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Foreign Oil & Rob Portman

August 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

Rob Portman explained his solidly conservative positions against ObamaCare and cap-and-trade in this video interview outside of  a fundraiser at the home of  Jim Smail. Considering the leftist radicalism you will find among the two Democrat challengers, Lee Fisher and Jennifer Brunner, there is no doubt that Rob Portman is the only Ohio senatorial candidate remotely interested in shrinking government and unleashing America’s entrepreneurs to create the type of prosperity that statists could never legislate into existence.

However, maybe I’m just not patriotic enough, but what is with this “end our dependency on foreign oil” rhetoric of Portman, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, et cetera?  No matter where oil is produced, prices are set by the global market and this is synchronized throughout the world by the global demand and ease of its transportation. Portman, as the former U.S. Trade Representative, certainly understands this.

The question asked of Portman by the reporter was framed as a question of “national security.” But if this is a debate of OPEC and geo-politics, the attempted 1973 oil embargo was a failure (it was so expensive that OPEC was forced to drop it after 2 months), and what American consumers saw was a result of President Carter’s price controls and panic. If OPEC can’t harm America collectively, individual nations who wish to cut off their oil production most certainly can’t.

And the rarely-mentioned flip-side of our dependence on foreign oil is their dependence on us buying it.  Middle-east countries have economies largely based on oil, which gives the buyer more control and gives America vital political leverage by making it more expensive for irrational regimes to act irrationally. This isn’t a perfect equation, but its certainly more effective than supporting the impossible mission of having Americans try to produce and buy everything domestically.

While serving as a Congressman, Rob Portman, on Jun 26, 2000, voted against just about every conservative in the US House by supporting the bureaucratic implementation of some of the Kyoto Protocol. And he has a record of supporting inefficient ethanol. But he also supported drilling in ANWR, and voted against subsidizing those ugly, Malthusian hybrid cars. (Even though Rob bought one. Gag!)

So while his record as a conservative on energy is not spotless, Portman is certainly in support of an increase in sensible domestic drilling. But as a general principle, I think he should support new drilling, even if not a single drop of the increased production is actually used domestically.

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  3. Rob Portman & the Golden Lamb
  4. Rob Portman’s New Website….
  5. Rob & Kevin’s Excellent Adventure

  • Daniel Jack Williamson
    There is one other candidate who has announced for U.S. Senate, and that would be Tom Ganley.

    I agree that Fisher and Brunner would both continue to bloat the Federal Government if they were elected.

    Rob Portman served in the Bush Administration that also saw growth. I agree that Portman is a far better selection than Fisher or Brunner. What remains to be seen is whether Portman or Ganley is better.

    Just to get an idea about whether Portman is a big government compassionate conservative like Bush (which, I don't find all that conservative) or someone who will really shrink the Federal government, I compared the webpages of Ganley and Portman on the issue of health care.

    This is from Tom Ganley's website on health care:
    ***************************************
    There are many choices about how to proceed in regards to healthcare. To me the following principles must be adhered to:

    * The overall cost of healthcare must be reduced.
    * The government must not become the single payer, insurance must remain in the private sector.
    * Insurance must be portable so it is no longer tied to employment.
    * Benefits must remain tax deductible.
    * The system should incentivize health, not just the treatment of illness.
    *************************************************

    This is from Rob Portman's webpage on health care:

    *************************************************
    The health care delivery system in Ohio is broken. With skyrocketing costs well above inflation, too many Ohio families and businesses are struggling to pay for health care, and over a million Ohioans have no insurance coverage at all. When uninsured Ohioans do access the system, it is often through the emergency room, bypassing the primary care they need and shifting the substantial costs to others. Reform is needed. However, we need to be certain that reform doesn’t make matters worse. Unfortunately, the health care proposals the Democratic leadership is trying to rush through Congress do not address the basic cost and access challenges Ohio faces. In fact, the government-run plans being proposed will result in higher health care costs, large tax increases on small businesses, and many Ohioans losing their current private health care coverage. The proposals also limit choices on doctors and medical treatment options. There are better solutions to get health care costs under control, make health care more affordable for Ohio families, and expand access. We should start with clear goals:

    * We must make health care coverage affordable and accessible to every Ohio family, regardless of their situation or preexisting health conditions.
    * Families and businesses should be able to design a health care plan that works best to meet their needs. If you like your health care now, you should be able to keep it.
    * There should be incentives for healthy living through prevention, wellness programs and effective disease management.
    * Government and the private sector should collaborate on finding cures and new treatments for life-threatening diseases.
    * Patients and their doctors, and other health providers, should be making personal and sensitive medical decisions, not government bureaucrats.
    * Medical malpractice costs and the mounting costs of defensive medicine must be reduced through sensible legal reform and better health information.

    Following these principles, we can lower the cost of health care and expand access for Ohio families without increasing our nation’s debt or costing Ohio more jobs. Democrats in Washington should slow down, work with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and listen to the American people so the right balance is struck. Health care reform is too important for Washington to get it wrong.
    **************************************************

    It seems to me that Portman's views call for a larger role for government to play in health care than Ganley's.

    It seems to me the best way to reform health care is to repeal all the laws that (pay-to-play) legislators have made over the last few decades that have favored health insurers over consumers. In other words, to get to a free marketplace where the consumer is king and increased competition will improve access, affordability, and customer service, we need to minimize government's interference.

    It doesn't sound as though Portman will do enough in that regard, as his approach appears to be government-mandate driven, and, in some cases, calls for a hybridized public sector/private sector partnership to tackle some issues. To me, that sounds too much like Bush, the "compassionate" conservative who continued the expansion of the Federal government.

    Ganley, on the other hand, champions the private sector and goes on to say that we should sever the ties between employment and health insurance, making insurance portable. This, indeed, allows the consumer to be king, and would free us from the captive marketplace that currently exists.

    So, while I agree that Portman stands for a smaller Federal government than Fisher or Brunner, I think Ganley stands for a smaller Federal government than Portman.
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