This week I will be heading to our nation’s capital to make Desoto County, Mississippi’s voice heard. The oil spill in the Gulf is a tragic accident, but BP’s safety failures should not be leveraged to eliminate jobs and punish our domestic oil producers. The administration’s ‘pause’ on offshore drilling, as well intentioned as it may be, is destroying jobs in Mississippi; jobs that may not return as we continue to see drilling rigs leave for foreign shores. If you then consider proposed massive tax hikes on domestic producers, forcing them to double pay for overseas earnings, it would appear that our government favors foreign oil competitors with these de facto subsidies.
Our state, and specifically our county is headed in the right direction following the recent economic recession, but I fear the consequences of skyrocketing energy costs on our local small businesses. Anyone who has ever dealt with budgeting before knows that you should not spend more than you earn. Unfortunately, this basic lesson seems to not apply to the government. Massive stimulus programs and bailouts have left the federal government lunging for new revenue sources. By targeting energy companies who will then pass on added costs to consumers, they are targeting everyone who relies on energy to heat their homes, drive their cars, or run their business. When businesses have higher overhead costs, they begin to eliminate expenses in the form of jobs, investments, and growth.
I firmly believe that if the federal government cannot afford its overzealous spending proposals, it should not partake in them. Placing this burden on the citizens of Mississippi, who are already in a tough economic position as a result of the lingering recession, the oil spill, and now the government imposed moratorium, is ludicrous. Tying our hands behind our backs with job destroying moratoriums and then reaching in our pockets with higher energy costs is called burglary, and in Desoto County that is a crime. August 3 and 4 I will go to Washington, DC to share this opinion with anyone who will listen. Our jobs, even the ones in the oil and gas sector that many in government don’t seem to appreciate, are just as important as the auto and financial industry jobs the government bailed out with our tax dollars last year. Raising our energy taxes and eliminating our jobs to support programs to save other jobs is inappropriate.