First, before I launch into the paths I took, I will quickly relate the story of a traffic light. A couple of years ago an intersection near my residential neighborhood was in need of a traffic light. A request for it went to the city...because the roads in question are within the city limits. The city should be responsible, by all measures, for the traffic light. "Oh, NOOOO, not us," said the city. "We don't have the money for that." So the traffic planners went to the county. "Oh, NOOOO, not us," said the county. "That is not within our jurisdiction." So the traffic planners went to the State of North Carolina. "Oh, NOOOO, not us," said the State. "We don't have any money for traffic lights." So, the traffic planners, not to be denied, went the Federal government. "Oh, NOOOO, we don't have money for traffic lights," said the Feds. "BUT, we do have money for a round-about (traffic circle), and you can have THAT money if you do what we pay you to do."
What's wrong with this picture? The traffic light would have cost $175,000.00. The round about costs $250,000.00. The Feds don't really have money, BUT the Chinese have money and the Feds borrowed that money from the Chinese to spend on a round-about. So we spent twice as much money as necessary and borrowed it from the Chinese..with interest. The EPA is happy because they say the round-about lowers traffic pollution. The city, county and state are happy because they didn't have to spend any of their money. BUT, you and I and every American citizen and their children are now paying the Chinese for this cute little round-about in my neighborhood. Don't you love that?? I think we should plant the Chinese flag right in the center of that round-about to remind everyone who drives around the circle that we paid the Chinese for that round-about instead of buying a traffic light.
Back to the two paths I took today.
One was a boondoggle toll road cooked up by some developers and the Chamber of Commerce to get rich. The boondoggle toll road idea is hated by over 70% of the population here, it carves up a beautiful rural area, will cause traffic to flow in areas otherwise quiet, and generally is a monster idea that should be trashed. The developers went to the city and schmoozed the council members to support the toll road. Voilá. The council says, "Sure, we want more money from development, so go right ahead." The developers went to the county and the commissioners were divided. Some said yes. Some said no. Then the developers got their little butts onto the Municipal Planning Organization board so they could influence that board. Looking for funding for their cute toll road, the MPO went to the State. The State first said yes....UNTIL, the local citizens managed to turn the tide by electing more sensible representatives last fall. The new representatives defunded the toll road, BUT could not kill the proposal altogether, for some unknown reason to me. Lo and behold, without the state funding, the developers and the MPO go where???? You guessed it. Straight to the Federal government for borrowed money to fund their toll road. This saga is still in progress, so I don't know the end of this story yet. If I were betting, I'd bet on the developers and the Feds over-ruling the 70% of locals who do not want this toll road.
This sent me to the MPO website where I found a pdf file on all of the federal money that has flowed into my county over the last two years. Source page for pdf file on Federal Spending in Gaston County (I don't know how to upload the file to this page, so just sending you there.) Trust me, it amounts to millions. Mind you, this is one county in one state out of fifty states. And there are MPO's in every county in every state. Multiply that in your mind and you might have to grab the next bottle of Scotch on your shelf, grab a cigar, put up your feet, and mull over the $14.5 Trillion that our Federal government has indebted all of us. Millions of dollars in every county in every state in the Union.
Second path. This one involves Smart Meters. I'm so naive sometimes. I think people should actually have a choice on whether or not they want their personal thermostats hooked up to central planning. Foolish me. So I was looking into a source that a friend sent me to this morning...regarding Smart Meters and the Smart Grid. I was originally thinking about cities and counties and whether or not elected councils and commissioners would reject or support the idea. Lo and behold, I found that the ARRA (Recovery and Reinvestment Act) passed by the Democrats in 2009, funded grants and subsidies to all kinds of industries creating Smart Grid technology.
Duke Energy in North Carolina
"The company also has sought $14 million in federal funds for smart grid transmission lines in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The smart grid allows utilities, such as Duke, to send signals to specially equipped appliances over transmission lines. The signals allow the utilities to tell the appliances to operate using less power during peak consumption times."
The U.S. Department of Energy will award $4.5 billion in smart grid grants nationwide, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke (NYSE: DUK) intends to transform its entire electricity-delivery infrastructure into a smart grid system, the company said in a news release."
And by all means, do not just funnel money through the DOE, but use all Federal agencies to do the dirty work. Such as the USDA below: Smart Grid News
Stimulus for Smart Grid
Let's face it, most people if asked would flat out reject technology attached to their house that relays all energy activity in their personal residence to a central data bank that can be controlled by the 'statists.' Not to mention two other dangers that no one talks about. 1. the electromagnetic pulse from Smart Meters has proven to be unhealthy for people and pets. And 2. the opportunity for taking the country down through a central grid (or regional grids) is creating another vulnerability for the nation's security. I make the leap here that 99% of the population is not happy about this, doesn't want it, and is sick from the intervention of central planners into their lives. That's my assessment. You can come up with your own percentage.
Bottom line...What do a traffic light, a toll road, and your energy have in common? Washington DC. No matter what path you take, all roads lead to DC. Federalism, states rights, individual rights, all have been bought out by Washington DC using borrowed money that you and I, our children and our children's children, will be paying for infinity. And all we wanted was a traffic light, some say over where our roads go, and to purchase energy for our homes and businesses.
The fix is in. The trap is laid. The only ....I repeat ONLY way out of this is to STOP TAKING FEDERAL MONEY. Otherwise, there is no way out.
(Want to know about Duke Energy and Smart Grid technology go HERE. )