Our new President is amazing. He’s probably the most efficient President in history. He’s only been in office just over 100 days, and in that short time he’s managed to undo all the wonderful things that Bill Clinton and Al Gore did for our nation in the area of energy. He’s destroyed the brilliant Clinton-Gore energy policy. He’s undone all the good brought about by the previous Administration’s major hikes in gasoline taxes. He’s had several months to build the Strategic Oil Reserves that Clinton drained over eight years, and he’s failed at that. All he seems to care about are the energy companies that donated millions to the Republican Party. Thank goodness for CNN, CBS, ABC, AND NBC. If it were not for them we wouldn’t know about the miracles "W" was able to perform in a few short months.
There are just a few small flaws in the great investigative reporting of these unbiased major networks that I should point out to you. First, the Clinton-Gore energy policy was similar to their foreign policy; it never existed. There are two ways to avoid an energy crisis such as the one that we are now experiencing. One is to increase supply. The other is to lower demand. You thought I was going to share some brilliant secret, didn’t you? There is no secret. As a nation we are energy gluttons. By some estimates we consume almost half the world’s energy. For all their talk about conservation, Bill and Environmental Al did NOTHING to reduce consumption. Check the Congressional Record. The only actions they took on the supply side were to LIMIT domestic oil and gas production. And we all know how effective they were in convincing OPEC to increase production and lower prices.
But didn’t increasing the federal gasoline tax reduce consumption? Al Gore said it would in his brilliant book, "Earth in the Balance." (If you want a few good laughs, read this book. I did. In addition to advocating Earth Worship as a way of helping the environment, he proposed a ban on the internal combustion engine. That’s the thing under your car’s hood that makes it go.) Environmental Al pontificated that taxing gas like they do in Europe, where 75% of the $5 per gallon they pay for gas goes to the government, would solve our energy woes. The only effect their tax increases had was to make it more expensive for us to buy gas, and gave an already bloated federal government even more of our money to waste. What Al didn’t realize was that no matter how much they increase the gas tax, we still have to drive to work so we can pay our income taxes!
Well, isn’t Bush at fault for our oil reserves being so low? Sorry, Bill wins this one, too. Clinton systematically depleted our Strategic Oil Reserves over many years, because he didn’t want the public to know what industry observers have known for some time: We have been in an energy crisis for years. By depleting our Strategic Reserves (which by law are to be used only for emergencies), he gave the APPEARANCE that everything was OK. Remember that the Clinton Presidency was all about appearances. Facts didn’t matter as long as everything looked good. Just before he left office, he made a lot of noise about helping stave off a heating oil crisis by selling off even more of our national reserves. He forgot to mention that he sold the oil to "brokers", who made millions when they sold the oil on the open market. You won’t be surprised to find that these "brokers" were friends of Bill and Hillary. One of these "experts" in the oil industry was our old friend Jesse Jackson. I wonder why CNN and the others forgot to mention these sweetheart deals?
Well, at least we’ve got Bush on the donation thing. Didn’t he get huge donations from the oil companies? And don’t oil companies make PROFITS (such an ugly word!) when they sell oil? Yep, we’ve got him there. Bush is guilty of causing this energy crisis because companies that donated to the Republicans are selling their oil at a profit rather than giving it away. After all, why should energy companies be allowed to "profiteer" (a liberal code word for "make a profit") on California’s crisis? Why should they have to pay free market prices just because their radical environmental policies have resulted in not one power plant being built in their state in the last ten years?
Oh, there’s one other small problem with the donation thing. Energy companies gave about a quarter of all the money they donated during Election 2000 to the DEMOCRATS. Whoops! They forgot to mention that. You see, no one knows who’s going to win an election. So organizations that can afford to do so donate to everyone. It’s called hedging your bets. Yes, energy companies donated more to the Republicans than to the Democrats, because people who understand money and how it works also understand that Republican policies of limiting government and lowering taxes help our economy. In the same way, Hollywood producers and actors who want to produce more violence and pornography donated millions more to the Democrats than to the Republicans, because Democratic policies protect them.
