Sagging Star

Reflecting back

GasPricesDown-01

Do I long for the days when I received a weekly mail from my congressman, Francisco Canseco? I truly do:

[14 October 2012]

Congressman Canseco’s Weekly Column
Where are the Jobs?

Nearly four years ago, the Obama Administration promised us that their economic policies would keep unemployment under 8%.  Last week’s September jobs report showed that it’s taken them 44 months to get there – while the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.8% is welcome news, it’s a reminder that we remain mired in the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression.
Despite all the spin from the Obama Administration touting the “strength” of the jobs report, the facts are clear:  Twenty-three million Americans find themselves out of work or can only find part-time work; one half of recent college graduates remain unemployed or underemployed; and during the second quarter of 2012, our economy grew by a paltry 1.3%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  These numbers are not the hallmarks of a strong economy, and they stand in stark contrast to the Obama Administration’s 2009 projection that the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.6% right now if we passed the trillion dollar stimulus bill.
President Obama and his liberal allies have attempted to spend, tax, and regulate our way to a better economy, and it hasn’t worked.  It’s time we implement policies to put America back to work.  One way to do that is to take advantage of the vast amount of energy resources we have right here in America. The 23rd District is fortunate to include portions of the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale, two of the most prolific oil and gas production areas in the country.  According to a recent study, production at Eagle Ford alone contributed $25 billion in economic output and supported 47,000 jobs in the region during 2011.  The potential for further growth and job creation in the Eagle Ford region and Permian Basin are tremendous, and we must ensure that the economic opportunities afforded to the residents of those areas are not denied. 

This is typical of the mail I received from my congressman, and it came a few days before voters cast him out of office.

Despite the congressman’s warnings of  doom and gloom, the unemployment rate in the United States has since dropped to 4.9%. And, by the way, the United States at the time of Mr. Canseco’s writing was, and is now, an energy exporting country. We are not dependent on foreign supplies of oil. We produce more than we consume, and we export gasoline.

What impact has this had on American jobs and the American petroleum industry overall? Contrary to what Mr. Canseco and other have claimed, should I say wished for, the effect has been a loss of jobs in the industry. The glut of American  oil has forced the price down and has forestalled production in some sectors. The following is two years old, but the story has not changed much since then:

OTTAWA — For as long as 400-ton dump trucks have been rumbling around the open pit mines of Canada’s oil sands, crews from Kal Tire have been on hand to replace and repair their $70,000, 13-foot diameter tires.

But the relationship, going back over a decade, didn’t spare the company when oil prices began plummeting.

Dan Allan, the senior vice president of Kal’s mining tire unit, said that customers immediately began looking for price concessions. Others asked Kal to withdraw personnel from some sites or swiftly canceled plans to add more maintenance crews.

This is, of course, Canada, actually the major source of the oil we do import. In the United States the emerging sources are shale, mined at the surface, and hydraulic fracturing, both of which are opening up new sources of petroleum.

The result of all of this is that, despite my former congressman’s warnings of economic disaster, the American  economy has soared under the care of the Obama administration, with the Dow-Jones averages hanging just under the 20,000 mark as Mr. Obama prepares to exit stage left. On Christmas day I made my last out-of-town drive of the year and passed a number of Valero stations alongside the freeway. Unleaded was still going for less than $2 a gallon.

Enter President-elect Donald Trump, and the table is set for him to make his mark. There is ample room to move downward, and Mr. Trump has sold his supporters on promises of an economic surge. It would appear the surge is already here, and whether it is the peak of a wave or the beginning of a swell, the coming months will tell. With a Republican congress in power, Mr. Trump will have little wiggle room if his promises don’t pan out. Then, Donald Trump has proved himself in past months to be the king of wiggle.

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One thought on “Sagging Star

  1. I first agreed with your appraisal. I thought that The Preznit Donald was going to have to beat it, make a fast retreat in a Trump Air Lines 727 packed with gold bullion, a la Batista, when wholesale buyers’ remorse sets in, and America stays the same (or things get worse).

    You have several million armed, unemployed, resentful supporters, and you suddenly (and spectacularly) do a bait-and-switch on them (“…The ‘Wall’ was only metaphorical…”) and they’ll come after you.

    This conjecture I had was perhaps too simplistic. As someone pointed out in another context, even when you’ve been badly fooled you don’t want to face up to it. You would prefer to put a brave face on your [foolish] decision and back it to the hilt.

    Or perhaps both responses to The Grand Disappointment will manifest. The masses won’t give the puffy wonder much time to perform his miracle; after a year or two of moreofthesame they’re liable to be fit to be tied.

    Promises to be fun. And tragic.

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