Commentary: Change we don’t need

2012-10-09T07:00:00Z Commentary: Change we don’t needBy Gov. BRIAN SANDOVAL Elko Daily Free Press
October 09, 2012 7:00 am  • 

When President Obama talks about his energy policy, he often tells us that he’ll create “new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.” He’s said it here in Nevada and he’s said it in his State of the Union addresses. It remains a lofty and worthy goal for our country to achieve. Unfortunately, the President seems to have forgotten about the good jobs we already have, the ones that result from industries his policies threaten to endanger.

Four years ago while he was campaigning for office, President Obama came to Northern Nevada said that he would “make sure to maintain the industry here in Elko.” Back then, President Obama promised to oppose new royalties and taxes on mining, saying that they would hurt the mining industry and destroy jobs. “What’s clear to me,” he told us, “is that the legislation that has been proposed places a significant burden on the mining industry and could have a significant impact on jobs.” He was right then, and nothing has changed in the last four years. Nothing, that is, except President Obama’s position on the issue.

Now President Obama’s budget includes a five percent royalty on hardrock mineral mining and the very “dirt tax” he once opposed. Not only would such a move dramatically raise the cost of doing business, the royalty alone would place the heaviest burden of any imposed by a federal government in the entire world.

Such a move would be devastating for those of us in Nevada. Our mining industry provides thousands of good jobs with salaries that are nearly double the state-wide average. At a time when unemployment here in Nevada is at a staggering 12.1 percent, that’s the last thing we need.

But should we be surprised? Have jobs and unemployment really ever been the President’s top priority? Consider how President Obama spent his political capital. When he came into office, he had control of every part of the government, with huge majorities in the United States House of Representatives and the Senate. But instead of focusing on economic growth, he passed Obamacare, a program that — no matter what one may think about its intent — does nothing to create jobs and, in fact, may actually destroy them.

We need a major change of priorities in Washington, D.C. We’ve come to expect the crushing jobs numbers. We’ve been desensitized to 8 percent unemployment nationally, to 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, to poverty rates that are on the rise, and numbers of Americans on food stamps that stagger the imagination.

But these numbers are so much more than statistics. They represent real Americans, real Nevadans, who are suffering under this President’s policies. Four years ago, President Obama promised change. But like so many of Barack Obama’s promises, the President disappointed us. Now he is saying that you can’t change Washington from the inside.

We simply cannot afford that attitude, and we can’t afford four more years of failure. We cannot re-elect a president who has had precious little success when it comes to creating jobs and who is now promising to double-down on failed policies if he is re-elected.

President Obama was right in 2008. We did need change. We still need it. He has disappointed us. Now we have a choice. Do we double-down on the failed policies of the past four years? Or do we take a different path? The future of our entire nation at stake, I believe the answer is clear: We need Mitt Romney in the White House.

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