Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, August 23, 2008, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the August 23, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the President's Address -- Energy

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Before they left Washington for their August recess, Congress failed to take action on an issue that is currently of great concern to Americans: high prices at the gas pump.   (continued below)

How the President Differs from the American vision of "Liberty Under God":

  • America was founded on the philosophy of "Liberty Under God."
    • "Liberty" means freedom from government suppression of ideas and confiscation of wealth
    • "Under God" means we have a personal responsibility to love God and neighbor.
    • Human beings are endowed with the right to property by God, not the government.
  • Private Property and Freedom form the solution to the "energy crisis."
  • America's Founding Fathers created a nation they called "an experiment in Liberty"
    • The Experiment in Liberty made America the most prosperous and admired nation in human history.
    • During the 20th century, numerous nations experimented with government central planning.
    • The experiments in government central planning resulted in poverty and mass death (USSR, Red China, etc.).
    • The Free Market -- "capitalism" -- creates prosperity; the government inevitably creates recession, depression, poverty.
  • "Government Energy Policy" is Unconstitutional
    • In America, under the Constitution, the Federal Government only has the powers which "We the People" delegated to it in the Constitution.
    • The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights summarizes the philosophy of the Constitution:
      • "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
    • In Federalist 45, Madison described the relationship between the federal government and the states in these famous words:
      • The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]
    • The President should not even be talking about energy. He should not be asking Congress to solve the "energy crisis," only to get out of the way and let capitalism supply energy.
  • The voluntary transactions entered into by hundreds of millions of Americans at home and in their businesses, based on the combined knowledge of millions of investors, business owners, and managers of households, all of them accountable to the discipline of profit-and-loss, organizes the nation's economic activity better than a handful of politicians trying to please special interests and get re-elected.
  • We don't have a "national policy" on groceries, computers, automobiles, or shoes, yet Americans have no shortage of these things. The energy shortage is caused by government policies.

President Bush's
Saturday Morning Radio Address

Another Perspective:
"Liberty Under God"

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Before they left Washington for their August recess, Congress failed to take action on an issue that is currently of great concern to Americans: high prices at the gas pump.

High Prices are caused by previous acts of Congress.

The fundamental reason for high gasoline prices is that the supply of oil is not keeping pace with demand. To reduce pressure on prices, we need to increase the supply of oil, especially oil produced here at home. So in June, I called on Congress to open up more of America's domestic oil resources for exploration -- including offshore exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf. The American people overwhelmingly support this proposal. But throughout the summer, the leaders of the Democratic Congress have refused to allow it to come to a vote.

This seems like a fundamental truth.

Why is it the President waited until June of 2008 to act on this obvious truth?

Now that the pressure to take action has become overwhelming, Democratic leaders in Congress have changed their strategy. Rather than attempting to block expanded drilling by preventing a vote, they are now attempting to block it by bringing up a bill that is designed to fail. Oil producers should be allowed to produce, but they should also bear the costs of their production. The federal government subsidizes oil production in the Middle East by spending trillions of dollars to secure the facilities of the oil industry. Maybe oil isn't such a great energy source, if it requires such costs to produce it. Those costs are hidden from consumers because they pay in taxes, rather than at the pump.
News reports indicate that Democratic leaders in Congress may plan to hold a vote on a bill that would make us more dependent on foreign oil and would likely make energy costs go up, not down. This bill would raise taxes on energy companies -- which would reduce domestic production. This bill would make the Nation more vulnerable to supply shocks by tapping into our emergency supply of oil -- the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And it would impose a rigid national mandate that would increase electricity costs in states where there are few renewable resources.  
Democratic leaders know that these counterproductive proposals will not become law. Yet they seem ready to push this legislation as a way to block offshore drilling while appearing to be in favor of it. They need to stop standing in the way of expanding domestic production and take meaningful steps now to address the pain caused by high energy prices. The Democrats are ruled by environmentalist lobbies.
I proposed a comprehensive approach to our energy problems that would permit a range of new drilling options and encourage the development of alternative resources. If Democratic leaders will not approve this comprehensive approach, the very least they should do when they return in September is to take action on three common-sense energy solutions that enjoy bipartisan support. We don't need a "comprehensive approach." We simply need freedom. We need the government to recognize our God-given right to private property.
First, Congress should open the way for environmentally responsible offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf. Experts believe that these areas could eventually produce nearly 10 years' worth of America's current annual oil production. This exploration is now banned by a provision included in the annual interior appropriations bill. When Congress returns they should remove this restriction -- so we can get these vast oil resources from the ocean floor to your gas tank. There is no reason why the ocean cannot be owned privately, just as the continents are owned privately (or should be).
Second, Congress should expand access to oil shale -- a resource right here in America that could produce the equivalent of more than a century's worth of imports at current levels. Last year, however, Democratic leaders pushed through legislation blocking oil shale leasing on Federal lands. They should lift that ban as soon as they return. Why does the federal government own this land? The federal government owns nearly 40% of America!
Third, Congress should extend renewable power tax credits to spur the development of alternative sources of energy like wind and solar. They should make these credits long term and expand them to cover all forms of low-emission power generation -- including nuclear power. Increasing production of low-carbon electricity will help us reduce our addiction to oil by allowing us to power a new generation of plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles. Selective tax credits are not as effective as complete abolition of confiscatory taxation.
There is bipartisan support in Congress for all three of these measures. So instead of spending the next month deadlocked on matters where Republicans and Democrats disagree, members of Congress should come together to pass legislation in these areas, where there is agreement.  
This Congress has been one of the most unproductive on record. They've failed to address the challenge of high gas prices. Members still have time to take action on this vital priority for the American people. They need to send me a bill next month that I can sign -- so we can bring relief to drivers, small business owners, farmers and ranchers, and every American affected by high prices at the pump.  
Thank you for listening.  

