Archive for May, 2012
May 19th, 2012 at 4:42 pm
VDH to Europe: Don’t Mess with Germany

Military historian Victor Davis Hanson trots out an underappreciated statistic that should give European opponents of Germany’s austerity measures a reason to reflect:

There is one general rule about the history of the modern state of Germany since its inception in 1871: Anytime Germany has been both unified and isolated, armed conflict has followed.

The Greeks can’t form a government to implement Germany’s austerity measures, and are rioting rather than reforming.  Spain is teetering on the edge of a shredded social contract where more than 40% of young adults can’t find work.  France just elected a Socialist president who claims that “My real enemy is the world of finance.”

And there sits Germany with the most money on the Continent, vilified for insisting on the same frugality from its debtors.

While it’s almost impossible to think that Germany would resort to military force to press its claims, it is within the realm of possibility to see it pulling back from the European Union in a way that cuts its losses and leaves the big spending countries to defaults and devaluations.

If that happens, expect to hear at least a few Europeans wishing Germany had just annexed their country.  At least then they would be a part of a more stable economy.

May 19th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
The Frightening Power of Tyrannical Government

And yes, it is right here in these United States. George Will’s column is a must-read for anybody who cares about liberty. This is sickening stuff we are seeing, and most Americans keep marching toward the executioner.

Writing about a motel owned by one Russ Caswell, a law-abiding citizen, here’s Will:

The U.S. Department of Justice intends to seize it, sell it for perhaps $1.5 million and give up to 80 percent of that to the Tewksbury Police Department, whose budget is just $5.5 million. The Caswells have not been charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime. They are being persecuted by two governments eager to profit from what is antiseptically called the “equitable sharing” of the fruits of civil forfeiture, a process of government enrichment that often is indistinguishable from robbery.

Scary stuff. The government increasingly has become evil.

May 18th, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Ryan: Obama Practicing ‘Lost Decade Economics’

When asked by the Washington Examiner about the policy choices facing American voters this election, Paul Ryan painted a picture of stark contrasts, beginning with the Obama Administration’s high-tax, high-spending approach:

“Those kinds of packages won’t succeed in preventing a debt crisis. We’ll pass one round of austerity, that won’t work, then the bond markets will get us, then we’ll do another round and another round, just like what Europe is going through now. We will have chosen to go on the path to decline and we’ll have a lost decade,” Ryan explained. “We see the president and his party are basically practicing lost decade economics,” he finished.

Moving to the Republican alternative, Ryan explained, “We think we have one more great chance, if the elections go the right way, to turn this thing around once and for all. And address it, the right way, up front. With real entitlement reform, restructuring these programs. Real tax reform to get back to growth. We want growth we want opportunity, we want reform, so that we fix this the American way.”

In terms of jobs and economic opportunity, it certainly has been a lost half-decade under President Obama.  Doubling down on more of the same for another presidential term would likely consign an entire generation of workers to a lifetime earnings amount much lower than their parents.

President Obama may be willing to tolerate being the first leader to see a generation of kids live below their parents’ standard of living since World War II.  (What else explains his campaign’s “Life of Julia” foolishness?)  However, my suspicion is that a majority of voters are not interested in either Lost Decade Economics or much less a lost generation of opportunity.

Good sound bites convey truth in a memorable way.  Kudos to Ryan for correctly identifying the likely result of Obama’s wasteful policies.

May 18th, 2012 at 2:19 pm
More Evidence CA Govt Doesn’t Know How to Prioritize Spending

Businessweek provides a snapshot of California state government’s fiscal insanity:

California Governor Jerry Brown is seeking a 38,000 percent spending increase for a proposed high- speed rail system, even as he plans to raise taxes, cut state worker pay and reduce social programs to narrow a $15.7 billion deficit.

The “38,000 percent” translates into a requested budget increase from $15.9 million to $6.1 billion for construction costs of California’s fantastical high-speed rail project.  The kicker: all that money builds only the first 130 miles of an estimated 800 mile route from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

A lot of internet ink has been spilt rightly decrying this total waste of taxpayer money.  What I want to emphasize in this post is that Governor Brown’s budget request should anger liberals even more than conservatives.

