Can Romney create those 12 million jobs?
By Dennis T. Avery
Mitt Romney says he could create 12 million jobs in a four year term. Could he really do it? The odds are he could.
Romney would start, of course, with energy, where gasoline prices have doubled under Obama. High energy costs have scuttled lots of small businesses; people could no longer afford their goods or services. High gas prices also drove some employees out of the job market as they could no longer afford commuting to a job with modest pay.
Obama campaigned on raising energy costs even higher; to protect us from the man-made global warming that is not occurring. He even hints about further slashing fossil fuel use after he wins "more flexibility" in a second term.
Romney would also eliminate the fear that the EPA will restrict the fracking that is delivering a wealth of lower-cost oil and gas. This should, instead, create more and more new jobs. Writing in London's Daily Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says "Swathes of American industry have acquired a massive and lasting advantage in energy costs over global rivals [due to fracking]. . . . Europe is going in the opposite direction, drifting toward energy suicide."
With fracking, some 50 new U.S. petrochemical projects have recently been unveiled. Royal Dutch Shell is planning a big ethane plant near Pittsburg. Dow Chemical is shutting down operations in Belgium, Holland, Spain, the UK and Japan—but pouring money into a new propylene plant in Texas.
The American Chemistry Council says shale fracking has also reversed the fortunes of the aluminum, iron, steel, rubber, coated metals and glass industries. It is encouraging a "homecoming" of machine tool, electrical products, transport equipment, and furniture industries back from China, says PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Chinese wages have been surging, so our new low-cost gas offsets higher U.S. wages— under a government they can trust.
Interior Secretary Salazar has sharply reduced permits for drilling on Federal lands and offshore waters. Now he's quietly put half the National Petroleum Reserve in the Alaskan tundra off limits to drilling. That reserve has been designated for energy development since 1923! The eco-activists already have the nearby Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge for the caribou and migrating birds—though today's North Slope oil production doesn't even threaten them.
Romney would also end Obama's senseless war on coal, restoring vitality to the heartland states, which depend on burning coal cleanly to keep their electricity costs competitive.
Then there's the huge uncertainty of Obamacare. One of the President's health-care advisors has just predicted the cost of private health insurance will rise 30 percent by 2016. At the same time, large numbers of doctors are opting out of Medicare because their mandated government payments won't cover their costs. One of those rising costs is medical liability insurance—the "tax" imposed by the trial lawyers who support Obama.
That's all before we even get to the mounting debt and the out-of-control spending he seems determined to continue. "Investments" in education and infrastructure still will cost money we don't have, unless we cut spending elsewhere. On debt, spending, energy, health care, appointing Supreme Court justices--and even following the laws on the books—I label Barack Obama the "uncertainty President." His National Labor Relations Board even barred Boeing from building a new plant in South Carolina!
Obama seems to want to dismantle the country that elected him and wrestle it into some different shape only he can see. That means a President Romney could eliminate the political uncertainties that have kept even companies with cash from expanding in the Obama years.
Twelve million more jobs? It might well be more.
Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 2442; email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website at www. cgfi.org.