As much as I admire George Bush and Company, I have to admit that that there’s just no way he’s good enough to whip up an energy crisis in a few months. Clinton and Gore worked eight long years to give us this crisis, and it’s just not fair to give Bush and Cheney the credit for all their hard work.
HOW DOES THE ECONOMY WORK, ANYWAY? I don’t have space to give a lesson in macroeconomics here, so I’ll answer that question with one word: SLOWLY. If you’ve ever been on a speedboat, and later on a cruise ship, you know there’s a big difference in how quickly they can turn. If you make a big profit on a sale, or conversely lose your life savings gambling in Las Vegas, you’re like the speedboat. Your family’s financial picture became very rosy or very bleak very quickly. Our national economy is more like the cruise ship. Tax cuts, such as the massive cut pushed through by Ronald Reagan, and sound fiscal policies, such as those promoted by the first President Bush, take YEARS to work their way through the economy. That’s why it was so laughable to hear Bill Clinton take credit the first day of his first term for interest rates dropping and the stock market going up. And that’s why it is so ridiculous for people to expect George Bush to instantly fix problems that have been years in the making.
If we could have twelve years of Congress and the White House in the control of fiscal conservatives, we could put this nation’s economy on a sound financial footing. You notice that I said "fiscal conservatives", not Republicans. There are some Democrats, such as Zell Miller of Georgia, who may lean to the left on social matters, but on financial legislation they are conservative. A fiscal conservative is someone who understands that government can’t pay for everything; that the more you tax people, the less productive they will be; that the more money you give government, the more it will spend; and that we, the people, are a heck of a lot more qualified to decide how our hard-earned dollars should be spent than a bunch of politicians who have long forgotten what it means to earn an honest living (if they ever knew).
We as a nation want everything right now. We pull into the fast food drive-through lane and want our meal ready by the time we pay for it. We want our doctors to give us magic prescriptions to instantly fix problems that took years of neglect to produce. So of course we expect our economy to turn on a dime as soon as gas prices start to pinch our wallets. The problem is, our economy is not a speedboat.
A SOUND ENERGY POLICY AND A SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ARE NOT INCOMPATIBLE. I am a partner in a small company that drills for crude oil and natural gas in Tennessee and Kentucky. My partner, Ira Curry, has a reputation with the farmers in the areas where we work. He is known as an oil man who leaves a lease in better shape than he found it. Owners who refuse to lease to other operators lease their land to Ira because they know he will take care of their land, which in most cases has been in their family for generations. I often see cows peacefully grazing beside our operating wells. I’ve never seen one have a heart attack when the pump jack starts up.
So I have to laugh when I hear the environmentalists bleating that ANY drilling in the Arctic will have horrible environmental consequences. They make it sound like oil rigs are going to drill holes throughout the preserve and chase away all the caribou, and they pretend that drilling on federal land is unheard of. Well, the area that the Energy Department has proposed we drill in is less than TWO PER CENT of the preserve. And over one third of all domestic oil in this country comes from leases on federal land.
Please remember that the federal government doesn’t own federal land. WE do. And whether they realize it or not, federal employees work for US. Maybe you’re different from me, but if I get to decide whether my 86-year-old mother gets air-conditioning when the Florida heat is over 100 degrees, or whether some caribou has access to an extra two per cent of millions of acres, Mom wins.
TURNCOATS AND TRAITORS. I’m going to surprise some of you here. I like to do that occasionally. I hate being too predictable. In the last twenty years 14 Democrats have switched to the Republican Party. Several Democrats became Independents, THEN became Republicans. Only ONE Republican switched to the Democrats in those twenty years. Since the Republicans have benefited far more from turncoats than have the Democrats, you might expect that I would be in favor of the practice. I’m not.
Most of my readers voted for George Bush last year. How would you feel if he suddenly announced that he was turning Democrat? That he had used the Republican Parties resources, people and finances, to get elected, but now he was going to betray the trust of all those who had voted for him and turn Democrat. Some of you voted for Clinton, but have since repented and been welcomed into our fold. While you were still under his spell, how would you have felt under similar circumstances?
