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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Down and out in Elkhart

President Obama said the usual about his stimulus plan at last night's press conference:

And that is why the single most important part of this economic recovery and reinvestment plan is the fact that it will save or create up to 4 million jobs, because that's what America needs most right now.

I was hoping someone would challenge him on this, since there were real reporters there who could have asked real questions. Not about the jobs created so much, although every one of those claimed by the government can be challenged. But what do you count as a "saved" job, and how do you prove it would have been lost without the government's intervention? If I'm still working in a year, will my job be one of those saved? Should I just go ahead and thank Obama now?

Speaking of jobs, by the way, do the people of Elkhart really think Obama is committed to bringing back the RV industry? His stimulus plan would give Americans a tax cut of somewhere between $500 and $1,500 a year, and it would apply to 95 percent of Americans. But an RV is a high-end item most likely to be bought by the other 5 percent, and they are not exactly being given an incentive to make a major purchase:

Meantime, the New York Times this weekend detailed the other side of what's likely coming: the tax hike on the wealthy.   The paper noted that taxpayers making $500,000-$1 million per year will see an average tax increase of $19,700 per year.   Those making more than $1 million are really going to get hit, paying an average of more than $175,000 per year in extra taxes.

Did the people in Elkhart actually hear what Obama was saying? "This should be an opportunity for us to retool," he said. That does NOT mean keeping gasoline cheap and returning a whole new fleet of gas-guzzling RVs to the road. Gotta make that RV "green," Fred, so better get out Dino the dinosaur to pull it if you want to go tooling down I-69. But get him started on a dandelion diet, 'cause we need all the corn for ethanol.


Kevin Knuth
Tue, 02/10/2009 - 5:16pm


according to the managing editor of the Elkhart Truth- they know the RV jobs are gone.

So are they to wait and do.....nothing? We need something to create jobs, and then they will have to adapt to providing a service to that industry...what other choice do they have?

tim zank
Tue, 02/10/2009 - 8:17pm

Could always move. People used to that before we gave them checks for doing nothig.

Steve G
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 10:35am

I thought the Pres said they could start building new roads and bridges there (give 'em a shovel) or they could start developing new energy alternatives. I'm sure those people are well trained for those kinds of new careers. And then at the press conference he only answered pre-screened questions so that he had answers in hand ahead of time. Media reps were pre-selected to ask the questions. Is he really afraid to truly answer the tough questions or is he that inexperienced in front of the American public??? Oh wait! That wasn't a pre-screened question. Can't ask that one.

tim zank
Wed, 02/11/2009 - 11:57am

The honest truth is that Urkel doesn't really have a plan. He jumped the gun. You can't just grab a frickin shovel and start digging...roads for example (new) require years of land acquisition. Existing roads require years of planning & bidding and re-routing too. Absolutely none of this can happen 'overnight' and the unemployed in Elkhart are gonna be just as unemployed in 2 years if wealthier people don't start buying RV's again....but they'll be livin' large off a gazillion dollars worth of uemployment compensation, food stamps and dozens of other programs funded by us, the taxpayer, because the government CAN AND WILL print money & checks overnight.

It's ridiculous, plain and simple.