Kevin Craig's Platform:

Previous Editions of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Lots of links!

Click here to go to a replay of the August 2nd, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
The Government-Caused Energy Crisis

Click here to go to a replay of the July 19th, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
Energy and Housing

Click here to go to a replay of the June 21st, 2008 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall
"Rising Gas Prices"

Why Politicians Who Talk About
"Energy Independence" Are Frauds:

Additional Libertarian Resources

  • How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices | Congressman Ron Paul
  • Both Parties Promote Energy Socialism | Roy Cordato
    • The solution is to drop these policies, replace them with nothing, therefore instituting free markets. Abolish all subsidies and punitive taxes that either promote or punish differing energy sources. Eliminate so-called "energy efficiency programs," which amount to social engineering and lifestyle control. This would include laws regarding average fuel economy for automobiles (CAFE standards) and the kinds of light bulbs and appliances people can use. And state governments should repeal all renewable portfolio standards that restrict the use of coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power for electricity generation, as well as restrictions on CO2 emissions -- especially cap-and-trade programs.
             The only energy policy our government should have is freedom of choice. Let consumers and producers decide what is efficient; how much we import and who we import it from; how much profit companies should earn; and, just as importantly, how large the losses are they should sustain.
  • No additional resources have been added since the last list of resources in previous editions of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall. See the archives above for more resources.

Revolution Won't Come in a Day

John Adams once wrote that the American Revolution began in 1761, when Massachusetts attorney James Otis began legal challenges to the Writs of Assistance. He lost the case, but "American independence," Adams wrote, "was then and there born." Now do the math. That means it took 15 years to convince the rest of America to declare Independence (1776). Then another seven years of war was required before a Peace Treaty was signed (1783), and then six years before the Constitution was finally ratified (1789). That's almost 30 years. (And Jefferson said we shouldn't go 20 years without another rebellion!) How can we hope to convince Americans to fight for principles they were never taught in government schools? We need to be in this battle for the long term. "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty."

The Internet Can Speed up the Revolution

Here are ways you can help.

Communicating with Government and Media

  • Contact Congress -- this is from the JBS website, powered by "CapWiz," from Capitol Advantage. Lots of organizations use capwiz. If you don't want to go through the JBS, search for capwiz on Google and find another organization that uses it.
    Notice that you can also contact media through this webpage.
  • Action E-List
    Sign up for the JBS Action E-List and be notified when you can make a critical difference on important issues.
End Asset Forfeiture
If the government suspects you used your house or car in a crime, they can take it and sell it at auction. They don't even have to prove your guilt. They call this practice civil asset forfeiture, but it's really theft. It violates the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th Amendments. It also encourages law enforcement to put profits before justice. Tell Congress to end civil asset forfeiture.
End Asset Forfeiture

Iraqis Vote


Support an Iraq Referendum
Americans keep debating when, how, or if to leave Iraq. Maybe we should ask the Iraqi people what they want. After all, it's their country. Tell Congress to request that the Iraqi government hold a public referendum on the U.S. occupation. Learn more »

Make Congress read the laws it passes!

The 'No Legislation Without Representation' Conference

Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it.
Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).

Unelected bureaucrats create tens-of-thousands of new dictates each year. Making rules is the job of Congress, not bureaucrats. has drafted the “Write the Laws Act” to end bureaucratic “legislation without representation.” Click here . . .

Cap and Trade  

"Cap and Trade" is not the way
The politicians seem to be unifying around "cap and trade" as a way to cut CO2 emissions. If they take this step it may be the largest increase in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government since the creation of Medicare. Worse still, it may not even achieve its purpose. Please tell Congress to oppose "cap and trade." Learn more »

Iraq Waste


Iraq Waste
Big government prospers through failure. Each new failure is used to justify more spending and new powers. Wasteful spending in Iraq is the latest example. One way to change this is to hold government accountable. A new bill in Congress seeks to provide some of the needed accountability. Please support it. Learn more »

Support Ron Paul's “American Freedom Agenda Act”
The politicians have done great harm to this country in response to the 9-11 attack. A bill has been introduced that will undo much of that harm.
Learn More »

  Strike at the Root
Stop The War FOR Terror

Stop the War for Terror
U.S. policy has inflamed the Middle East. It has made terrorism more likely rather than less. We seem to be fighting a war for terror, rather than on terror. This policy must stop. The place to start stopping is with Iran. We must not attack Iran. War with Iran would devastate our economy, disrupt world oil supplies, and recruit more terrorists. Click here to stop this war before it starts.


The Democrat Party Radio Address:

The The Democratic Radio Address was delivered by former New Hampshire governor Jeanne Shaheen, who gave a laundry list of Democrat complaints about Republicans, and vague promises for next week's Democratic Convention.

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall