Barack Obama and House Democrats talked big when it came to broadband expansion and net neutrality. Apparently, they made good on their promises and packaged net neutrality and broadband expansion provisions into an $819B USD emergency stimulus package.
On Wednesday, House Democrats approved the $819B USD bill, which includes a $40B USD boost to certain areas of the tech sector. The bill offers $6B USD to help expand broadband to areas it does not currently reach and $20B USD to help America bring its health care records online, which should help to greatly cut health care costs.
The bill also includes $11B USD to revamp the nation's electrical grid which is very dilapidated throughout much of the country, having been built in the 1960s, 1950s, or even earlier. The bill will also pump $2B USD into energy efficiency and renewable energy research.
The bill was virtually split on party lines, passing 244-188. Not a single Republican voted to approve the bill. Republicans wanted to cut out the grants and loans for broadband, technology education, and scientific research expansion. They want to replace the bill with a slightly leaner one, with slightly more tax cuts, targeted across more income levels, including for those making over $200,000. The bill now awaits Senate approval.
The Senate is currently drafting its own bill, so technically two bills will go through the approval conference. The House and Senate leaders will meet at a special conference committee to iron out the differences between the two bills. They hope to have a finished piece of legislation submitted by mid-February for President Obama's signature.
Google's Eric Schmidt, Motorola's Greg Brown, IBM's Sam Palmisano, Micron Technology's Steve Appleton and Xerox's Anne Mulcahy were among the CEO's Barack Obama brought to the White House to discuss the bill and other matter. President Obama stated, "I know that there are some who are skeptical of the size and scale of this recovery plan. And I understand that skepticism, given some of the things that have happened in this town in the past."
The new bill is perhaps most significant as it represents the first major legislative victory for both net neutrality and open networks. Net neutrality, stymied under the Bush administration via threat of veto, is the concept that internet traffic, including P2P streams, should not be discriminated against or throttled. Open networking is the principal that network providers should not be allowed to discriminate against certain manufacturers or providers devices, if they have the capability to access the network. Those receiving funding to build networks under the bill will have to abide by these principles.
The bill also includes some of the internet speed mandates previously mentioned. Seventy five percent of the networks built must be fast enough to support video conferencing. While telecom comments are scarce, CTIA, the wireless carriers' principal trade group, did urge lawmakers to vote against the proposal which it called "vague, undefined and unnecessary", citing opposition of telecoms to the openness provisions.
Motorola's Brown however supports the bill, stating, "At the heart of this debate over the economy is the question [of] whether America will be the preferred destination for businesses to operate, entrepreneurs to start ventures, investors to make their financial bets and high-skilled workers to continue their careers. President Obama understands that our economic policy must be geared towards strengthening U.S. competitiveness for the long term."
The bill realizes many of the technology initiatives alluded to in President Obama's inaugural address. While avoiding passing painful regulations on existing networks, the bill offers a nice balance by simply ensuring that new networks are more open and data neutral.
quote: On Wednesday, House Democrats approved the $819B USD bill, which includes a $40B USD boost to certain areas of the tech sector. The bill offers $6B USD to help expand broadband to areas it does not currently reach and $20B USD to help America bring its health care records online, which should help to greatly cut health care costs. The bill also includes $11B USD to revamp the nation's electrical grid which is very dilapidated throughout much of the country, having been built in the 1960s, 1950s, or even earlier. The bill will also pump $2B USD into energy efficiency and renewable energy research.
quote: we can justify these types of atrocities because we are in a "crisis."
quote: The difference is that Bush signed a 700B LOAN... to save the banks.
quote: 800B for Banks
quote: 1.3T for IRAQ. 800B for Banks Ohh wait, wrong administration.
quote: Neither is good, but I'll take the former of the two scenarios.
quote: Cut personal, capitol gains, and corporate income taxes in half to fuel increased investment and job growth as well as private spending and saving?
quote: Similar tax cuts during the Bush presidency didn't have the intended positive effect. Why do you think it would work now?