Can it really be true that with California’s budget deficit recently surging from $9.2 billion to more than $15.7 billion that welfare and salaries must be cut and taxes raised so that someone’s bullet train dream can come true?

This is insane.  If Californians – the unions included – can’t rouse themselves to kill high-speed rail for the sake of preserving food stamps and health care for the poor, the rest of the nation should wash its hands of the state and let it implode.

Ending any and all spending related to the L.A.-S.F. bullet train should be done today.  It’s a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, that’s also true of the folks in charge of the public fisc.

May 18th, 2012 at 11:34 am
CFIF’s Troy Senik in the LA Times: The teachers union that’s failing California

In a stinging op-ed published yesterday in the LA Times, CFIF senior fellow Troy Senik focuses the blame for California’s failing public education system squarely where it belongs: the California Teachers Association (“CTA”).  Senik writes:

California’s education tailspin has been blamed on class sizes, on the property tax restrictions enforced by Proposition 13, on an influx of Spanish-speaking students. But no portrait of the schools’ downfall would be complete without mention of the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, arguably the state’s most powerful union and a political behemoth that has blocked meaningful education reform, protected failing and even criminal educators, and pushed for pay raises and benefits that have reached unsustainable levels.

Senik goes on to explain how the CTA is using its “fat bank account fed by mandatory dues that can run to more than $1,000 per member” to maintain and build its political dominance in the state.  In the past decade alone, Senik notes, “the CTA had spent more than $210 million…on political campaigning — more than any other donor in the state.”

Fortunately, there are signs of hope to help counter the CTA’s political stranglehold that has enabled it to prop up its own interests over that of students: Parents are starting to revolt against the union’s orthodoxy.  And  “unlike elected officials, parents are hard for the union to demonize.”

Read the entire piece here.

May 18th, 2012 at 10:37 am
This Week’s Liberty Update
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Center For Individual Freedom - Liberty Update

This week’s edition of the Liberty Update, CFIF’s weekly e-newsletter, is out. Below is a summary of its contents:

Lee:  Obama HHS: Private Insurers Must Now Credit ObamaCare When Mailing Customer Rebates
Hillyer:  Obama Team Courts Trouble
Ellis:  Domestic Drone Controversy Offers Conservatives a Chance to Stop Government Overreach
Senik:  America’s Energy Future: Scarcity or Abundance?

Video:  Honoring the U.S. Armed Forces
Podcast:  Stand Your Ground Laws Don’t Encourage Vigilantism – Interview w/John R. Lott, Jr.
Jester’s Courtroom:  Basketball Cut Nets Lawsuit

Editorial Cartoons:  Latest Cartoons of Michael Ramirez
Quiz:  Question of the Week
Notable Quotes:  Quotes of the Week

If you are not already signed up to receive CFIF’s Liberty Update by e-mail, sign up here.

May 18th, 2012 at 10:01 am
Video: Saluting the Brave Men and Women of the U.S. Armed Forces
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This year, Armed Forces Week runs from May 12 until May 19.  In this week’s Freedom Minute, the Center for Individual Freedom salutes all the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces for their bravery, honor and service to our country.


May 17th, 2012 at 3:41 pm
The Case for Green Jobs: America Should be More Like Bankrupt Countries
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At a time when Spain is in the news because it lingers on the edge of a full-blown economic meltdown, it’s instructive to remember that this is the country that’s supposed to be the model for the green jobs revolution that President Obama continually claims will help revitalize the American economy. Over at The Blaze, the American Enterprise Institute’s Kenneth Green looks at the factual case and finds it far from compelling:

Now, to the empirical evidence. When talking about our bold green energy future, President Obama held up Spain as an example of what America should be doing. Spain invested heavily in wind power and other types of renewable energy. Alas, after studying the Spanish Experience, Professor Gabriel Calzada Álvarez and colleagues at Spain’s Universidad Rey Juan Carlos found if America followed Spain’s example, for every renewable energy job that the U.S. managed to create, the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 traditional jobs on average. And they found that green jobs are costly: each green job created in Spain’s effort cost about $750,000, and only one in 10 of the new green jobs were permanent. Doing the math on that, creating even 3 million new green jobs would cost $2.25 trillion. Even in a time where the trillion is the new billion, that’s a lot of money.

