President Obama’s 2012 budget presentation echoed his constant complaint of the huge deficit he inherited from President George W. Bush and the Republicans (“Obama aims to pare deficit and spare entitlements,” Page 1, Thursday). It is past time to set the record straight.
It was under President Clinton that lenders were forced to provide mortgages to those who were bad risks. When there were significant concerns about lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Republicans introduced legislation to regulate their actions. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut said there was no impending crisis and blocked the legislation. The housing crisis that resulted is still with us and even worse.
The Democrats’ decades-old energy policies prevented exploration or drilling for our own natural energy sources. Instead, they continue to focus on unreliable or unsustainable solar, wind and hydroelectric power, none of which can power cars, planes or boats for use by the military, commercial businesses or everyday citizens. The Democrats also force us to subsidize ethanol, which is less efficient than gasoline, more costly to transport and has decreased the world supply of corn for food.
If exploration and drilling were allowed the way they ought to be, drillers, equipment operators, suppliers, processors, transporters and distributors would have jobs and good wages, and be able to use their purchasing power to pay taxes. Also, businesses and consumers would have lower fees and costs for these energy resources and we would be less dependent on foreign energy supplies.
Because of the Democratic-favored unions with their generous benefits and pension plans, higher priced U.S.-made cars and trucks have not been able to compete with foreign manufacturers, the Japanese in particular. The bailout for GM and Chrysler came at a high cost to taxpayers and investors.
Finally, Democrats’ special treatment for trial lawyers continues to play a significant role in the high cost of health care, with high insurance rates for physicians due to the need to practice defensive medicine. As we can all see, the Democrats helped in a big way to create the deficit they inherited.
MARVIN L. HOOVIS