The following is an op-ed written by the Texas congressman.
We are worse off now than we were in 2008. The country is suffering through an economic recession with more long term unemployment than the Great Depression.
The economy was in bad shape, but this administration made it worse. The unconstitutional government-takeover of healthcare created a cloud of uncertainty for small business owners, stalling job growth. Our healthcare system was in trouble before, but this administration made it worse.
Our country is spiraling towards a domestic energy crisis thanks to the administration’s insistence to punish U.S. energy companies. The price of energy was high before, but this administration has made it worse. Americans are becoming used to living with the word "crisis.” Under this administration, crisis has become the new status quo.
The president admits we’re on a bumpy road. Mr. President, this road is full of potholes. The national debt is expected to equal 101 percent of the economy in 10 years. Unemployment is hovering around 9.1 percent. Home sales have declined. The number of food stamp recipients has skyrocketed.
Over the past three years, we have witnessed an administration set on entitling people, and paying them not to work as opposed to helping businesses hire people to work. We are worse off now than we were before the president stepped foot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
We are stuck in this hole because the White House’s policies have been toxic to the country’s job creators. Businesses do not operate like the government does. They don’t function under short term budgets. They don’t plan for the next six days or six months, like our government does. Business owners want a plan.
They want to know what will happen next. Under this cloud of uncertainty, businesses face Obamacare’s employer mandate and an onslaught of costly regulations. This leaves them with few choices: hold tight and wait it out, comply with government oppression and suffer, shutdown or move overseas.
Coming up on this bumpy road is a domestic energy shortage. The White House seeks to punish the energy of today and tomorrow in favor of the potential energy of after-our-lifetimes. An energy agenda that is synonymous with stall, obstruct, discourage and penalize will only devastate our economy further and force more businesses and jobs to leave.
We’ve seen the administration slow-walk the approval process for offshore drilling permits despite “lifting” the moratorium. The delays have been costly, so costly that three rigs have left the Gulf for foreign waters. When companies leave the U.S., jobs leave the U.S. never to return.
The coming domestic energy shortage will be partly due to the White House’s desire to help foreign nations with their own domestic energy production instead of maximizing our own god-given natural resources. When the president told Brazil that America would help expand its offshore drilling operations and be one of its best customers, he sent a clear message: I don’t support U.S. oil, U.S. companies or U.S. workers.
Each day that passes without a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline – a pipeline that would transport oil shales from our stable neighbor to the north right down to my congressional district – is another day that the White House pivots on U.S. energy jobs. Meanwhile, China is eager and ready to be Canada’s customer and will happily work with Canada if the president decides to turn down this golden opportunity of the Keystone Pipeline.
The White House has a none-from-below mentality. We need an all-of-the above strategy that encourages use of our natural resources and puts Americans back to work. The administration has mastered the art of turning a crisis into an opportunity to show unpopular policies through. Over a year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the administration has come as close as it can to shutting down operations in the Gulf. The impact? 12,000 lost jobs.
Are we better off today than we were in 2008? No. Our economy is still in a crisis of uncertainty. We’re in our third war, the latest an unconstitutional, unilateral action by the president that has cost over $700 million thus far. Instead of blowing up Libya we should be building America.
The White House has operated in crisis management mode, but it’s made many of our problems worse. When your team is in trouble, you look to the coach for guidance, for inspiration and for leadership. Under this administration, crisis is quickly becoming the status quo. This team wants a new coach. And that’s just the way it is.
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