My point is that it doesn’t matter whether someone is elected as the President, a Senator, or a Congressman. In almost every case he or she was elected by either Democrats or Republicans. By switching parties in the middle of a term, they breach the faith of those who elected them. I don’t think betrayal is too strong a word. If a Republican starts getting socialist impulses, or a Democrat realizes that handouts don’t really help anyone, he or she should vote their conscience. But they should not change parties until their term is up. It’s not fair to all the people who worked hard and financed their campaigns when they ran as Republicans or Democrats to suddenly abandon the party that elected them and run to the enemy camp. If that happened during a war, the penalty would be very severe. And whether we want to admit it or not, we are in a war today. We are fighting for the hearts and minds of people who are either going to be allowed to be free men and women as our Founding Fathers intended, or are going to be increasingly enslaved to the government.
No one except those who brokered the deal knows what the Democrats paid Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont to backstab the hard-working people who put him in office. You can be certain that in the newly Democrat-controlled Senate he will be given plum positions, and that his pet pork-barrel projects will receive first priority with the Democratic leadership. After all, his treason has handed the Democrats tacit control of the Senate, at least until Zell Miller or some other conservative Democrat crosses over to the Republicans. Then we can play musical chairs again. I personally don’t believe all the intrigue and manipulation has gained the Democrats all that much. President Bush has already proven he can work both sides of the aisle. His tax plan passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, and many Democrats voted for it.
All the attention is on the fact that Jefford’s defection has changed the balance of power in the Senate. I think we ought to be paying attention to the effect his betrayal and the betrayals of the many Democrats who turned Republican have had on the American people. It has given us one more reason to mistrust the people we need to be able to trust. Politicians are among the least respected people in America. Even though many politicians of both parties are honorable people who honesty believe that that they are doing good, these party turncoats give many people one more reason to repeat the old joke: "Do you know how to tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving."
FOLLOW UPS TO PREVIOUS ARTICLES:
**ON THE "GAY TO STRAIGHT" ARTICLE. I heard from Richard Cohen, the therapist who was interviewed on Fox and mentioned in my article. He gave me his website address, which is a great resources for homosexuals who want to be straight, or for anyone who ministers to homosexuals: www.gaytostraight.org
**ON THE OLDSMAR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL INCIDENT. Two issues ago I reported on two incidents in public schools where handcuffs were used. In one, a mother was handcuffed and removed from a school campus because she allowed her son to sit in her lap in the cafeteria. In the other, a fifth-grade boy in a school in Oldsmar, Florida, was handcuffed after he drew pictures of weapons.
I received an email from someone who knows the school well, and have included part of it here. "My name is Barry Sullivan, I live and work in Oldsmar, Florida. I am a minister on staff at a church here..I handle the children, youth, & college kids. Two of my four boys attend the Oldsmar Elementary School. I just wanted to bring some clarity to one of the articles that you sent in your last email news update, which I enjoy reading and find very informative.
"Just this morning I read the letter that you said Principal Schmitt would be sending home. Apparently the boy who was drawing these pictures that came into question had also been making verbal threats to the students around him, which had scared the others even more when added to the pictures. In the light of the violence of the past few years on school campuses, you can see why the kids ran to report this to a teacher.
"As far as Principal Schmitt is concerned, I have only ever heard well of him. Why? Because he is a strong Christian man who holds weekly staff prayer meetings for those who want to attend. Everyone speaks very highly of him, as an administrator and a man of God. Please, I ask that you continue to publish your reports-- don’t let up on exposing the lies of the liberal side of things. Please, though, check into each story that you do publish... as you might find something you didn’t expect. Thanks & God bless. Rev. Barry Sullivan, Christian Life Worship Center."
Unfortunately, I didn’t receive Rev. Sullivan’s letter in time to include it in the next issue. I suspected that there might be more to the story, but all the sources I checked quoted the principal just as I quoted him, and I was unable to get anyone at the school to make a comment for the record. My real complaint was not that they disciplined the boy, but that they handcuffed him. A School Board official claimed that it was necessary for the boy’s protection, but that is patently ridiculous. I do want to thank Barry Sullivan for shedding light on the subject by sharing the contents of the letter received by the parents. I haven’t seen that reported anywhere in the news.