Bob Beauprez

An axiom of economics is “if you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less, tax it.”  As near as I can tell, that pretty much sums up Barack Obama’s upside-down energy policy.  He wants to punish the hydrocarbon industry that supplies 85% of our energy needs, while throwing billions at green technology ideas like bankrupt Solyndra and the newly unplugged Chevy Volt.  But, exactly why he wants to inflict more pain on every single American along the way, particularly at a time when so very many are struggling is beyond me.  The dots simply don’t connect.

Gas prices at the pump are more than twice what they were three years ago when Obama came into office.  And, if history is a guide, prices will soar another 20-25 percent by the time the heavy driving season arrives in about 60 days.  Given that reality – and the laws of simple economics – it defies common-sense why the President would be suggesting further disincentives for more production of badly needed gasoline supplies, but that’s his plan.

On several occasions just this past week he unleashed his fury at the energy industry.  “I am asking Congress to eliminate this oil industry giveaway right away,” Obama said in New Hampshire.  “You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people,” he said.  The same animus was in full force in a Miami speech.  

Complete revision of the tax code is a legitimate debate to have, but that’s not what he’s suggesting.  The majority of tax credits and incentives that are available to the energy industry are the same ones available to just about every other American industry.  But, the President aims his punishment only at the one industry that he should want to increase production to benefit all those Americans the President says he is standing up for  – at least, if one understands that increased supply of any commodity is the quickest and surest way to reduce consumer prices.

Bob Beauprez

Bob Beauprez is a former member of congress, dairy farmer, community banker, real estate developer, and now a buffalo rancher in Colorado

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