Just Look Around

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2024
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
look out for high gas prices

Just look around. At federal and state levels, Democrats are playing ostrich, heads in the sand, denying reality because they cannot be elsewhere. Here is the thing: Reality always finds you. Words are cheap, life is real. And what is most real right now? People are hurting.

Nationally, the price of gas went from $2.25 a gallon in January 2020 (as Mr. Biden took office) to $5.10 in January 2022. September 2023, gas in Los Angeles hit $6.25. Nationally, it is still $3.60.

Look at heating oil, on which New England has depended, and will for decades – to heat our homes. In November 2020, one gallon was $2.04. November 2022, a year later, one gallon was $5.88.

Now, pause with me. The average home tank is 275 gallons, and big ones are 1000 gallons. On average, the cost of a refill – on a cold day – went from $561 to $1,617. Larger tanks, $2,040 to $5,880 – in a year.

Why did this happen? In January 2021, Mr. Biden cut oil federal leasing. He knew 24 percent of oil and gas production is on federal lands. Still, his other executive orders curtailed production, claiming wind and solar would make the difference. Not a chance, not in a million years.  

Industry and consumer associations predicted the future, sad and accurate. Renewables are great, but they argued these anti-energy executive orders would “deter investment, kill jobs, reduce state revenues, and shift oil and gas production to other countries.” They did. In spades.

Production plummeted and US energy independence disappeared, wind and power never replacing the lost energy – since the aging power grid, the source of all electricity, relies on fossil fuel. Wind and solar are wonderful in their own way, but will never exceed 15 or 20 percent power production.

Never mind the physics and logic, subsidies sprang up everywhere. Federal subsidies for wind and solar now exceed $150 billion a year, while Democrat-controlled states like Maine hit taxpayers with $220 million a year in costs, money shoveled to foreign companies – while locally Maine utility ratepayers are socked with higher taxes to give the rich breaks for their new solar panels.

Where are those built? In clear cut forests, meant to be preserved for cleaner air. Meantime, Democrat subsidies pay out-of-state companies to put up sky-scraping wind turbines, the sort that recent studies suggest are killing Right Whales, a fact deflected by blaming lobstermen.

Can it get any crazier? What does that mean? Nationally, left-leaning Democrats threw the consumer under the bus, forgetting she votes, cannot afford this kind of pie-in-the-sky taxes, and is going under, job at risk, adult kids living at home, mandates unaffordable, inflation uncatchable.

In Democrat states – where one party controls the legislature and governorship, even by a few votes – things are grim unless voters wake up, vote their pocketbook, and flip the legislature and governor red. 

Raw:  The raw truth is we are being ripped off by one-party states who put special interests, foreign companies, and powerful solar or wind lobbyists over taxpayers. Simple as that. Working citizens in states like Maine underwrite their own demise. Beverly Hills, Chevy Chase, and Cape Elizabeth Democrats do not care. It is about them and their “agenda,” not you and yours.

What did Jimmy Stewart say? “This rabble you’re talking about … They do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community…” Is that not still true, now as then?

If this were not enough, Democrat-controlled legislatures push disrespect for girls, denigrating their privacy, dignity, safety, sports, and scholarships, in the name of “compassion.” Republicans are not doing that; they honor all, protect girls, and respect parents who want their kids protected.

Democrat legislatures in places like Maine are pushing “the San Francisco model,” higher taxes, higher regulation, illegal alien shelters and forget the veterans, language change, gun confiscation, dependence on government, and a slow crippling of individual liberties, faith, and capitalism.

So, is that who we are? Is the world better for this extreme Orwellian agenda, one that turns us on our neighbors, and a blind eye to the values and history of Americans, permitting open borders, recording fentanyl deaths, communist Chinese in our schools, and dealing drugs? I think not.

If you are like me, this gives you pause. Forget national politics. Pull yourself away from the 24-7 cycle, just look around. People want their freedom back, control over life, and the chance to get ahead.

People want dollars they saved to keep their value, kids to have a chance at the “American Dream,” shot at buying or renting a home. They want lower taxes, respect for their property, safety, education, hard work, and their vote. Democrats are failing them; we do not need to be “fixed.”

In sum, we do not want the “Berkley crowd” to parachute in, tell us how to run our lives, mandate we run them by San Francisco values, and lead us nowhere good. We just want our lives back.

Bottom line: America is at a crossroads. In many states, this election cycle decides it all. The Presidency, Senate, and House are important, but control over state legislatures is decisive.

If you have read this far, you either agree or disagree strongly, still your right.  But if you disagree, pause, just you. People are really hurting. Why? Democrat policies are a disaster. Just look around.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC. 

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