President Obama will hold his first official press conference since October on Tuesday. Plenty has happened since then: the president has illegally appointed four officials to federal posts, Energy Secretary Steven Chu has again demonstrated his lack of concern for rising gas prices, Iran has continued its march towards nuclear weapons, and the Department of Health and Human Services has usurped Americans’ rights to free practice of their religion.
In light of these and other happenings over the last few months, here are ten questions that we feel should be asked of the president when he takes the podium on Tuesday.
- Your Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it is not the policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?
- Your administration has touted the declining unemployment rate. Do you plan any policy proposals to deal with the steady – and ongoing – decline in labor force participation?
- According to The Heritage Foundation, there are over $2 trillion in tax hikes in your latest budget proposal, when you yourself stated that raising taxes is anathema to economic recovery. How will tax hikes spur job growth, or is that secondary to some other policy goal?
- Your Justice Department insisted the Senate was in recess over the holidays for the purposes of recess appointments. But the Senate passed the payroll tax cut extension during that period. Do you think Presidents should dictate when Congress is in session, were these appointments legitimate, and will you go around Congress on future travel weekends?
- What provision of the Constitution grants the federal government the authority to require religiously-affiliated groups to pay for contraception in violation of their own moral teachings?
- Does China’s decision to boost its defense budget by more than 11% give you any pause about repeatedly slashing our own military capabilities?
- Do you regret your administration’s hands-off approach to the Iranian Green Revolution given the country’s increasing belligerence and its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons?
- Your administration has no plan to reform unsustainable entitlement programs, according to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Why haven’t you proposed any real solutions?
- You continue to tout an “all of the above” approach to energy policy, but your budget proposal singles out the oil industry for punitive tax hikes, while preserving preferential tax treatment for wind energy, despite the fact that wind energy companies get roughly 100 times the amount in subsidies that oil companies do per kilowatt-hour (and that’s using the administration’s dodgy accounting. A more accurate measure puts wind subsidies at about 1000 times the level of oil subsidies). Do you believe the playing field should be leveled by eliminating all energy subsidies, or should government continue trying to pick winners and losers?
- Have you instructed Attorney General Holder to comply with the congressional subpoena related to the more than 60,000 documents that the Department of Justice has not turned over to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee?
Note: this post has been revised to reflect the fact that wind subsidies are about 1000 times greater than oil subsidies, not the 100 times initially reported.