Our three major challenges, and how to fix them
Fortunately, the three major challenges facing America today are problems well within our ability to fix. They are: (1) The Islamo-fascist assault on non-Muslims and Western Civilization, (2) Our continued dependence on foreign oil, and (3) An immigration problem that is out of control.
Of the three, the immigration problem is most readily capable of solution: One, we establish control over our borders using a combination of physical barriers, electronic surveillance and human resources. Two, we operate a guest-worker program allowing non-criminal immigrants to come here and work for fixed periods of time. But we do not, repeat do not, allow them jump to the head of the line. Even so, we can make the entire line move more quickly.
Moreover, we should amend the 14th Amendment to require that at least one parent of an immigrant born within our borders be a U.S. Citizenship before U.S. citizenship can be conferred automatically. But Constitutional Amendments take many years to enact and ratify. Meanwhile, adequate border security and an effective guest-worker program can be achieved much more readily.
Because private industry can take the lead, we can eliminate our dependence on foreign oil relatively quickly. But let’s review the difference between the price of gasoline at the pump and the price of crude oil per barrel.
Government can rather quickly drop the price of gasoline at the pump by cutting taxes on fuel, by cutting back on overly restrictive environmental regulations and by releasing some of our strategic petroleum reserves. The trade-off, of course, is a loss of tax revenues for roads, bridges and waterways and less crude oil for all-out national emergencies.
But the price of crude oil, as opposed to the price of gasoline, is at the heart of our energy problems. Fortunately, we can gear up our production of domestic crude oil by exploring and drilling for oil in more places like those 2,200 acres in Alaska which the enviro-nuts have, so far, placed off-limits. We can open up more of the continental shelf for off-shore rigs. We can construct more petroleum refineries (none built for 30 years).
And we can develop and make better use of clean coal, nuclear, wind, solar and geothermal power. But the way, attempts at wind-energy production off of Cape Cod are being thwarted by Senator Edward Kennedy. Teddy and his neighbor, Walter Cronkite, don’t want those big propellers to spoil their ocean views.
Mind you, virtually all terrorist attacks directed against the U.S. and our allies have been and continue to be funded by the sale of crude oil from dictatorships located in the Middle East. By taking the steps outlined above, we can cause the crude-oil-producing dictators to trade in their Mercedes limousines for camels.
Think of it this way: We are paying for the War on Terror twice. We pay at the gas pump because dollars spent on foreign oil flow into the terrorists coffers and then we pay again via the taxes we pay to defend ourselves from further terrorist attacks. Duh.
Here’s what the Islamo-fascists tell their followers and prospective followers: “The killing of 10 American soldiers is nothing compared to the impact of the rise in oil prices on America and the disruption it causes in the international economy.”
As we become independent of crude oil produced by foreign dictators, two major benefits will accrue: (1) The dictators of the Middle East will have less money to give to the terrorists and (2) the U.S. will have no need to keep our troops in Iraq or anywhere in the Middle East. Our forces and weapons systems can be redeployed to guard against ballistic missile attacks directed at the continental U.S., and to prevent the smuggling of nuclear weapons into this country.
If all this seems beyond the powers of those of us at the local level, here’s a simple first step: Don’t buy gas from Citgo. Citgo is owned by Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.