DEMOCRATS are poised to renominate President Barack Obama and make the case for returning him to the White House. That's going to take quite a sales pitch, with unemployment above 8 percent for the longest period since the Great Depression.
Obama claims he only targets the rich, but he's done much to harm the middle class and working poor, including here in Oklahoma, in ways both big and small. U.S. Census Bureau data show median household income has plunged over $4,000 under Obama. The rising cost of fuel and food are big factors in that decline; Obama's preferred policies are one reason those commodities are becoming more expensive.
The United States has about 1 trillion barrels of estimated recoverable oil. Yet Obama restricts drilling, limiting supplies and ultimately increasing prices at the pump. The American Energy Alliance notes the federal government leases just 2.2 percent of federal offshore areas and less than 5.4 percent of federal onshore lands for oil and natural gas production.
Obama's opposition to projects like the Keystone pipeline further harms supply; his call to hike taxes on oil companies is another surefire way to increase consumer costs. In contrast, the private-sector-driven surge of natural gas production caused prices to plummet from a pre-2008 average of roughly $7 per million British thermal units to around $3 today. The same thing could happen for oil — and gasoline prices — if Obama would get government out of the way.
This summer's drought has hammered crops, leading to higher food prices. The ethanol fuel mandate further limits the food supply. Nearly a fourth of the nation's corn is reportedly used for ethanol, driving up the price of food — including meat, because of higher feed costs for livestock. A bipartisan coalition has asked Obama's Environmental Protection Agency to waive the ethanol mandate and ease pressure on food supplies. So far, their cries have gone unheard. Mitt Romney has supported ethanol too, but it's hard to see him turning a blind eye to hunger.
Looming EPA regulations could force the closure of many coal-fired power plants. A National Economic Research Associates study conducted for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy predicts average U.S. retail electricity prices could increase 12 percent as a result and as much as 24 percent regionally.
Obama's new standards require average fuel economy to increase to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Compliance with the standards could increase car prices by anywhere from $2,937 to $12,349 average per vehicle. As a result, the National Automobile Dealers Association estimates the mandates will force as many as 7 million car buyers out of the market (which would statistically include around 70,000 Oklahomans).
The looming threat of nearly $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts next January could cause another recession, yet Obama refuses to back off his tax-hike obsessions. In comparison, Mitt Romney wants to cut taxes across the board. Even those earning just $17,400 to $70,700 would pay 20 percent less under Romney's plan than under Obama.
And then there's Obamacare, which may reduce access to health care — and will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs according to the Congressional Budget Office.
All this is occurring as Obama says he wants to help middle-class families. Just imagine how bad things would be if he was actively trying to harm them.