"If I am President, I will immediately direct the full resources of the federal government and the full energy of the private sector to a single, overarching goal – in ten years, we will eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela. To do this, we will invest $150 billion over the next ten years and leverage billions more in private capital to build a new energy economy that harnesses American energy and creates five million new American jobs."Oh dear, I don't think I like the sounds of this. Notice first that Senator Obama promises, if President, to direct the full energy of the private sector. Oh my, I wonder what the Senator has been reading to think that he can direct the full energy of the private sector? If the Senator, as President, could direct the full energy of the private sector toward anything, then would there be a private sector?
Quick get out your copy of the Constitution, and see if the President has the constitutional power to direct the full energy of the private sector. Nope, I can't find this power listed there, can you?
So, what do you suppose he means when he says "the full energy of the private sector?" The private sector encompasses an awful lot of stuff, including resources directed to producing homes, schooling, restaurants, baseball bats, golf clubs, tennis shoes, cell phones, and of course this list has to be enormously long. Does he really want to direct the full energy of the private sector to just one goal?
I must say, I see such a campaign promise to reveal the Senator as someone who may well understand virtually nothing of "the basic principles upon which this civilization was built."
And, then of course, even though I think he has taught constitutional law, he may not have consulted his copy of the constitution lately. Because the second thing I note is that he promises to direct the full resources of the federal government to his one favorite goal. Again, I'm not liking the sounds of this. I believe a great deal of the power that will be necessary to accomplish directing the full resources of the federal government has to be power that is, as a matter of our constitution, the power of Congress.
Now, this is starting to sound a bit familiar to me. I can't quite pull from my memory where I've heard this sort of thing done before. Hmmm. Wait a minute, something is coming to me. Yep, I've got it now. President Chavez of Venezuela, didn't he decide to essentially become the government so he could direct the full resources of the government to his purposes? And, didn't President Chavez decide to "nationalize" oil so that he could direct the full energy of what was a private oil sector in the economy?
But of course, there is still more in the one paragraph of promises quoted above. When the Senator says "we will invest" I wonder who the "we" is? I'm afraid he is not talking about investing his own money or the money of his family or even the money of his campaign. I'm afraid he's talking about investing some of the money I will earn over the next 10 years. Oh my, the Senator and his friends in Washington already have plans for "investing" a significant part of the money I will earn over the next 10 years for social security checks and medicare payments for the retired (i.e., those no longer earning an income).
Of course, the President doesn't have the power to tax, and the President doesn't have the power to create a budget for the federal government. So, maybe the President has already talked this over with Congress, and the "we" is both the President and the Congress. Or, maybe the Senator is simply making a grand promise he well knows he cannot keep by his own actions alone.
Or, maybe the Senator and his friends have some pretty grand plans for our government that are quite inconsistent with "the basic principles upon which this civilization was built."
And, I haven't even noted his reference to "leverage" billions in private capital. Enough is enough! At least for now.