quote: No. The economy "recovered" when it started being fueled by an unprecedented level of consumer debt. People used the equity in their homes, and all those "zero interest" credit cards to sustain their standard of living.
quote: Supply-side, trickle-down, reaganomic, Jude Waniski-wannabe, Milton Friedman-wannabe, Faux News-watching, Rush-listening robots need to pull their heads out.
quote: No. The economy "recovered" when it started being fueled by an unprecedented level of consumer debt. People used the equity in their homes, and all those "zero interest" credit cards to sustain their standard of living. Why? Mostly because they could: human nature and easy credit. Partly because adjusted wages have declined since the tech bubble bust. Now, we are reaping the rewards of the "recovery" you are falsely crediting to the Bush tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts only succeeded in jacking up the national debt and increasing wealth disparity. Supply-side, trickle-down, reaganomic, Jude Waniski-wannabe, Milton Friedman-wannabe, Faux News-watching, Rush-listening robots need to pull their heads out.
quote: If you tax them, they raise prices on goods. OR they layoff workers to maintain their profit margins.
quote: Yeah the Dems should take a lesson from the Bush years and lower taxes for the already wealthy and run up deficits from a trumped-up war instead.
quote: Buffett stated that he only paid 19% of his income for 2006
quote: don't you think that the federal government really "has" to spend money now to stimulate our economy and break the cycle of recession? What alternatives do you think exist right now?
quote: but don't you think that the federal government really "has" to spend money now to stimulate our economy and break the cycle of recession? What alternatives do you think exist right now?
quote: That's like saying was the Revolutionary War worth it, you shill. You can't quantify and assign values to a war in terms of lives, money, and capital. In those terms, WWII wouldn't have been "worth it" for us either. We should have just stayed here and hoped Europe sorted it all out, right ?
quote: And did you actually pull the WMD card ? Only a moron still believes that's why we're in Iraq. Next you will be saying we went over there to steal all the oil.
quote: No, the difference between the Iraq war and the other wars you mention is that the other wars were all NECCESSARY wars.
quote: And it is a PROVEN FACT that the intelligence that supported the decision to invade Iraq was dead wrong. Incorrect. A mistake. Get it?
quote: But that won't help the families of those who were killed or the soldiers and civilians who were injured during the war.
quote: And your views on WMDs and the Iraq war reflect the "revisionist history" that Bush tried to spin
quote: I PERSONALLY believe it was VERY necessary for us to be in WWII.
quote: As for your second paragraph, how cute, a Wikipedia link. So original, I didn't see that coming. I love how the Wikipedia is the Liberals best friend. Maybe because it's written by Lib's ?
quote: SPeaking of revisionist history.. ummm, didn't every single Democrat vote for the Iraq war ? Didn't they use the EXACT SAME intelligence info that Bush had to make their decision? Yeah but suddenly it's Bush's own personal war.. Good call.
quote: Try not to trip over yourself while you're backpedaling...
quote: , and it was also the Bush Administration that was responsible for the faulty intelligence assessment that convinced Congress (and the American public) to sign-on to that war.
quote: Militarily, the war was a tremendous success.
quote: I get a laugh at how 'lower taxes' ended up getting spun all to hell in the election cycle. Letting tax cuts end is a tax increase? Pure spin
quote: Diesel Emissions Reduction: $300 million for grants and loans to state and local governments for projects that reduce diesel emissions, benefiting public health and reducing global warming. This includes technologies to retrofit emission exhaust systems on school buses, replace engines and vehicles, and establish anti-idling programs.
quote: Because I should be allowed to sit in my damn car all freakin day with it idling if I want to. It's called personal freedom.
quote: Why would my freedom end where your freedom begins? I'm free to say what I want to say, as are you.
quote: Why would my freedom end where your freedom begins? I'm free to say what I want to say, as are you. But I don't lose my freedom to speak simply so you can have your freedom to speak. Sure, my freedom to throw a left hook ends at your nose, but that doesn't go for all freedoms. Not by a long shot.