Indeed it is. But the money isn’t the real issue. Any “jobs plan” that entails a net loss in jobs shouldn’t be taken seriously by anybody, let alone the President of the United States. If green jobs really are the future of the economy, then sufficient market demand will arise to compel their creation. If, as is far more likely, they are simply a progressive fantasy financed at taxpayer expense, they deserve to have their grip on the public purse shaken as abruptly as possible.

May 17th, 2012 at 10:41 am
Podcast: Stand Your Ground Laws Don’t Encourage Vigilantism
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In an interview with CFIF, John R. Lott, Jr., economist and bestselling author of “More Guns, Less Crime” and “The Bias Against Guns,” discusses the statistical relationship between Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws and the reduction in violent crimes, whether Florida’s Stand Your Ground law applies in the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case, and his latest book, “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do to Regain Our Future.”

Listen to the interview here.

May 16th, 2012 at 7:11 pm
Congress Votes Down Obama’s 2012 Budget: 513 – 0

You read that right.

After the House voted down President Barack Obama’s budget proposal 414 – 0 in March, today the Senate defeated it 99 – 0.  There are 51 Democrats in the Senate (and two Independents that caucus with them).  Not one voted for their president’s budget.  There are 190 Democrats in the House.  Not one voted for their president’s budget.

There are only 535 members in Congress.  As of today, 513 are on record opposing Barack Obama’s 2012 budget.  No one is on record supporting it.

By contrast, Paul Ryan’s budget passed the House on March 29th with 228 Republican votes, and only 10 party members against.  Today, 41 of 47 Republicans voted for Ryan’s budget; short of the 51 needed for passage.

Only one party is trying to govern.  The other is refusing to.  The American people should take notice and vote accordingly.

May 16th, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Mark Cuban on Higher Ed Costs Could be Advice for Romney

Tech billionaire and owner of the reigning NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban correctly identifies the disconnect between the way policymakers talk about higher education spending and its true value to college students:

The President has introduced programs that try to reward schools that don’t raise tuition and costs. They won’t work.  Right now there is a never ending supply of buyers. Students who can’t get jobs or who think that by going to college they enhance their chances to get a job. Its the collegiate equivalent of flipping houses. You borrow as much money as you can for the best school you can get into and afford and then you “flip” that education for the great job you are going to get when you graduate.

Except those great jobs aren’t always there. I don’t think any college kid took on tens of thousands of dollars in debt with the expectation they would get a job working for minimum wage against tips.

At some point potential students will realize that they can’t flip their student loans for a job in 4 years. In fact they will realize that college may be the option for fun and entertainment, but not for education.

One of the hardest hit employment segments in the Obama Economy are college grads with too much education, too much education debt, and not enough work experience.  In a contracting economy, jobs go to those with years of on-the-job training and the financial flexibility to work multiple opportunities.

If Mitt Romney wants to put Barack Obama’s most blindly loyal constituency in play this election, he should pull no punches tying Obama’s spending and business regulations to the dearth of job opportunities available to college students and recent grads.

May 16th, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Forget Obama’s Energy Scarcity — More Oil in Three U.S. States than Rest of the World Combined
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President Obama’s views on energy have always been defined by a sense of false scarcity. This is the man, after all, who told Oregon voters in 2008, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times.”; who constantly invokes the fact that “the U.S. has only 2 percent of the world’s oil supplies” (an utterly misleading statistic that would be irrelevant even if it were literally true); who admitted to wanting the price of coal “to necessarily skyrocket”; and who hired an Energy Secretary who longs to see American gasoline prices reach the stratospheric levels of Europe.

Testifying before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment last week, Anu Mittal, Director of Natural Resources and Environment at the Government Accountability Office delivered some stunning news about the amount of oil shale available in the Mountain West.

Here’s how CNSNews reports the story:

“USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions,” Mittal testified.

