Romney’s “stealth” economic plan
I know it might surprise readers of these columns, but I watched a fair amount of the evening speeches from the Republican National Convention. Naturally I liked a lot of them, and agreed with much of what was said. I must say, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ann Romney, and a few others said a lot of things that I really liked hearing stated openly, and forcefully. As much as I liked the speakers at the convention, and as much as the media and blogosphere were alive with claims, counter claims, innuendos, and outright lies about some of those speeches in the following days, I must say that I seem to be nearly alone in catching what may well have been the most important thing that was said in any of those speeches.While I enjoyed hearing Clint Eastwood refresh our memory about who the actual “owners” of the United States are, and exactly who works for who, most of us on the conservative side have that concept down pretty pat already. Not that it hurts to mention it now and then, but the people who really need to be reminded of how our government is supposed to work probably weren’t watching the Republican National Convention.Fittingly, what may have been the most important thing said in any of the speeches came towards the end of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. It wasn’t the part where he said he would repeal Obamacare, although I really agreed with that part. By the way, it sure wasn’t where he mentioned replacing Obamacare. As far as I’m concerned the statement about Obamacare should have ended at repeal, it should not have had “and replace” tacked on to it. Anyway, something Mitt Romney brought up was being energy independent by the year 2020. He said that and went right on to other things. Granted, I don’t spend a lot of time searching for mention of things in the main stream media (unlike most of the left, I do own a small business and commonly work twelve to sixteen hour days which keeps me pretty busy), but I haven’t seen or heard anything about the energy independence part of Mitt’s speech.One thing that I have heard a lot of from the left is a demand to hear exactly how Mitt Romney plans to create all the new jobs he talked about (was the figure he used twelve million?). That’s funny. I don’t know if Mitt Romney has some plan somewhere he intends to go by and methodically encourage creation of new jobs or if he just plans to limit government and get out of the way (which would work all by itself). As far as I’m concerned, formalized plan or not, if the left had been listening to his speech, when he said “energy independent by 2020”, he pretty much laid out a path which will indeed create at least twelve million new jobs. I wonder if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan laugh themselves to sleep every night over the fact that he has already told America his jobs plan and the left flat missed it.Lots of politicians and different administrations have promised to do something about our dependence on foreign oil. Despite the promises given, and the bureaucracies that have been set up, it hasn’t happened. The Department of Energy alone wastes huge amounts of money every year and since the DOE actually guides us in the wrong direction, saying it doesn’t accomplish anything for all of the money spent would be way too generous.Here’s the thing, due at least in part to advances in technology, real energy independence is well within our reach. Not only have new methods of fracking made deposits of hydrocarbons previously not economically feasible to recover available, but there have been huge oil and gas reserves discovered right here in America. If we haven’t already surpassed Saudi Arabia in the amount of recoverable deposits, we soon will. Not only that, we have always possessed some of the largest coal resources in the world. In other words, for a country with a huge dependence on imported oil, we sure have a lot of energy reserves “lying around” that we aren’t using. I wonder why that is?Why we aren’t already on the road to energy independence is certainly a good subject. As far as I’m concerned, that topic deserves a long, detailed look at some really bad bureaucratic behavior (in my opinion, some of it out-right criminal). However; what I want to discuss here is the effect of Mitt Romney’s stated intent of the United States being energy independent by the year 2020.Right now, we spend somewhere in the neighborhood of seven hundred billion dollars a year on imported oil. Not only that, but a lot of that money goes to countries that really don’t like us very much. What do you suppose the effect on our own economy would be if we decreased our trade deficit by seven hundred billion dollars, and increase our own economic activity by the same amount? I’m willing to bet the immediate effect of policies meant to make us energy independent would be to create millions of new jobs in short order. Not only that, but they would be good paying, private sector jobs.Even though adding the previously exported seven hundred or so billion dollars to our economy, instead of somebody else’s, would create a huge number of jobs all on its own, that financial addition would likely be a drop in the bucket. The real economy-growing, job-boosting effect of being energy independent would be the huge amount of economic activity created and sustained right here in the United States simply due to having a dependable, cost effective, and steady supply of energy. With a reliable, domestic supply of energy, the United States would not only retain its place as the “breadbasket of the world”, but very likely return to the lead in manufacturing which we once enjoyed. Since Mitt Romney’s record shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he thoroughly understands business and economics, I’m sure he’s completely aware of the results of making the United States energy independent. The fact that a Presidential candidate can openly say something as important as making us free from foreign oil, and have it receive less time and attention than whether or not Clint Eastwood’s speech was good or bad, doesn’t speak well for either our press, or our educational system.Bruce Kreitler is the author of Obamageddon (the Culmination of the Progressive Looting of America) and posts this and other articles at BruceKreitler.com.