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Roth: Blame the government for our woes

Every major problem we are facing today is not because of war, but because of the arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence of government central planners and their cronies.

The elites pushing their agendas and their cronies’ pet projects, whether through short-sightedness or nefarious intentions, have delivered an obvious negative outcome for America.

Our economic woes started long before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. And while Putin deserves the blame for war, our government central planners get the full credit for our economic and national security vulnerabilities.

The highest inflation in the last 40 years was recorded before eastern Europe even entered the conversation. This came on the back of central planning decisions, while those central planners feigned ignorance as to the outcome. The Federal Reserve printing trillions of dollars and the trillions more of government “relief spending,” increased further with Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” were enough to drive substantial inflation. Add to that the decisions that turned off large swaths of the economy over the past couple of years and structurally kept workers out of the labor force, which also disrupted the supply chains and labor markets to increase the inflationary pressures.

Then, include the Biden administration’s suspending oil and gas leases, withdrawing the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and the crony corporate kowtowing to the elite push for ESG reducing oil- and gas-related investment; these actions all impacted rising gas prices before Putin’s madness came into play.

Once Russia invaded Ukraine, these existing vulnerabilities became bigger weaknesses, something that should have been obvious to the average American, let alone those in government “leadership” positions.

Not expanding the United States’ capacity as a producer of oil and gas resources was both a farce and an obvious national security issue. It didn’t decrease the demand for those resources (although the pandemic reactions did temporarily); what it did was shift some percent of the production from the U.S., which has the technology, capabilities, and incentives to produce more cleanly, to nations run by terrorists, tyrants, human rights abusers, and other generally bad people. These regimes and countries share the same planet, yet do not produce as cleanly as the U.S. could.

That’s quite a “green” strategy — both from an economic “green” and an environmental “green” standpoint.

These decisions have reverberations globally, creating vulnerabilities for our allies in Europe, who also reduced their own nuclear and oil and gas energy production, exposing them to geopolitical strife.

So, while we could have been fortifying U.S. production so that one or more foreign bad actors wouldn’t be able to leverage that against us, our government and corporate cronies couldn’t see (or didn’t care) what was flashing in front of them like a giant neon sign and ultimately did nothing on that front.

These actions will only worsen the already fragile U.S. economic situation caused by their other policy decisions.

The average American ends up paying the price, both figuratively and quite literally.

It’s not just oil and gas. The past two years exposed the weakness of depending on China for key inputs and products. The Russian invasion is highlighting other dependencies, ranging from nickel (which is a key component in the batteries used to make electric vehicles, among many other things), aluminum, wheat, fertilizers, and many other products that are key to a smooth functioning economy and everyday living, and some that could even lead to bigger crises, like food shortages in parts of the world.

Instead of strengthening America, both for economic security and national security, the central planning government leaders have been actively making us more vulnerable, taking policy direction from people who range from activist-sponsored teenagers to global entities that would be thrilled with the destruction of the American economy and way of life.

There will always be some bad actor around the corner, and we must be prepared. It’s far past the time to reverse these bad government policy actions and focus on a stronger America and better strategic decision-making.

If we don’t hold government accountable and enact change, then we will only have ourselves to blame.

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Roth: Blame the government for our woes

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