“The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the Green River Formation can be recovered,” Mittal told the subcommittee. “At the midpoint of this estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.”

Read that again. If less than half of this oil shale is recoverable, it still represents an amount equal to that available in the rest of the world. By extrapolation, that means that as future extraction methods become more technologically sophisticated (and more economical) we could be talking about a grand haul equal to more than double current global reserves. And that’s only in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming — not in the other 47 states.

There are huge policy implications here because of the simple fact that most of this shale occurs on federal lands. That means that getting this material out of the ground will require a proactive effort from government. The current President — who likes to boast about record oil production without noting that the vast majority of it is coming from private land — is not the person to kick start this new era of energy abundance. One more reason to send him packing in November.

May 16th, 2012 at 9:18 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Julia, the Uninvited House Guest
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 15th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
GOP Establishment About to Take Another Hit in Nebraska?
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As the 2012 election cycle has progressed, one of the growing memes on the left has been that the Tea Party has lost a lot of the anti-establishment momentum it had in 2010, when it was responsible for electing U.S. Senators like Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, and Florida’s Marco Rubio. The pundits have been a little quick on the trigger finger.

Last week, 35-year Senate veteran Richard Lugar went down to defeat in Indiana at the hands of the Tea Party candidate, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a race that we chronicled at length here at CFIF. Today, voters heading to the polls in Nebraska may deliver a similar shock to the GOP establishment.

The establishment choice, state Attorney General Jon Bruning, has been under fire for exactly the kind of crony capitalism that has come to define Tea Party distaste for business as usual. It was long thought that State Treasurer Don Stenberg — who enjoyed the support of Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth — would be the conservative alternative to Bruning. But in recent days, Bruning’s numbers are falling without Stenberg’s rising proportionately.

The reason is a third candidate, State Senator Deb Fischer, who has recently emerged from relative obscurity thanks to endorsements from Sarah Palin and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. According to recent polling, there’s a very real possibility of Fischer pulling off an upset of epic proportions and walking away with the nomination. And while Stenberg’s supporters aren’t happy to see their man failing to close, they’re already suggesting that Fischer would be an acceptable alternative to Bruning and the business as usual he represents.

We’ll have to watch the polls tonight to see how this thing resolves, but one thing’s for sure: even the worst-case scenario for Tea Partiers (a narrow win by Bruning) would send a powerful message to the GOP establishment in Washington: the Tea Party is here to stay.

May 14th, 2012 at 4:45 pm
Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Offer Important IP Opportunity
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At this moment in Dallas, Texas, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations have resumed, with important implications for intellectual property (IP).

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, 75 domestic industries it identifies as “IP-intensive” account for 40 million jobs, approximately 28% of our total employment.  Industries reliant upon IP also account for $5 trillion – some 35% – of total American gross domestic product (GDP), 61% of U.S. merchandise exports and pay wages 42% higher than non-IP employers.

It is therefore critical that TPP negotiators establish a solid foundation for IP protection as they move toward finalization.

The TPP currently consists of eight Pacific trading partners in addition to the U.S. – Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru.  In 2010 alone, America exported $89 billion in goods to those nations, making the TPP one of our largest collective export markets.  The express goal of the TPP charter is “to establish a comprehensive, next-generation regional agreement that liberalizes trade and investment and addresses new and traditional trade issues and 21st-century challenges.”  And with other Pacific region nations Japan, Canada and Mexico expressing interest in joining the TPP, the agreement currently under negotiation can set the foundation for future trade practices across the Pacific realm.

To its credit, the U.S. stands as a worldwide leader in demanding strong IP standards in agreements such as this, as reflected by domestic laws and international accords such as the one completed just last year with Korea.  Similarly, with pressure on to finalize TPP negotiations, we must ensure strong IP protections in the final agreement.  Doing so will prove beneficial in terms of protecting American jobs against theft and counterfeit, protecting American consumers against potentially dangerous products, reducing the threat to American creativity and innovation posed by copyright infringement, promoting future innovation, protecting American competitiveness against those who seek to steal our ideas and creations and setting clear rules for worldwide commerce.

