The government of the United States has a large number of assets. Some of them we use. Others we leave idle. Of the idle ones, some of them have people lined up, right now, willing to pay good money to buy or lease them. For political reasons the Obama administration is turning down a portion of that money every day. Instead, they would prefer to increase our taxes and have bumped us up against our debt ceiling and are threatening default rather than lease assets for oil exploration, mining, or timber production.
When our executive is in the midst of an unofficial and arguably illegal campaign to leave certain productive assets idle and not permit the logging, oil drilling, and other natural resources exploitation leases that Congress has authorized to take place, it is obscene to insist that increased tax rates must occur to protect these revenue limiting policies.
Let’s be clear. These permit slowdowns cost the Treasury money, are not authorized by any statute, and if they would stop would both increase employment and revenue. The NIMBY and environmentalist interests who disproportionately supported this President in 2008 and are poised to do so again in 2012 are making our fiscal crisis worse in a misguided attempt to create idle assets.
We can increase revenue by maximizing our leases. This does not take any act of Congress. Congress long ago did its part of the job. This is a problem created by, and wholly solvable by the President and his political backers who have their people appointed to the posts approving those leases.
We are not maximizing our revenues. We are leaving money on the table and this administration’s explicit policy is to take money out of ordinary american’s pockets in higher tax rates and keep them unemployed rather than allow the creation of resource extraction jobs. Shouldn’t clearing the lease and permit backlog and putting americans back to work be the first priority in these times?