Our nation’s economic growth may finish an anemic 2 percent on the year. Faced with looming taxes and regulations, few companies are expanding, hiring or buying equipment. More than 14 million Americans are unemployed, excluding the nearly 9 million who have been forced to take part-time jobs, or the 2.5 million who’ve given up on finding work.
Meanwhile, 140,000 have been added to government payrolls, and the nation is spending $4 billion a day more than it’s taking in.
That is unacceptable, demoralizing – and unnecessary.
The White House and Democrats are clueless about reinvigorating the economy. But they have proven they know how to kill jobs, prosperity and hope. Their energy policies are especially destructive.
As President Obama made clear, under his tutelage electricity costs would “necessarily skyrocket,” gasoline prices would soar, “green” energy would become the law of the land, and he would “fundamentally transform” America. He is keeping his promise.
America’s vast storehouses of untapped oil, gas, coal and uranium could generate millions of jobs and hundreds of billions in revenues. Electricity generation industries and the factories and other businesses that depend on reliable, affordable energy could do likewise, if they were unshackled from excessive regulations that often actually harm health and environmental quality.
Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency, Departments of Energy and the Interior, and other government bureaucracies continue to impose a near-total shutdown of onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing. They drag their feet or simply reject drilling permits, display antipathy toward hydraulic fracturing to tap our 100-year supply of shale gas, and impose truckloads of punitive air and water rules designed to shutter dozens of coal-burning power plants.
The President claims he will “pare back regulation” by several billion dollars – out of an estimated $1 trillion in total annual regulatory compliance costs. EPA alone promised “$126 million” in supposed paperwork reductions, while imposing several hundred billion dollars in new EPA regulations.
Mr. Obama finally suspended EPA’s proposed ozone rules, which many had warned would be the most expensive environmental edicts in history. But they will be back with a vengeance after the 2012 elections. Meanwhile, bowing to EPA and environmentalist pressure, he postponed action on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created 20,000 almost-shovel-ready construction jobs.
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