Finished up taxes this past weekend. Wow, last year sucked. without getting into specifics we saw a total 16% drop in overall pay, even with the doubling of my pay for being a councilman (granted, twice of very little is still little). And this year isn't off to as good a start as last year.
One of the things that I think is just hysterical is that for all the blustering and bloviating from the US Senate on how they needed to cut the stimulus package, and they did cut many things, things I personally think are very important and could create many jobs, like the "greening" of federal buildings, but for all that the Senate version is going to come in a hundred billion dollars larger than the House's version.
As to all those who feel that the government can't do anything, let me just remind you that the government (and here lets just say the Federal Government) is the largest single buyer in the country. Back when I started in design it was difficult to find paper with post-consumer waste in them. At any percentage. Instead we were talking about kerf paper and other non-tree-pulp based paper. Until it became law that the federal government was going to purchase most of their paper with at least 10% post-consumer waste (IIRC it's now 25% pcw). Practically overnight the market changed (well, within a year). All of a sudden we had plenty of stocks available with recycled content (post and pre-consumer). While you can buy paper that's 100% virgin, but all of those are special order items. And even those are now rated as regular and FSC papers (pimping my own day-job, we are an FSC printer). And there are more and more papers lining up to go FSC (it involves sourcing and a lot of paperwork/tracking).
So, yeah, having the government making their buildings "greener" does three things. One, it forms the base of the new "Green Technology Industry" with proving a very big client. Lots of private investor money would flow into companies that could supply those technologies. Then there are the building trades for actually implementing this new technology. Lots of builders get involved and trained on how these things work and that translates into other projects that are non-government related. Which then also increases the market for those green technologies. Finally, all that economic activity reduces the price of these technologies which then leads to consumers requesting them and DIY people being able to afford them as being off the shelf technologies. And in the end, we'll need fewer tax dollars to run our government because we'll be reaping the benefit of conservation.
Please tell me where in that chain of events there is anything wrong? And yet the Senate Republicans cut funding for that project in half. I want to go up to them, and in the words of Bill Engvall say, "Here's your sign."