If successful, we can set a sound foundation of IP protection, which will prove critical for American innovation, jobs, exports and continued prosperity in an increasingly Pacific-dominated 21st century.

May 14th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
THIS WEEK’s RADIO SHOW LINEUP: CFIF’s Renee Giachino Hosts “Your Turn” on WEBY Radio 1330 AM
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.”  Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 (CDT)/5:00 pm (EDT):  Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute President – “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise”;

4:30 (CDT)/5:30 pm (EDT):  Professor John Lott, Economist – Stand Your Ground Laws;

5:00 (CDT)/6:00 pm (EDT):  Clint Bolick, Hoover Institution Research Fellow and Director of the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Litigation – “Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court”;  and

5:30 (CDT)/6:30 pm (EDT):  Rich Noyes, Media Research Center’s Research Director and a senior editor at NewsBusters.orgMedia Bias.

Listen live on the Internet here.   Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

May 14th, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Another Big Labor Failure: America’s Only Unionized Strip Club Likely to Close
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One can only imagine the emotional travails of being a devoted liberal; of being completely seduced by the philosophical purity of your ideals, only to so regularly see them falsified by practical experience.

One area where this regularly plays out is with labor unions, where the dream of worker empowerment often yields to the reality that the high costs imposed by big labor weaken businesses and frequently undermine the jobs of the very workers the union is supposed to be defending (see “Automobile Industry, American”).

Based on a recent story in Northern California’s Bay Citizen — about a strip club on the verge of closing down — it seems that there’s no industry free from the corrosive union influence:

Most strip club dancers are “independent contractors” who earn money dancing for tips. Often they have to pay the clubs for stage time, a system that can make the dancers vulnerable to exploitative business practices.

When the Lusty Lady’s dancers voted to unionize in 1997, they wanted to protect themselves from such practices. In 2003, the workers bought the business and turned it into a cooperative, making it perhaps the most San Francisco strip club in San Francisco. The club’s employees receive hourly salaries and those who are part of the co-op also share in its revenue (when there is revenue.)

… Tempest, another Lusty Lady dancer, told the pro-labor newsmagazine “In These Times,” that she has had second thoughts about unionizing, a move she once supported. She questioned whether unionization “is conducive to strip club profits.”

She’s got a point, although the words “strip club” in that last sentence are extraneous. It’s hardly a shame that these young women will likely have to find a more edifying line of work. That being said, the Lusty Lady’s travails are representative of the plight of union shops throughout the nation. It turns out that profits, when ignored, tend to evaporate — no matter the industry.

Most strip club dancers are “independent contractors” who earn money dancing for tips. Often they have to pay the clubs for stage time, a system that can make the dancers vulnerable to exploitative business practices.

When the Lusty Lady’s dancers voted to unionize in 1997, they wanted to protect themselves from such practices. In 2003, the workers bought the business and turned it into a cooperative, making it perhaps the most San Francisco strip club in San Francisco. The club’s employees receive hourly salaries and those who are part of the co-op also share in its revenue (when there is revenue.)

Source: The Bay Citizen (

May 14th, 2012 at 11:57 am
Chevron Case Against Ecuador Gets Boost

REALLY important stuff here, about which I have written numerous times, including at this site, regarding the utterly fraudullent gazillion dollar case that corrupt Ecuadoran officials (and apparent corrupt Americans as well) are waging against the U.S.-based Chevron Corp. Of course, Barack Obama is on the wrong side, favoring foreign interests over American ones, as usual.

May 12th, 2012 at 7:09 pm
Obamites Are Vicious Thugs

The Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, WSJ columnist Kimberly Strassel, and others are detailing the abuse of private individuals by the Obama team and its allies, all for the crime of, Lord forbid, supporting conservatives or Republicans. In this case, the middle man the Lefties are using is former WSJ reporter Glenn Simpson, who I once thought was a decent human being but who obviously is pond scum. Meanwhile, Fred Barnes reminds us of just how dishonest and high-handed BH Obama himself is in terms of actually trying to work with others to find consensus.

