Sunday, February 01, 2009

Yet another way Obama doesn't understand that things have costs

Obama thinks that D.C. residents should emulate "flinty Chicago toughness" during the recent severe winter weather. Like a true politician, he either doesn't know or willfully acts like he doesn't know that things have costs (remember that a cost is not necessarily monetary). The D.C. metro area doesn't frequently experience such conditions, so it overall costs less for schools to shut down or open late after bad winter storms, rather than the difficulty of shuttling students in such weather, not to mention the expense of maintaining and operating sufficient equipment to clear the roads soon after a storm.

Now, residents of Chicago, New York and Salt Lake City are accustomed to winter weather, so those areas have lots of trucks to plow and spread salt after an expected storm. After an overnight snowstorm, I commonly hear snowplows at 4 a.m., clearing the way for the morning commute. This costs money, naturally, but it's worth it when a place often experiences severe winter storms. So would Obama say that D.C. should have fleets of snowplows on hand, "just in case"? He probably would, because as a politician he hardly needs to worry about what something costs.

Another cost to consider is that snow and freezing rain are a bad combination anywhere, and for safety's sake it's sometimes better to stay at home instead of risking your neck. It isn't a matter of your own driving competence, but the stupidity of other drivers. What would Obama have said if his daughters had been involved in a car wreck? Well, you can bet he'd probably have proposed some sort of big government program.

A few days ago, the worshipful Huffington Post tried to portray him as Chicago-tough-enough to forsake his winter coat. Big deal. I'll take out the garbage without putting on a coat or sweater if it's 30 outside. It also shows another facet of Obama's hypocrisy. The next day, the New York Times admitted a wee bit more than it should have: who could use some "toughening up" in winter? Hmm?

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