A Reagan Moment

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, June 16, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Campaign ’08: The mainstream media are agog about the return of Ross Perot. But all he gave us was eight years of Bill Clinton and increased dependence on foreign energy. What we need is another Ronald Reagan.


Read More: Election 2008


 

He’s ba-a-ack, and the Los Angeles Times, for one, is glad for it. Calling our current economic situation “A Perot Moment,” the Times has declared it’s 1992 all over again and that Perot’s economic advice is as good as ever.

It credits the mouth that roared for using “dramatic charts and rattling off unsettling statistics” 16 years ago to raise the deficit issue and persuade “Congress to approve a package of tax hikes that, combined with a growing economy, yielded the first federal budget surpluses in nearly 30 years.”

We remember it differently. We remember a Bush economy Clinton inherited that grew at an impressive annualized rate of 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 1992. We remember Ross Perot bad-mouthing an economy roaring forward, helping Bill Clinton get elected with just 43% of the vote.

We remember that it kept growing largely due to the defeat of Clinton schemes like Hillary’s attempt to nationalize health care and the job- and economy-killing BTU tax. We remember the election of a GOP Congress in 1994 that put the brakes on future Clintonian spending and taxing excesses.

Columnist David Broder of the Washington Post is also happy “Perot is about to dip a toe back into the public debates” and that “he’s bringing his charts back with him” via a new Web site. Broder also credits Perot with raising the deficit issue and with leading the Clinton administration to abandon its promise of middle-class tax cuts. That’s a good thing?

The biggest threat to our economic and national security today, however, isn’t higher deficits but rising energy prices. Congress refuses to develop our abundant domestic energy reserves in the face of rising demand. Instead, Obama and friends want to raise energy prices even more through “windfall” taxes on producers. Perot, interestingly, supported a 50-cents-a-gallon tax increase in 1992.

We don’t need the second (or is it third) coming of Ross Perot. We need someone to step up and grab the mantle of Ronald Reagan. In his speech accepting the GOP nomination in 1980, Reagan warned of those who “tell us to use less, so that we will run out of oil, gasoline, and natural gas a little more slowly” and said, “America must get to work producing more energy.”

In words that could apply to the current Congress, Reagan said: “Large amounts of oil and natural gas lay beneath our land and off our shores, untouched because the present administration seems to believe the American people would rather see more regulation, taxes and controls than more energy.”

In 1987, eight years before Bill Clinton vetoed such a proposal, Reagan asked Congress to open ANWR, submitting with his proposal a required report showing that it could be done safely while adding a million barrels daily to domestic supply. John McCain, who proclaims himself a foot-soldier in the Reagan revolution, should take note.

We need to raise domestic energy production, not taxes, to keep the lights in Reagan’s shining city on a hill turned on.

 

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