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Four More Years

Our President has just started his second term, much to the concern of Wyomingites. It was a long four years during the first term and after listening to parts of his inauguration address, the second term could even be longer.

Even though the President won the election by a good margin and is popular by a large margin, and even 41 percent of Americans have a favorable attitude towards Vice President Biden, a recent poll said around 84 percent thought they were spending too much money, an issue that the President and Vice President deny, and we in Wyoming readily agree is the true fact. The troubling fact is that 11 percent of the country doesn’t think he is spending too much – there lies the problem. Over 30 percent of the country lives off the government, right or wrong, whatever the reason, that’s the way it is.

So 11 percent of Americans think we can spend our way out of debt or we can just keep printing money and have a temporary fix to the deficit – that is a scary statistic. The real problem is our President is one of the 11 percent. He not only believes it, but gets kind of riled up defending it.

On a happier note, our President really hasn’t waged war on the West. The National Democratic Party views the western states as an area to gain more Democratic voters. We had a big tussle with Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar over the proposed “wild lands” policy, and we’ve had issues with the EPA and Department of Energy directors, but none of these have turned into a “war on the West.” When Congress placed a hold on the “wild lands” issue, our President didn’t fight back. In essence, the current administration doesn’t want to make life too hard for Democrats in Congress. They need Harry Reid, a U.S. Senate leader from Nevada, and a Jon Tester, U.S. Senator from Montana. If the administration had been too heavy handed with the West, Senator Tester may have lost the race in Montana. 

Our President’s main environmental issue is climate change, so he is after natural gas and especially anything related to coal – that is the West’s biggest concern. Thank the Lord for our conservative Governors and legislatures in most of the West. California is way out there, but it has been for a long time. As seen by the last election, the West is changing, with the legalizing of marijuana in a couple of western states. I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon in Wyoming. Our legislatures are just too smart for that.

Our state legislature did change some last November, but it most likely went more conservative. Nineteen out of the 90 members of our state legislature are new. Those lobbying this year have a real challenge educating the new representatives and senators on Wyoming issues. It is not their fault, unless one has been there a few years, they cannot possibly know all the issues. We hope they arrived in Cheyenne with an open mind and are willing to learn. We do have some of the best lobbyists in the country. It is unfair to call them lobbyists – I think most of them are just good educators.

Dennis