What is too often forgotten when people consider the current situation our economy is in is that the brakes were being applied to growth and wealth creation even before Fannie May, Freddie Mac and AIG (among others) collapsed.
Months prior to the rest of us finding out that Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick had absconded with millions of taxpayer dollars as a reward for pimping insolvent home loans, the cost of energy was already climbing at a frenzied pace.
As a fill-up crashed through the $30, $40 and $50 barriers for those driving even pretend mostly plastic cars, consumers were already being forced to ponder the priorities of vacationing in upstate Michigan or putting away a little cash in order to be able to make it to work the following week.
And that was the plan.
If there is one certainty in this world, it is that elitist Americans hate them some wrong energy.
Energy that is inexpensive is considered wrong for America. Inexpensive energy by definition promotes the use of that energy. As such, energy a consumer can actually afford to painlessly use is part and parcel to the perceived problem. It had to be made more expensive!
The great American slowdown is, then, not a bug, but a price that has to be paid. While progressive politicians and sympathetic journalists alike lament the "unexpected" continuance of our economic malaise, the bright side is that not only has our energy thirst been somewhat slaked, but our carbon footprint has been downsized!
As Barack Obama promised in his run up to the presidential election "[energy] prices must necessarily skyrocket." He knew already, prior to his election, that his energy plan would raise energy prices, because it was necessary. His current energy secretary surmised that what needed to be done was to raise American gasoline prices to the levels suffered in Europe.
Our government's offensive against the American energy industry is a multi-pronged attack.
Obama's moratorium on offshore drilling has crippled employment along the Gulf coast while also driving a number of drilling rigs to waters off the coasts of other nations. (Not to worry, we'll be their biggest customer!)
While his EPA tries to put the kibosh to newly discovered west Texas oil fields, his EPA also tries to castrate an energy industry waiting to capitalize on tar sands, oil shale and natural gasa.
His new regulations against coal fired electrical plants are designed to raise electricity prices on those of us who now have the time to watch The View while anxiously awaiting our unemployment checks.
Interjected into the whole mix is the benevolent hand of a government that picks winners and losers among corporations that salivate at the ringing of a public bell.
A window company that buy into the government's ideology can expect a nice fat check to the detriment of its competition. Companies that agree to enter into the production of inefficient green energy can expect kickbacks that not only make the otherwise insolvent operations profitable, but can also ride their ill gotten profitability into a new and less competitive era once those companies who lost out on the blessings of government graft fall by the wayside.
A giant Michigan chemical companies that supports public/private partnerships in the development of solar energy might miraculously receive a huge grant to help develop facilities. A large national company that endorses the government's overall energy policies can inexplicably pay no corporate income taxes on billions of dollars in profits. And a corn ethanol industry that sprouted up at the behest of visionary bureaucrats can survive today because government dictates the use of its products while at the same time it bails out otherwise insolvent producers and growers. (Never you mind the rising cost of eggs.)
Ah, but it would be too easy to blame all of this on admitted progressives, for Republican voters share much of the blame. They have for far too long voted for members of the (R) party not knowing what the R stands for.
One such perpetually elected GOP whiz is former Michigan Rep. Vern Ehlers who is joining with other foundationless Republicans in endorsing yet more government involvement in private enterprise in order to achieve their desired outcome.
In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, the 15 signatories – including recently retired Michigan Congressman Vernon Ehlers – say that to reduce dependence on foreign oil and maintain a clean environment, upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for 2017 to 2025 should be aggressive.Ehlers is a nuclear physicist for God's sake. He is a brilliant man, and yet he either misunderstands economics entirely or has unfortunately recognized the breadth and depth of his own unmatched brilliance. Who needs the free market or capitalist principles when one can merely project his own brilliance upon others? Ehlers is a member of a vast army of foundationless Republicans that wear the proud colors of the GOP in much the same way that a nation of die hard basketball fans jumped onto the bandwagon of the Miami Heat, at least that is, until game six.
It is discouraging that we cannot, as conservatives, make the effort to vet out even the most obvious of non-conservative stances among our own candidates. We have a full plate of candidates on the GOP side currently running for president, and yet the leader of that bunch of would-be nominees is an embracer of big-government solutions so vast it would make JFK blush.
Until the conservative movement is able to articulate effectively its message to not only the masses but to those who seemingly say they already identify with it, we will continue to languish within a society slowly losing its freedoms, its exceptionalism, its direction and, ultimately, its viability.
That we have not, to this point, is why we are here. That we may not in the near future is, most likely, why we would remain.