There isn’t much John Stossel says that I agree with.  Not that he isn’t a brilliant man; he is.  He’s a affirmed Libertarian and I’m a Conservative.  The difference?  Whereas he believes that government’s role is so limited that it is little more than a tax collector, I believe government does have a limited role in protecting the American public.  Libertarian’s universally believe that we, as in the government, shouldn’t meddle in the business of other countries.  To some extent, I agree, but there are exceptions.  When the United States is threatened by the actions of another country, I believe the government has a duty to protect us from that threat.  I also believe that not all government regulations are bad.  For example, would you want to purchase meat from a processing plant that didn’t meet some basic food safety regulations?  If you’ve been in an automobile crash, and your airbag went off, thank the government regulations that required that airbag be present.  There is a role for government, but when government regulations go beyond protection I too share Stossel’s concerns.

One of the government’s programs that Mr. Stossel wrote about this past week is something I wholeheartedly agree with.  The President’s green movement is a pipe dream.  The goal of providing environmentally friendly technologies isn’t a bad idea.  It is something we’ve been doing for quite some time.  The catalytic converter on your car is an example.  Better air quality in manufacturing towns is something those of us with a few years under our belts remember all too well.  It’s not new.  But when there’s an agenda beyond improving the quality of our water, or air, and when it’s driven by a pure hatred of all things carbon, it often carries a cost far beyond the benefit.

In Stossel’s article, he quote Kenneth Green, an expert in the effects of so-called “Green jobs.”  Green is an environmental scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.  Clearly he’s not someone with a particular political bias.  A man who choses a career as an environmental scientist has a strong belief in improving and protecting the environment.

Green studied the “green programs” in Spain and found that for every job it created, 2.2 jobs were lost.  It was worse in Italy, where nearly 5 jobs were lost for every job created.  Just those two facts demonstrate the folly of Obama’s promised 2.3 million jobs created from a green economy.

 

While the President was promising his green initiative would “help close the clean-energy gap between American and other nations,” Kenneth Green said that, “Countries are cutting these programs because they realize that aren’t sustainable and they are obscenely expensive.”

Stossel says, that while Obama claims that if we invest more, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs, but only if we accelerate that transition, it clearly also has the potential to cost millions more jobs.  A goal to fine-tune our environmental programs would seem to make sense, but any initiative driven only by political goals is akin to driving with a blindfold on; it doesn’t end in a good way.

Treating our environment in a responsible way makes sense.  We shouldn’t neglect our environment as we all want to leave our kids a cleaner environment than our parents left us.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But environmental plans should never ever have a political intention.  The environment doesn’t belong to the Liberals, Libertarians or Conservatives; it’s a responsibility we all share.  Using green programs to achieve a political end is plain dishonest.  Wise attention to protecting the environment is a good thing.  Let’s not corrupt something everyone should agree with.

Kudos Mr. Stossel.