Editor's Note: This column was authored by Todd Tiahrt.
One didn’t need to be a political insider to know that in this year’s State of the Union the president would address the public’s concern over scarcity of jobs and an unsteady economy. Attempts to assuage these worries included overviews of new proposals to spur growth and examples of success stories already unfolding as a result of his work.
Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. This administration’s policies have failed the American people. The recovery President Obama promised is not happening; and worse, he is destroying many new opportunities for job creation.
Last week, the White House acted in its political interest at the expense of U.S. workers when it rejected a permit for the Keystone XL project. Analysts estimated construction alone of the pipeline from Canada’s rich oil sands to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico would create 20,000 new jobs. Overall, it would generate more than 340,000 job opportunities through refining, distribution, sales, and other related industries.
With the U.S. rejecting its energy supplies, Canada may opt to transport those valuable resources to China instead. In the long-term, that means Obama’s political maneuvering will not only undermine current work toward economic recovery; it also throws our future energy security into jeopardy.
This move flies in the face of the president’s call earlier this month for industry leaders to rebuild our labor base and “insource” more jobs. And the Keystone XL pipeline is far from being the lone example of such hypocrisy. While Obama publicly chastises American industry for not bringing more jobs back home, he’s quietly giving taxpayer-funded military contracts to our foreign competitors.
Consider the case of American aircraft manufacturing company Hawker Beechcraft and the competition with Brazilian company Embraer to produce “Light Air Support” aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. In December the administration, out of the blue, disqualified Hawker from the bid without providing reason. On December 30th 2011, Obama’s Defense Department awarded the contract to Brazil’s Embraer.