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Letter: Obama's misplaced priorities

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In his State of the Union address, President Obama missed his Sputnik moment, "I'm a centrist." He reiterated failed government policies. The nation is hurting. Families' food, energy, and medical costs are increasing. Businesses are inundated with regulations and high taxes that create uncertainty and keep unemployment above 9 percent. But Obama's priorities are high-speed rail and "clean energy," meaning government-subsidized solar, wind, and biofuels. Government-subsidized energy is not independence, but dependence on government handouts and thus higher costs.

Consider ethanol's $5 billion subsidy in the new tax bill. Cornell scientist David Pimentel calculates putting the entire U.S. corn crop in ethanol production would satisfy only 4 percent of oil consumption. Ethanol production consumes 40 percent of U.S. corn. "Ethanol has no environmental gain" (Al Gore). The U.S. has over 2 trillion barrels of untapped oil reserves, enough for the next 100 years (U.S. Geological Service, 2008). But Obama promotes an oil drilling moratorium and $42,000 government-subsidized 40-mile-charged electric cars.

Obama's speech was half over before citing government spending. The size of government has increased 27 percent in two years and national debt by over $2.5 trillion. His solution is to freeze a small portion of government for the next five years, a Band-aid on cancer! Actual cuts are needed.

Freezes do not reduce debt and interest payments, currently at 62 percent of GDP. He praises Obamacare when 75 percent of Americans say NO! Obamacare will increase debt, insurance costs, and doctor shortages. Exemptions to Obamacare mandates have been granted to 700 businesses. Forty percent are union employees. Union rules, exemptions, and pensions are becoming a real impediment to American progress.

"A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he defies all sound judgment." Obama is no centrist; he's an ideologue with misplaced priorities. When facing 1930s German National Socialism, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "If you board the wrong train, it's no use running down the corridor in the opposite direction."

Ron Snyder

Willmar

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