Use Government Assets

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?

10 thoughts on “Use Government Assets”

  1. You’d have to be specific about which permits. Surely you aren’t suggesting that, for example, the government should make the parking lot across from your local kindergarten available for nuclear waste dumping, are you? Surely you recognize the public’s role in enforcing zoning rules and environmental damage limits.
    In that case, it all depends why each individual permit is being held up. If the potential for environomental damage isn’t significant enough, then by all means, now is the time to get busy exploiting it. But the issue has nothing to do with illegally withholding money from anyone. The issue can only be meaningfully examined case by case.

  2. Michael, that also assumes the U.S. owns private industries. Thatcher didn’t sell of the U.K.’s forests, rivers and clean air to the corporations, she sold off companies that had been nationalized like British Petroleum, British Airways, British Leyland (Jaguar) and so forth. So before you can fantasize about Sarah Palin selling our rivers and forests to Chinese bankers and their political communist party cadres, you need to dream up a socialist history in which we’d nationalized major industries.
    Obama partly nationalized the car business and a small segment of banking, but he’s sold almost all of it off, just like you imagine Palin doing.

  3. The analogy is not exact but, for example, on his last (or almost last) day in office, Bill Clinton declared the largest coal reserves in the world, in Utah, to be a national park. Why ? Mineral rights are an obvious example of national assets that could be auctioned off.

  4. Cabeza De Vaca – The US set out a number of lease areas off shore for oil exploration. The process has been going on for decades. The Obama administration is illegally putting out a moratorium on drilling and has been slapped down repeatedly by the judiciary. I believe similar issues are happening with mining and grazing. Why do people so often jump to bizarre conclusions? It’s not like drilling, mining, cutting timber, and grazing on federal land are all new ways to earn a buck for the Treasury. This stuff is well established, century old established processes.

  5. Michael Kennedy – Sorry, it’s still well established. If the CAGW ideology were actually true, it might be wrong, but that does not change the status of it being well established.

  6. Assets that should be sold include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and all the other national parks and forests. You will barely ever see a Black, Brown or Red face in any of them, unless it is that of a person selling trinkets.

    They are run mainly as White AARP country clubs that occasionally let in groups of Germans, Chinese and Japanese.

  7. Heh, before we go down the park sales, perhaps we should start with teh 230,000 jobs Obama is killing in the Gulf of Mexico with his oil drilling permit slowdown?

    And, frankly, before we go to famous “name” parks, perhaps we might consider undoing the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that closed off 1.7 million acres of prime coal land in a huge payoff to convicted illegal campaign donor James Riady. The Utah coal lands were his biggest competitor for high quality low polluting coal and his Indonesian holdings benefitted tremendously from the lack of competition.

  8. It’s like the town that blows its budget on all kinds of corrupt boondoggles, then when the voters complain the mayor threatens to shut down the hospital and police dept. At least Obama promises to keep the high-speed trains running on time.

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