PJ Media

With Energy Policy, President Schlemiel Tries the Same Thing Again

Do you have one of those hapless characters in your life? They are so incompetent in their everyday endeavors, but they smile a lot. They’re incredibly likable, but they really have nothing of substance to add to any conversation. They have no clue, but you still pull for them, hoping that one day they’ll get it, or at the very least that good fortune will smile on them.

Unfortunately, our entire nation has one sympathetic character like this in our lives, and good fortune certainly has smiled on him. He’s the author of two autobiographies, and with no business experience — or any experience in building anything whatsoever — he’s managed to become a multimillionaire. The beauty of our capitalist system, said Walter Lippmann, is that the good fortunes of our countrymen can multiply our own.

But this is one of those rare cases in America when the good fortune of one leads to misfortune for all. Our entire nation is poorer because of “often wrong” Obama’s success.

I listened to the president’s vision for America in the State of the Union Address last month. Amazing — President Obama’s policies have failed by almost every measure, yet he continues to press on with more of the same. The part about how he believes this is the nation’s “Sputnik moment”? I just about fell out of my chair — he was still pushing the taxpayer-funded green agenda. It became clear in that moment that all of the accusations about this president being an empty suit are true.  The man that liberals told us is the smartest man ever elected president has no ability to reason beyond his own ideological preconceptions.

His call for even more government spending, cloaked by the word “invest”? Brilliant, aside from the fact that the United States is $14.2 trillion in debt and we don’t have the money. The president is married to his mantra: that government is the only way.

Mr. Obama is showing his experience, or lack thereof, every day he’s in office. The president has never had to meet a payroll, he’s never run a business, and his entire life experience is a delightful journey in idealistic theory. To be fair, his chosen reading material didn’t quite prepare him for his current job: Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, Cloward and Piven. How could Mr. Obama be expected to chart a course to continued prosperity for the United States when the aforementioned paragons of liberal thought have just the opposite in mind?

But one need not do much reading or research to see the disastrous outcomes from policies the president keeps pushing.  Spain currently has the highest unemployment rate of the industrialized nations at 20%, or one in five Spanish workers. Their current economic woes are directly attributed to the meltdown caused by their so-called “green economy” initiatives. It does seem to be a pattern among left-wing ideologues — no matter how miserable the failure of leftist policies, they still believe they can follow the same strategy and get a different result.

Here’s my suggestion to the president on converting America to a green economy. If America wants it done quickly and efficiently, let a conservative do it.

The most inefficient way to spend money is through the federal government — I ask anyone to show me a government-sponsored initiative that outperforms the same endeavor in the private sector, “outperform” referring to the cost and speed through which the desired result is achieved. History and a fundamental understanding of human nature tell us that human beings working with self-interest in mind always have an incentive to perform their very best, which stands in stark contrast to the larded and layered bureaucracy that exists in our federal government. Efficiency is a foreign concept in government, as evidenced by every federal program to ever come into existence — none I’m aware of have ever been cost effective. Aside from the taxpayer money skimmed by bureaucrats, politicians, and union thugs, the drive to excel just isn’t there. No matter how hard the government worker tries, his lot is the same as other unionized workers that may or may not work as hard as he does. The worst way to foster innovation is through government, and the only prayer America has for a successful transition from an oil-based economy is the private sector.

One part of Mr. Obama’s speech had a sliver of merit — no conservative worth his salt advocates taxpayer funded corporate welfare. Oil companies, or any American company for that matter, ought to thrive or die on their own merits. Taxpayer money ought to be given for results, not for the promise of future results. The subsides and tax breaks currently given to oil companies ought to be converted into contracts for desired technologies. The companies that start to roll out said technologies should get the money or the tax breaks. The cash can be used to keep the cost of these products lower.

Conservatives really do value the “all-of-the-above” approach. Hybrid cars won’t do it alone, but hybrids, electric, biofuels, nuclear fission, and, yes, more oil, can solve our energy woes. Unlike the president, most non-ideologically driven people understand that even if these alternative fuels and energy sources become widely used and available, man will still need oil. The applications in plastics alone are immense. And if American companies received incentives to make the products we need and want, those products would saturate the market much faster than could happen from any government mandate.  No crushing anti-business taxes or corporate welfare are needed in a truly capitalist system untainted by government bureaucrats.

The simple truth that the schlemiel administration doesn’t understand is that we will need the titans of industry if we are going to pull off a transition from an oil-based economy. The president summed it up about oil companies: ”I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own.” Indeed they are. And we will need their capital. We’ll need their innovation. We’ll need their entrepreneurial spirit if the United States is ever to get off of oil.

But these companies will need to make money to help finance this costly conversion. Our government can help by allowing our companies to find those resources right here at home. That means we’ll need a government that will reduce our reliance on foreign oil so our national security and the pocketbooks of everyday Americans aren’t put at risk. We’ll need a government that can see beyond blind hatred of success, success they can’t tax or control. We’ll need a president who has experience in building things up, not tearing them down. We’ll need a president who isn’t a reactionary to a “Sputnik” or any other moment. We’ll need a leader that instead sets the trend. We’ll need a man of action, one who recognizes and isn’t ashamed of America’s strengths.

In short, we need a conservative in charge if we’re ever to see a vibrant and prosperous green economy for the United States.