Ludicrously, Obama also is prone to trying to pretend he’s a tough guy (rather than an emaciated bag of bones) when greeting Republican governors on airport tarmacs. His whole administration, from day one, has been prone to bouts of thuggishness (or attempted thuggishness), as the eminently fair-minded Michael Barone wrote last week again, continuing a theme he has been highlighting since not just the first days of the administration, but even before Obama was elected. Barone’s best line, however, came when he considered Obama as “an American version of Vladimir Putin.” Except that Putin is an effective thug.

This is a great line specifically because Obama and his minions are so pathetically incompetent. As Bobby Jindal said in a speech in Mobile on Thursday night, not only is Obama the most ideologically leftist president since Jimmy Carter, but he also is “the most imcompetent president since Jimmy Carter.”

Nonetheless, even incompetent thuggery is still thuggery. It still makes some innocents into victims. And it is profoundly unAmerican. It is the stuff of authoritarianism, the province of two-bit banana-republic despots.

And if Glenn Simpson wants to put himself in service of such people, well, somebody ought to call some lawyers and see if there are grounds for suing his creepy rear end from here to pauperville.As for Obama, methinks in the long run he’ll get his. Oh yes, he will: Rot does not forever go unpunished.

May 11th, 2012 at 3:27 pm
The FCC: Where “economic logic does not penetrate”

When it comes to highlighting federal inanity, Holman Jenkins hits a home run with his take in a Wall Street Journal article on the current FCC’s bureaucratic approach to the wireless industry.

As Jenkins describes the situation, “Like food rotting on a dock, only politics and policy prevents spectrum from getting where it’s needed.”

Jenkins goes on to articulate the point by aptly noting that wireless companies are “being starved of spectrum [their] customers would willingly pay for because of an archaic government allocation system in which economic logic does not penetrate.”

So why care?  Primarily because the wireless industry’s massive investment involved in developing spectrum for the public’s use is one of the few unmitigated bright spots in the US economy. Wireless carriers delivered approximately $27 billion in investment in U.S. mobile networks last year alone.  And continued wireless investment holds the potential to revolutionize our nation’s educational system, healthcare and so much more.

In employment terms, a Deloitte study last fall pegged 4G wireless investment as creating between 371,000 and 771,000 new jobs.  That includes the teams that deploy new cell towers, engineers and software developers, among others.

But the government’s dithering threatens to sideline billions in new investment that would otherwise be pumped into the economy and drive these benefits for consumers.

What’s especially ironic about the delays is that Obama’s FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the “looming spectrum crisis” that threatens “continued innovation in broadband wireless.”  Similar acknowledgements continually have been made directly from the White House.  Yet, when it comes to spectrum policy, the FCC and the Obama Administration have been driven by politics and ideology instead of sound economics and logic — a mindset that not only exacerbates the spectrum problem, but threatens (if not stops cold) private investment to deal with the problem.

Indeed, when wireless providers seek to overcome government obstacles to spectrum and move to address the crunch on their respective networks, they are met with hostility.  Jenkins points to the two obvious examples:

To meet demand of its customers for more and more bandwidth, AT&T laid out $39 billion for T-Mobile, a retreating, second-rank player, only to have the proposal nixed by Washington after many months of torture.

Verizon has been undergoing months of torture over its proposal to buy, for $3.9 billion, several blocks of spectrum sitting idle in the hands of cable TV companies.

That, coupled with the FCC’s counterproductive obsession with putting use conditions on auctioned spectrum to the point of rendering it less desirable or frankly, economically unfeasible, is only making the spectrum problem worse.

Everyone, including the FCC and the Obama Administration, agrees that the spectrum crunch must be resolved… and fast.  “The solution,” as Jenkins points out, “is to permit any spectrum that’s immediately deployable to be immediately deployed by those who can make use of it.”  And it must be deployed without burdensome government conditions and discriminatory bidder qualifications to ensure its most efficient use.

In other words, the FCC and Obama Administration must set aside politics and ideology, stop trying to pick winners and losers in an effort to shape some utopian vision of perfect competition in an already ultra-competitive market and allocate more spectrum for consumer use… now.