quote: Because I should be allowed to sit in my damn car all freakin day with it idling if I want to.
quote: Honestly people what are you supporting ?
quote: That seems pretty silly to me.
quote: We're talking about a government entity arbitrarily deciding what period of time of idling is "too long", and giving you a fine for it.
quote: But I have yet to hear anyone make an argument for an idling law that has any real substance behind it.
quote: P. 45: “$25,000,000 is for recreation maintenance, especially for rehabilitation of off-road vehicle routes, and $20,000,000 is for trail maintenance and restoration.”
quote: STDs: I'm torn between hoping you give your kids that same advice about STD prevention, and hoping you never have any kids to pass your defective ideas on to. Look at the STD infection rates in this country. http://www.avert.org/stdstatisticusa.htm People clearly aren't very well informed about these things. For my money, I would rather make sure they are well informed, than have them burdening the health care system because of their ignorance. Global Warming: You're clearly listening to the wrong people about global warming. It's a shame, but please stay out of our way while we try to fix this problem. Electrical Grid: We need to get power from wind farms in Texas to California. The current lines are too inefficient, so we need new ones. Nuke plants will take longer to get online, and you really think hippy-dippy California is going to go for them? Weatherizing: Construction jobs aside, if the taxpayers already subsidize this housing, they probably subsidize the heating too, right? So reducing the heating costs will save money.
quote: <- $6B to weatherize low income housing. The people who can most likely least afford a capital investment on their home or dwelling at the moment
quote: $4B for Acorn, community organizers - Well, if you recall, Acorn pays people to register others to vote. Given that turnout in the last election was only 57% (still a 40-year high), seems like you could hire a lot of people to do this.
quote: $335M for STD prevention
quote: $400M for global warming research
quote: $4B for Acorn, community organizers
quote: $25M for a new ATV track
quote: $6B to weatherize low income housing
quote: $1B for AMTRACK
quote: $15B to increase the pell grant
quote: $20B for increase in food stamps
quote: $80B+ for unemployment and cobra
quote: $3B to the nation science foundation
quote: $900M for flu prevention
quote: $650M for DTV coupons
quote: The best way to get people to go out and spend is to take away the fear. Obama knows this, I think, but I haven't seen him take action yet to address this specific problem.
quote: Are these the same rich people who drove their respective companies into the ground then come bugging me and my tax dollars for a bailout? The same rich people with "smart money" who went out and blew half of their life savings on shiny new guns and ammunition when Obama first got elected? If Tom ate a bowl of stupid, you must have just smoked about 50.
quote: The people who went out to buy new guns and ammo stimulated the economy more than any tree hugging minority liberal democrat ever has
quote: Handouts like you suggest don't really do much. Why not? Because in a time of economic uncertainty, a lot of people tend to use "windfall" money to (a) pay down their debt, and (b) increase their savings. And neither of these things do much of anything to break the cycle of recession.
quote: $25M for a new ATV track -Not sure what this is. If someone can elighten me I'd appreciate it. $6B to weatherize low income housing -Helps the environment, helps the poor, and helps our power grid. Whats not to like.
quote: can I have $10,000 to buy you a coke?
quote: How about tax incentives for broadband companies to improve their networks?
quote: States are flat broke because the Bush economy put so many people out of work. Unless you want all your shit(and that is all you seem to care about, your shit) to start getting stolen by hordes of hungry, out of work people you might want to think of giving up your ideas of Ayn Randian wonderland and start living in the real world where people are struggling to survive this economy toppled by monstrous greed.
quote: Enough with the revisionist history. Sheesh. The CRA has nothing to do with the mortgage crisis. Freddie and Fannie are in trouble, but it's because of CMO debt obligations they bought up, just like the banks. The blame lays squarely on the shoulders of banking executives, not on the Democrats OR the Republicans. Go read up on that and get back to me.