Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said something the other day which identified one of the many problems in government – pay raises for the elite during recessionary times. Reid got his nose out of joint; it seems Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had his $20,000 raise held up by Senator David Vitter, a pro-drilling Republican from Louisiana.
“It is wrong for Sen. Vitter to try to get something in return for moving forward on a matter that the Senate has considered routine for more than a century,” Reid said. You see, folks in government see nothing wrong in getting raises regardless of the fact that most of the country is suffering moderate to severe income issues; it’s considered routine.
The country’s bank account is on life support and, like Harry Reid pointed out, it’s only $20,000; what’s the big deal? I’ll tell you what the big deal is; thousands of folks in the oil industry have been laid off because Salazar’s bureaucracy has effectively shut down drilling in the Gulf. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement has signed off on only one new oil well permit; all the rest were reissued for existing wells.
The Obama administration’s moratorium on drilling was imposed to penalize the oil industry (and our free market capitalist system), putting thousands of workers on unemployment. I’ve a better idea; put Salazar and the rest of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement on the unemployment line. So much for routine raises!
“The history behind your pay raise proposal and the insider support it may have here in Washington is irrelevant. Mr. Secretary, the fact is your polices and your department’s mismanagement of permits is causing more Gulf energy workers literally to lose their jobs every day,” he (Vitter) wrote.”
Deep water drilling rigs have left our Gulf waters where they’ve been refused permits in favor of more friendly areas like Brazil where the Obama administration has pumped billions of American taxpayer dollars to help Petrobras, Brazil’s state owned oil company. Specialized rigs will not return for years, leaving our oil industry, related jobs and U.S. economy far behind. When asked what unemployed oil workers should do since they have no money for bread, I may have heard wrong; but Reid is rumored to have said, “Let them eat cake.”
This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”