The focus of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech this week wasn’t on jobs.
Although I must admit Obama is a charismatic speaker, his address was lacking almost completely in detail.
I mentioned this to one of my very liberal friends, who is chief of investment research at an equity firm, and he had some very surprising words.
My liberal friend called Obama's speech “a complete joke. There was 100 percent absence of substance or specificity. Complete nonsense about a shift to clean energy creating jobs. Wrong. Bashing of oil companies? Those are huge employers!”
I think the point on energy reform was dead on.
Actions speak louder than words and voters will be looking at his actions, even if they get caught up momentarily in an inspirational speech.
Here is my first piece of advice to Obama if he really wants to move to the center and create jobs. Focus on real energy reform.
Obama’s flip-flopping on the oil-drill ban in the Gulf of Mexico is awful for the oil industry. British Petroleum just signed a huge contract with Russia.
Many other rig operators in the Gulf have already started to move their rigs to other parts of the world due to the ban. Additionally, many other companies have stated that this is also their intention if the ban isn’t removed soon.
To avoid another Gulf of Mexico disaster, the president should institute new safety regulations by hiring more government inspectors. To offset any increase in government spending due to new regulations in offshore drilling, the president should fire federal workers who aren’t needed.
According to Fox News, “the federal regulatory work force has grown 16 percent in the last two years,” compared to unemployment of 9.4 percent to 17 percent (based on which numbers you use) for the nation.
We also must ramp up energy production with nuclear power.
Nuclear power doesn’t produce carbon dioxide and is used extensively in France and other European countries. In contrast, the United States hasn’t built a nuclear-power plant since the 1970s.
Nuclear power is much cheaper and cleaner than other sources, yet we aren’t taking advantage of it. According to Reuters, “the nuclear industry in the U.S. has maintained one of the best industrial safety records in the world with respect to all kinds of accidents.”
Countries like China are probably laughing at how foolish we are — importing billions of dollars of oil from countries which hate us, when we could easily handle the job ourselves.
There also are huge reserves of natural gas in America, which aren’t being utilized due to liberal objections.
If Obama wants to cut the deficit, create jobs, and reform our energy system, he has all the tools that he needs.
If he enacts the above proposals, he will also win wide support from Independents and Republicans. He could even steal the issue from the Republicans for the 2012 election campaign.
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