Barack Obama's handling of the Keystone pipeline, which would bring billions of barrels of much-needed oil from Canada down to refineries in Texas, is yet another example of the President's habit of putting Democrat party politics ahead of the national interest, at great cost to an American workforce aching for gainful employment, as well as the country's energy security.
- In a recent meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Obama announced that he would veto any bill that extends the payroll tax cut if it also lifted his ban on the Keystone pipeline.
- This comes in spite of the fact that Obama's administration has been vehemently insisting that the 2% payroll tax cut extension is somehow crucial for the ongoing survival of the middle class.
- Yet now, strikingly, Obama says he's willing to veto the tax cut extension – rather than permit construction of a pipeline that would provide high-paying jobs for 200,000 middle-class Americans in the midst of a recession.
- Also striking is the fact that the mainstream media and the Democrat Party are wailing that the end of the payroll tax cut will do great harm to working families. This is not how Democrats usually talk about tax cuts.
- Nor is Obama apparently worried about the cost of the payroll tax cut to government, or about the fact that its extension represents an ongoing drain on the only funding mechanism in place for Social Security.
- The sobering truth is that the payroll tax cut has already cost Social Security in excess of a $100 billion, without creating or saving a single job.
- As for the Keystone pipeline, saying yes to it is an open-and-shut case. It would increase America's domestic supply of oil – something which is sorely needed. It would lower our dependence on foreign oil, depriving hostile regimes like Iran and Venezuela of billions of dollars in revenue. It would lower the price of gasoline for American drivers. It would create tens or even hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs. But Obama will say no to it, in favor of a tax cut that hardly benefits Americans at all, and arguably poses a threat to senior citizens who count on their social security checks each month.
- Why is Barack Obama doing this? Rush Limbaugh has a fascinating theory, which is, sadly, totally consistent with the politically-driven character of our President. Limbaugh says:
- The environmentalist wackos are giving him money to keep it shut down, energy companies are probably donating him money, hoping that he will okay the pipeline. If he makes a decision before the election, he cuts off one of those streams of campaign contributions.
- For three years now, President Obama has revealed himself to be wholly self-centered in his political decision-making. Limbaugh speculates – and we agree – that he will approve the pipeline, but only after the election if he wins it (if the Republican candidate wins, he too will okay the pipeline – but Obama has it within his power to okay the Keystone pipeline today, and provide immediate gainful employment to thousands of American workers... something he refuses to do for base political reasons).
- In this clash of powerful liberal interest groups (unions versus environmentalists) it is the unions, who covet the pipeline's high-paying jobs, who will prevail. But they have to wait until after the election. For now, President Obama, that proud warrior in the class struggle against money-grubbing corporate America, will not be denied access to either of the twin rivers of cash which the parties to this conflict (environmentalists and energy companies) are funneling his way.
- This is only the latest example of Democrat chicanery in energy politics. The controversy over deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico may have faded from the headlines long ago, but Election Debates hasn't forgotten.
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