We must link the budget crisis with job creation and the cost of living.
When members of Congress return to Washington in September, they must
confront the next budget challenge; a Continuing Resolution for FY
2012. While the top line discretionary spending level has already been
agreed upon through the debt ceiling agreement, the specific levels of
funding for each department and agency are still up for debate (or
closed-door negotiations, in this case). Unfortunately, instead of
prudently analyzing each line item of the budget through individual
appropriations bills, as prescribed by the 1974 budget act, Congress
will be forced to impetuously consider the entire federal budget in one
bill. There is one line item that should not be disregarded throughout
the process; cutting down the EPA.
Obama and his socialist minions at the EPA intuitively understand
that energy production in general, and fossil fuels, in particular,
serve as the lifeblood of a free and prosperous economy. This is why
they have launched an inexorable war against our energy producers. By
disrupting our energy productivity, and replacing it with no-growth,
impotent green energy sources, Obama plans not only to destroy thousands
of jobs within the energy sector, but millions of jobs throughout every
facet of the economy – jobs that are so reliant on reliable and cheap
energy. The only jobs that will be sparred are the ones of his green
corporate cronies, such as Johnson Controls, the electric car battery manufacturer in Michigan that was paid a visit by Obama on Thursday.
Let's review some of the most recent sinister attempts by the EPA to
discomfit our energy producers, kill jobs, and raise the cost of living
on the very objects of their reprehensible class warfare.
The EPA has considerably diminished the volume of oil production in
Alaska over the past view years. They are refusing to issue permits for
drilling on and offshore, while encumbering the process with
unrealistic regulations. These actions have triggered an alarming
decrease in the flow of oil through the Alaska pipeline, threatening its future sustainability. Additionally, the EPA has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for years,
costing us thousands of jobs, cheap imports of oil-sands oil from our
Canadian friends, and much-needed revenue to some heartland states.
What about natural gas? Even though shale fracking for natural gas
has produced an unprecedented amount of jobs in North Dakota and Texas,
while producing cheap energy for our hungry markets, EPA Director Lisa
Jackson is seeking to destroy it. She is now collaborating with
environmental extremists to terminate this revolutionary means of energy
While oil has always been a target of the EPA, they have recently
made it a priority to eradicate coal from our economy. Recently,
following Obama's failure to pass cap and trade through Congress, the
EPA has launched an aggressive effort to impose carbon-cutting compliance standards
on the coal industry. These standards would either destroy the coal
industry or precipitate a crippling increase in electricity rates on
every home and business.
Concurrently, this job-killing behemoth is attempting to impose inordinate and unrealistic atmospheric ozone levels
on all manufacturers in the country. According to the Manufacturers
Alliance/MAPI, these new regulations could expunge $1 trillion in annual
productivity from the economy and eliminate 7.3 million jobs. In light
of the dismal manufacturing report that was published earlier this month, along with the decline of our exports, clearly these new regulations on manufacturing and energy would permanently revoke our status as a superpower.
Thus, the studies that suggest we are losing $1.75 trillion in annual
wealth, or 12% of our GDP, as a result of onerous regulations, are
outdated. One cannot possibly calculate the amount of income lost, or
quantity the number of jobs destroyed as a result of new and pending EPA
regulations from the Obama administration. When you add in Obama's proposed fuel emissions standards for trucks
– which will be exacerbated by Obama's insidious efforts to raise the
cost of fuel – transportation and delivery costs for virtually
everything produced in this country will be insurmountable.
This is where Republicans in Congress can affect the debate and
harness this historic opportunity to create jobs by cutting spending,
and more precisely, cutting down burdensome government. Most average
Americans are not stirred by discussions of budgets and unsustainable
debt per se. They are focusing on the bread and butter issues and want
to know how we will create jobs, grow income, and reduce the cost of
living. Republicans have a superlative opportunity to link these issues
to the debt crisis, by showing how reducing the size of government and
eliminating officious programs, agencies, and regulatory schemes, will
achieve the desired goals.
As we have pointed out before, not all spending cuts are created
equal because our goal is something beyond debt savings; it is to limit
destructive government. The EPA is clearly the most offensive and
devious player in Obama's government. To that end, Republicans must
stand firm in September by holding the line on their cuts to the EPA,
along with the policy riders. They must articulate to the American
people that their ultimate goal is not merely budget austerity; it is
the creation of jobs and a prosperous way of living that is engendered
by balanced budgets and limited government.
Moreover, Republican presidential candidates must take the lead on
this issue by making it a centerfold of their messaging to voters. They
must focus attention on how heavy-handed regulation, and eco-fascism,
in particular, is killing our energy productivity, manufacturing, and
transportation – the very essence of our economy. A perspective
candidate’s views on regulations and energy policy should be a litmus
test for conservatives.
As part of a jobs plan, the next president should propose replacing the Environmental Protection Agency with the Employment Protection Agency.
Once the job-killing behemoth is neutralized, the new "EPA" would be
given a mandate to investigate the hundreds of agencies, boards,
offices, and commissions of the federal government, and target every
superfluous job-killing, price-hiking regulation on the books. The new
EPA should be given priority status before the Office of Management and
Budget, which would adopt its recommendations as part of the annual
As we inch closer to the presidential election, it won't be
sufficient for candidates to express their support for spending cuts and
budget austerity. As conservatives, we must complete our sentences by
articulating how and why the very economic ills we are experiencing
today – are caused by the government agencies funded by prodigal
spending and serviced with debt. We must edify the public how
downsizing government will lead to the most prosperity for all Americans
and how it would provide them with the most job opportunities and the
cheapest possible products and services.
The best place to start is with the EPA. According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute,
there were 345 new rules promulgated by the EPA in 2010 alone. That is
more than any other agency, and even more than any department except
for the Treasury Department.
Whoever most effectively links limited government and free enterprise
with job creation and prosperity – will be the next president.