Edward B. Harmon: Obama's quiet war on America
Published: Monday, January 2, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.
Since the Obama administration stopped using the phrase “War on Terror” it has occurred to me that the administration, the Democrats in Congress and their various minions have, indeed, been waging another undeclared war. Their actions and words make clear that they are waging a vigorous, consistent and relentless war on private sector, non-unionized employees, their families and employers.
The first shot of Obama's economic war targeted “American Exceptionalism” via the stimulus. All it accomplished was to protect government departments and employees from having to make the same sacrifices that private sector employees were already making in the way of reduced wages, hours, benefits or layoffs.
Obama then declared that private sector employers wishing stimulus funds had to have a unionized workforce. Only 7 percent of private sector employees belong to unions. Private sector employers were also obliged to sign “project labor agreements” requiring them as non-union employers to pay union wages and benefits. Those requirements guaranteed that the taxpayer would pay substantially above market costs to get those “shovel ready” projects done.
The results are beyond doubt. The national debt has risen exponentially.
Give Obama credit for leaving our children and grandchildren with “his mess” while political debts to supporters are paid.
No growth occurred, high unemployment continues and there is no real prospect for change as long as this undeclared war continues.
American workers responded in November 2010, hoping to declare a truce. So Obama changed his strategy to a more covert, guerilla war against the private sector. His secret weapon? The EPA and lack of energy independence impacted every household in our nation.
If jobs and energy independence are even close to a priority for Obama, he wouldn't have pushed off the decision of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. However, the need to pander to environmental and other fringe elements and get campaign funding presented a “high value target” to those, like Obama, who disdain and demonize the profit motive and who never saw a domestic, private, non-governmentally controlled energy source they would not try to destroy.
The Keystone XL project is estimated to create between 10,000 and 60,000 high-paying, private sector construction jobs. There would be more than $20 billion in private capital investments. It would decrease our dependence on imported oil from countries hostile to us and instead source the fuel from Canada.
Without Keystone XL, Obama's decision will result in Canada selling the oil to China or other countries who would like to see the U.S. fail.
Obama's excuse for trying to delay the Keystone XL pipeline decision until after the 2012 presidential election? He had environmental concerns; read liberal and environmental voters.
The Department of State, under Hillary Clinton, commissioned and received an expert report on the pipeline. The findings stated “after years of the most rigorous, professional and scientific studies available” that the pipeline was the safest way to move oil across the country and would present only a minimal risk to soil, air, water or animals.
Against his own administration, Obama's decision continued his battle. When Obama leaves office, this undeclared war against America will be over.
Whether Obama blames the continued economic disaster caused by his policies on Karl Rove, George Bush, earthquakes, tidal waves, extreme heat, European deficits or oil spills, history will show him as the worst president thus far in our history.
Stop the war!
Edward B. Harmon lives in Alachua.