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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mind Your Helm

Many years ago I learned how to steer a ship. Not a boat, a ship. And I didn't get to cut my teeth on a small one, instead it was 54,000 tons of prime US steel named USS New Jersey.

I got that experience at probably the worst time you could learn to drive something large and lumbering, when it was moving slowly, and had a lot of restrictions on what you could do.

At 25 knots New Jersey steered like a dream, 15 degrees of rudder was probably too much for most turns. But try driving something almost 900 feet long, drawing 30 some feet of water at 5 knots, and all of the sudden 15 degrees of rudder was needed just to correct your course. Turn off a few of the propellers to save fuel and then all of the sudden maybe 20 degrees or more was needed.

Where am I going with this? Our President, of course. It seems that like me, he didn't start to learn to steer on anything small, say a Senate Committee or governorship. He decided he wanted to drive a big ship right away (I didn't get a choice). Much like my early turns on the helm, the President seems to be given to over use of his rudder, sending things turning wildly. The problem is that it takes much more work to correct for oversteering than the initial mistake.

I was lucky, I was surrounded by results oriented people as I learned to drive a big ship. Their goal was to teach me how to do it right, and safely. Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, he's surrounded himself with agenda oriented people, who don't seem to care about the results, as long as they include their agenda item.

I was lucky to have people who would tell me to check my rudder, and mind my helm when I started drifting. Mr. Obama seems to have people that don't really care how far he swings the ship, as long as they hit their course eventually.

I do, however, understand the politics of what they are doing. There is a reason that a 3.6 trillion dollar budget was tossed out their for this year. Trying to push his expansion of government next year, with primaries for everyone in the House and a third of the Senate wouldn't work. They'd get eaten alive. So do it now, while you can. And, because once a social program is started it's nearly impossible to kill, better to try starting them when you have the best chance.

I will say this, I never had enough balls to tell the Officer of the Deck my rudder was at 15 degrees when it was at 25. Why? He had a repeater in front of him and could see what I was doing. The American people have one too, the press, the CBO, OMB, and they've all said we will be running huge deficits, TRILLION DOLLAR plus deficits most of the next 10 years. Yet Mr. Obama had the balls to tell us all on TV and in his online chat today that his budget gets us back to fiscal responsibility. When? Sorry, Mr. President, you are a bald faced liar, your own 10 year budget plan proves it.

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