRARIAN

A tad askew from the traditional view

Monday, August 01, 2005

For those Americans who tend to be disturbed by the actions of the "drunken sailors" who manage the finances of our country, this must have been nothing less than a very bad week.

First, the space shuttle, DISCOVERY. And frankly, the principal discovery here has to be that some $1,400,000,000.00 of taxpayer dollars evidently went down the drain. The feedback that I've gotten is that people are finding the situation to be just plain incredible. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know. What I'm telling you is that there are a lot of other people out there - and I mean a lot - who are just as disgusted as you are. Where did the money go? What tests were done? What improvements were made? How could this team of supposedly brilliant people invest all this time and money only to come right back to square one? Has NASA become just another beurocratic entity, unable to exercise sound judgement, like many of our federal and state agencies? Time may answer some of these questions, but in the meantime, we can only hope that not only are the shuttle flights grounded, but also NASA's budget.

Second, Congress is getting ready to pass the new ENERGY BILL, which has been a key priority of the Bush Administration since day one. The party line here is that the corporations involved with the terms of this bill - lets call them the oil companies - need inducements to motivate them to explore for new sources of oil and energy. Think about that for a moment. The value of oil is at an all time high, and companies need additional inducements to find more of it? It boggles the mind. If this country was in the hands of its citizens, rather than special interest groups, we would be hearing about a windfall profits tax being imposed on the oil companies, not a gigantic pork barrel of additional benefits promoted by a president who happens to hail squarely from the oil patch.

A bad week indeed, but - personally - I believe the worst is yet to come.........

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