05 June 2011

Obama Doubles Down on Stupid as US Economy Stalls

The US economy is facing another extended downturn, as Obama's economic policies fail yet again to lift US employment prospects. Years ago, Obama promised to keep unemployment under 8% -- as it was when he took office. Unfortunately, unemployment seems to be heading back toward double-digit territory, in the long term.
Under President Obama unemployment has remained above 8 percent for every single month, with the exception of January 2009 when he entered the Oval Office, rising as high as 10.1 percent in October 2009. By any measure, this is a terrible track record, and as even The New York Times acknowledged earlier this week, “no American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.”

The dire jobs figures are just part of an extraordinarily grim picture for the US economy, nearly two and a half years into the Obama presidency. As ABC News reported yesterday, “a cascade of negative economic reports this week is leaving Americans wondering if this is really a recovery from the recession that officially started December 2007 and ended June 2009.” And the housing market, in which 67 percent of Americans have a stake, is in serious trouble, with home prices sinking to their lowest levels since 2002, falling by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and for eight straight months in a row.

In addition, the White House is paralysed in the face of the nation’s towering debts, which reached 62 percent of GDP by the end of 2010, the highest percentage since the end of World War Two. The Congressional Budget Office warned last year in its “alternative fiscal scenario” that “with significantly lower revenues and higher outlays”, the federal debt could grow to a staggering 87 percent of GDP by 2020, rising to 109 percent by 2025 and 185 percent in 2035.
It is little wonder that 66 percent of Americans now worry the federal government will finally run out of their money, and Moody’s Investors Service is threatening to downgrade America’s sterling credit rating unless it gets to grips with the debt crisis. Undoubtedly, the very future of the United States’ position as the word’s only superpower is at stake in the next few years _Telegraph
So what is Obama doing to fix the US' economic problems? He is doubling down on stupid by shutting down a big new oil pipeline from Canada. Not only does this new "Marie Antoinette-esque" policy hurt American energy, industry, and jobs, but it threatens to rile up Canada as well. While in keeping with an overall Obama policy of energy starvation, taking this action at this time makes the US President look even more foolish than usual.
PHMSA is mandating that TransCanada provide a detailed “restart plan,” conduct “mechanical and metallurgical” testing, and analyze the pipeline components that failed last month.

In addition, the order instructs TransCanada to conduct a review of its entire pipeline system within 60 days, among other things.

The order comes at a politically sensitive time for TransCanada. The company is seeking federal approval to expand its Keystone pipeline to carry Canadian oil sands from Alberta to Texas.

The proposed project, known as Keystone XL, is currently undergoing a multi-agency review that is being headed up by the State Department. Comments on the project’s latest layer of environmental review are due by Monday. _The Hill
When combined with the Obama administrations attacks against offshore oil drilling, shale oil fracking, new nuclear reactor design approval, coal plants and new coal technology etc. -- this latest attack on the importation of Canadian oil sands liquids reveals the Obama administration as even more anti-energy than Jimmy Carter.

In the meantime, Obama's crew continues to promote expensive and unreliable solar and wind energy mega-projects technologies -- presumably in an attempt to prevent these funds from reaching other energy projects which might actually supply usable and reliable energy to the American economy.

Of course, never attribute to ideology what could more easily be explained by corruption: One of Obama's biggest financial supporters and public fans, General Electric, is heavily invested in big wind energy and is diving into big solar. The administration is always happy to supply waivers and grant favours to those who are willing to play on the team.

Meanwhile the rest of the US economy is floundering, with no help to be found from an administration of corrupt revolutionaries without a clue.

More: Brian Wang describes the significant buildup of Canadian oilsands production. The Obama - Salazar - Reid policy of energy starvation never made very much sense. If these stuck-on-stupid idiots remain at the controls of US energy policies for much longer, the US may have to join the Organisation of Third World Countries.

More 6June11: More on the political / faux environmental forces lining up in opposition to the Keystone XL cross-border project (including map). With such a large and influential part of government and society promoting suicidal energy policies, the rot will be difficult to excise in time to prevent significant hardship, unless an electoral and taxpayer revolution occurs in the next 2 years.

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