by Michael Bryan
This has several implications that need examination.
First, his fact-free sloganeering indicates that Kelly doesn't really give a crap about reality or facts. Nor is he interested in offering real solutions to kitchen-table problems of American families. Kelly lacks any plan to address the pain of the middle class. His nostrum, oft repeated, for addressing the economic pain of Americans is that we'll put folks back to work in good paying jobs by exploiting all that oil. That's pure fantasy. Maybe it's a solution for a country like Russia, not a solution for the challenges faced by the world's most advanced and complex economy. Kelly won't seriously address creating jobs - he would rather mouth the tired GOP talking-points about oil exploitation and giving further tax breaks to 'job creators' (as if the last 10-year grand social experiment of the Bush tax cuts hadn't proven such cuts ineffective).
Kelly can't and won't address the inequity of our tax policies causing middle class workers to fall further behind - he would rather talk vaguely about a flat tax scheme that would further shift the burden onto middle and lower income workers.
Kelly won't address the fraying of America's safety net - he would rather talk about eliminating Social Security and Medicare.
Kelly won't talk about investing in education to allow Americans to raise themselves into a decent standard of living - he would rather talk about killing the Department of Education.
Kelly won't talk about how to address the real economic concerns of Americans because he doesn't have any clue what they might be. He's an incurious man-child who failed to educate himself even when given opportunities to advance his education others can only dream of. He is an anti-government crusader whose family feeds off government contracts. He's the n'ere-do-well scion of a government contract empire, who has never held a real job other than the sinecure his daddy gave him.
A man who can't be bothered to ground the central theme of his campaign in reality cannot be trusted with legislative authority.
Second, Kelly's constant pimping on the stump for oil exploration and exploitation clearly indicates his enthusiastic support for the industry. Direct oil industry subsidies are costing taxpayers at least $4 billion every year. Total subsidies for fossil fuels, including tax breaks and favorable liability and regulatory treatment have been estimated to top out at over $40 billion a year.
The GOP has now blocked cutting even the most direct of those subsidies by filibustering their removal, which would have saved over $40 billion over the next decade. This despite the deep popularity of the proposal, garnering an amazing 74% support. This despite the GOP being willing to literally take food and medicine out of children's mouths in the zeal to slash the budget.
Given his monomania on the subject, one has to ask Kelly - and why, for God's sake, has he not been asked by anyone in the goddamned media - whether he would support eliminating oil industry subsidies? Whether he supports more federal spending to develop the new technologies to get at those unproven reserves he wants to tap? Whether he's willing to further subsidize the new oil production he supports to make that oil price-competitive?
Maybe I'm asking too much, but shouldn't Kelly also be asked whether he's aware that the fracking he wants oil companies to do causes earthquakes? What he would do to help folks whose property is damaged by those earthquakes? Whether he knows what's in the fracking solutions being used (hint: no one does, it's a 'trade-secret')? What he would do to keep those fracking solutions out of people's ground water? Whether the EPA has any legitimate role in regulating what goes in the ground to frack oil?
Given that his entire economic program relies on "drill here, drill now" shouldn't someone ask him these basic questions?
Third, if Kelly were elected, just how long would it be before he resigned to take a job as an oil industry lobbyist? Kelly is a young and wildly ambitious (and deeply unprincipled) man. How long will he be content with a $160K government salary when a million-dollar-a-year gig with big oil beckons? Congress is clearly just a stepping stone to a big pay-day in the influence pedalling biz for Kelly. Why doesn't anyone ask him about that? Why doesn't anyone ask him to pledge not to become a oil lobbyist?
Or maybe the oil industry can just save the citizens of CD8/2 the pain of having Kelly as their representative and just offer him a goodamn job now? Please?
Finally, with Kelly claiming we can drill our way out of our economic problems, isn't he at all concerned about the CO2 that will release into the atmosphere? Hasn't anyone thought to ask him about the effect on climate change such a fossil-fuel driven renaissance will have? Is it really a solution to America's problems to "drill here, drill now" when that causes the oceans to die and rise, and our climate to fluctuate wildly, causing extreme weather disasters? Does Kelly deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change, too?