The deficit and debt crisis America faces is perpetuated, in part, by Congress’s irresponsible spending habits. Instead of helping to curb the spending, President Obama has been its biggest cheerleader. It started with spending $787 Billion in the form of a stimulus bill, meant to spur the economy and create jobs. We ended up with the “creation” of less than 500,000 in net jobs gains 3 1/2 years after it was passed in February ’09. That start led to the culmination of forcing through The Affordable Care Act, which will increase spending by a minimum of $1.1 Trillion in the next decade, alone. In the space between these two massive spending bills, there were ill-advised loans to “green” companies, like Solyndra’s loan for $535 Million, which appears to have been pushed through by officials in the Obama administration, even among suggestions that it was unwise and not going through the proper procedures. Those suggestions were proved correct, now that Solyndra has gone bankrupt.
After Obama’s rhetoric, characterizing the spending under President Bush as “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic,” he allowed spending to increase by nearly $500 Billion (15%) more than the highest spending under Bush. This hasn’t caused the Administration or its supporters to reassess and change course. No, they feel that the stimulus wasn’t big enough. The slogan, “Forward,” the Obama campaign has been using, seems to mean more spending with little to show for it.
We need to reduce overall spending. Reductions in spending should be an accent to the solution, which I’ll get to in a minute. Getting rid of waste should be the primary goal of a reduction in spending and we’ll need to look at all programs to achieve the necessary reductions. This would include cuts in military spending, which many Republicans are staunchly against, and cuts in social programs, which many Democrats are staunchly against. With the goal being to reduce waste, the affect on programs that Americans have become accustomed to will be minimized and effectiveness of these programs should not be compromised.
As I said in the opening, spending is only part of the problem we are faced with and reducing it is probably the hardest part of the problem to tackle. The other part of the solution should be very simple, but we’ve made it difficult. The single most important solution to our problem is the creation of jobs. In my opinion, the single most important sector of the economy that has been held back under the Obama administration is the energy sector. Obama has put a 7-year ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, introduced new regulations that are crippling the coal industry, gone through back-handed means to attack the fracking industry, etc, etc. Regardless of what Obama’s campaign says, his actions show it is clear that he does not consider energy production a necessary component and he likely considers it a threat by way of “Global Warming.”
If allowed to drill for oil, extract natural gas, mine for coal or build nuclear energy plants, while efficiency issues with wind and solar power are figured out, the benefits are many.
First, all of these activities create jobs. Oil industry experts indicate that over 1 million jobs could be created in the next seven years if they would be allowed to drill where they think it would be beneficial. Their estimate may be overestimated, according to some accounts, because they’re including the creation of jobs not directly linked to oil production, but to economic activity spurred because of the newly employed oil workers adding their income to the market economy whenever/wherever they enter it. The creation of indirect jobs is difficult to estimate, but their creation would be a reality, as witnessed in North Dakota, where they can’t build homes fast enough to accommodate the influx of new workers. Whether the 1 million figure is an overestimation or not, it is a reality that jobs will be created. This is also just the estimation for oil production. Other industries within the energy sector would also see the creation of jobs in addition to these numbers. For instance, one nuclear power plant, which we have not built in 30 years in this country, will employ hundreds of people to operate and hundreds more in temporary work to build. There are currently 28 license applications waiting to be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Recently, two plants were finally approved for construction by the Commission after a four year process. However, it is still unknown whether they will be built due to antinuclear groups that have filed a suit to block the Commission’s decision.
Second, increasing energy production in the U.S., adding more supply, will necessarily affect demand, which drives down prices. This is also a difficult number to estimate accurately. Using oil again, the savings could be as little as just a few cents per gallon at the pump. But, that is not the only savings we could see by opening up all of our energy producing capabilities, though. According to IHS Global Insight, as reported by USA Today, “The U.S. price of natural gas has plummeted more than 80% since 2008, including nearly 45% in the last year, thanks to new supplies. The falling cost of natural gas alone will save U.S. households $926 a year between now and 2015.”
Third, by becoming more self-sufficient, we become less reliant on other nations. We currently import over 50% of the oil we consume and about 22% of that comes from OPEC countries. Increasing energy production here at home is good for national security, especially considering the historical and current unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere.
It is clear that there is one man that has the vision to see how beneficial increasing our energy production can be. That man is Gov. Mitt Romney:
Romney had the foresight to put energy production as an initiative within his jobs program. By contrast, energy production is noticeably absent from Obama’s jobs section on his campaign website.
For more information on how focusing on energy production to create jobs can bring our country back to prominence, USA Today has a great article to check out.
Lastly, something to make you laugh: