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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

O'Reilly Vs. Obama IV: Energy

The fourth segment focused on energy policy along with foreign policy. On energy policy, Barack Obama wants to spend $150 billion over ten years. O'Reilly asked him where the money is going to go, and Obama said that it would go toward tax credits for all sorts of alternative energy sources like wind, solar, biodiesel, etc.

Now, when he first proposed this plan, I thought that it was going to go to more government spending. Tax credits is something that I can get behind. On the other hand, spending $15 billion per year is nothing. T. Boone Pickens, himself, just dropped $2 billion to buy a bunch of wind turbines. Furthermore, the government already provides plenty of tax credits for alternative energy sources. So, while I like the philosophy behind his plan, tax credits rather than government spending, I think it would require a significantly larger investment than merely $15 billion per year. (I proposed a ten year moratorium on capital gains, dividend, and income taxes for any companry or division that produces domestic energy)

Obama still was on record as being against drilling in ANWR. He says that we have "pristine" areas in our country and to Senator Obama, ANWR is one of them. That is simply not something that folks in America will agree with. Now, if Senator McCain can change his own position on ANWR, that would give him a huge advantage on this issue.

From here, O'Reilly moved onto Afghanistan. He pointed out that many of our NATO allies currently in Afghanistan simply won't fight. That's true, the rules of engagement for the Germans basically keeps them away from any serious conflict. To this, Barack Obama again blamed Iraq. He asserted that because we have lost so much standing in the world as a result of Iraq that this is why the European allies in Afghanistan won't fight. This answer is, in my opinion, tired, obvious and totally telegraphed. No matter what problem there is in the world Barack Obama thinks that Iraq was the cause of it. The Europeans are weak and cowardly and that's why they won't fight in Afghanistan. Blaming everything on Iraq maybe a nice sound bite for the far left but it isn't a policy.

Finally, they talked about Russia. Barack Obama saw two ways which we have leverage over Russia. First, their economy is integrated into Europe. That's true, however, in my opinion, the leverage is from Russia onto Europe. Europe receives 25% of their energy from Russia. That's one of the reasons they are so apt not to confront Putin. They are already cowardly by nature, but this extra leverage makes them downright frightened. If Barack Obama thinks this will be leverage, he will be in for a rude awakening when he attempts to get the Europeans to use it. Second, he said that we need to get our energy policy in order. I agree and if we did, that would be the ultimate leverage against Russia, however it will take decades to do that. Thus, Barack Obama is dreaming up pie in the sky solutions to a real, growing, and imminent threat.

also, here is part 1 ,part 2, and part 3

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