Greetings everyone from the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Midland, Texas. The last time I was here was two summers ago for the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. Wednesday I will be spending time with the Midland County Republican Women — the largest Republican women’s club in the Nation. Yeehaw!
Flying out to Midland you see the vastness of the Permian basin and its bountiful oil resources — resources we should utilize to produce, consume, and export. Here in Midland, the indomitable American entrepreneurial spirit is evident. It was the small independent oil and gas company visionaries who built West Texas into what I saw flying in this afternoon. And after dinner I was treated to a beautiful West Texas sunset — which has given way to a nice evening thunderstorm.
Now the reason I bring all this up is because I think there’s something about Midland and West Texas that could provide a very good lesson to President Obama and the progressive socialists. In America, as witnessed in Midland, it is completely about Americans DID build that. Funny, why is it that President Obama has never come to Midland? To West Texas? It’s easy to go to places where you feel there will be adoring crowds. But when you’re president, you preside over the entire country, right?
I recall candidate Obama talking about no more “red states and blue states, but United States” — doggone good speech rhetoric. I think a reason why President Obama chose not to come to Midland for Labor Day but instead spent the day giving a speech to union workers in Massachusetts is because he doesn’t really want to see what Americans can accomplish. Instead the president, on a national holiday celebrating work and labor, took the time to enact — by executive order — seven days paid sick leave for government contractors.
As reported by Fox News, during the Labor Day holiday, signed an executive order “requiring paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors, including 300,000 who currently receive none. The White House wouldn’t specify the cost to federal contractors to implement the executive order, which Obama was to address at a major union rally and breakfast in Boston. The Labor Department said any costs would be offset by savings that contractors would see as a result of lower attrition rates and increased worker loyalty, but produced nothing to back that up. Under the executive order, employees working on federal contracts gain the right to a minimum of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours they work. Stretched out over 12 months, that’s up to seven days per year. The order will allow employees to use the leave to care for sick relatives as well, and will affect contracts starting in 2017 — just as Obama leaves office.”So here we have another entitlement granted from on high that will be covered by the American taxpayer. Why not allow employees to use their health savings account funds to provide the seven-day compensation?
And will the paid sick leave be mandated only for care of sick relatives, or will it just be free days off, like vacation? Doggone we already see how the European model of paid leave has worked. And why does President Obama feel it’s his calling to delve into sick leave? Are there not much greater issues to which Obama should turn his attention?
Maybe Obama should ask himself, why do we have a ban on our oil and gas exports? Why are we crushing the coal industry, which is so vital to providing lower cost electricity to many middle and lower income Americans?
I have a thought. Why is President Obama not concerned with the recent Veterans Administration Inspector General report on some 307,000 American veterans who lost their lives on VA wait lists? Does anyone not agree that’s a far more pressing issue than giving a speech at a union event to give our more government largesse by way of sick leave? Perhaps President Obama should concern himself with an anemic economic recovery — 2.3 percent annualized GDP growth cannot be seen as the new normal.
If President Obama were to come to Midland, he’d see Americans don’t need him granting sick leave — they just need him to understand that Americans rise to challenges. Just give independent American small business owners the right economic policies to grow the economy and be amazed at what they accomplish.
The sad reality with the progressive socialist mentality stems from a lesson I learned from an Airborne School instructor called “Sergeant Black Hat.” I recall that one hot Ft. Benning Georgia day when we were being dropped for pushups — that happened a lot – when that seminal piece of philosophy was uttered.
The burly Airborne instructor said, “men if you set the bar low, you will jump low.” I still recall those words to this day and their importance.
It’s easy for President Obama to just sign his name to a piece of paper and give folks something. But the essence of America is that we like to earn our keep — sadly, we are in a race to preserve that sense of our character. We respond to challenges and in 239 years we have produced astounding results.
Let me share with you a story from World War II. The USS Yorktown, a naval Pacific fleet aircraft carrier was severely damaged at the Battle of Coral Sea. It limped back to US Naval Base Pearl Harbor for damage assessment and repair. The assessment was that it would be six months for the USS Yorktown to get back to sea — Admiral Nimitz did not accept that assessment. The Yorktown steamed out in 72 hours and joined the Pacific fleet at a pivotal place, the Battle of Midway. There, the Yorktown and its payload of aircraft made the difference and turned the course in the Pacific theater handing the Japanese a crushing defeat from which their navy would not recover. Nimitz did not set the bar low. That is not the American way. That’s not what you see here in Midland. You see Americans going out into the oil fields of the Permian basin and accomplishing greatness.
Sadly, we do not have someone who embraces American greatness and exceptionalism in the White House. When you set the bar low, you get more people in poverty, on food stamps, and getting government granted paid sick leave.
Our nation was built by men and women who set the bar high – that’s why we took on the greatest power in the world, England, and won. Look around today in America and ask yourself a simple question — are we creating victors, or making more victims?