Salazar's Melodrama Over Budget Cuts

By Erika Johnsen, Hot Air - July 20, 2012

Please, Secretary Salazar — spare us the dramatics.

The Republican budget is a "death knell" for conservation programs, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

AP reports Salazar "at times struck a political tone" while touring the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge near Boynton Beach, Fla.

“A great fear I have is that there will be a U-turn,” Salazar told AP.

President Obama requested $11.5 billion for Interior in the fiscal 2013 budget, which includes $516.8 million in cuts from 2012.

The House plan would give Interior $10.3 billion.

Yes, we’re all well aware that no big-government bureaucrat wants to see his or her department in any way downsized and won’t shy away from theatrics to ensure their preservation — and ostensibly “protecting America’s great outdoors” is a convenient rallying cry with which the Interior Department can appeal the sympathies of environmentalists and wilderness enthusiasts alike.

In reality, however, big-government oversight is very often at odds with environmental quality. The federal government owns almost one-third of the surface area of the United States, but they consistently lack the money, resources, and knowledge to provide effective stewardship. The instances of environmental degradation are too many to ignore alternative methods of management — maybe some severe downsizing at the Department of Interior is precisely what our national parks need.

Yes, friends, I’m talking about not only more state/local government, but also privatization — a way to provide parks with the type of attentive environmental stewardship that comes from eliminating the tragedy-of-the-commons effect, and to remove them from the list of taxpayer liabilities. And no, our national parks would not be paved over with shopping malls in a New-York minute: as long as there is a demand for wilderness, there will be wilderness; and if that isn’t enough for you, it is possible for the federal government to lease or sell land to privateers in trust for specified uses.

It may not rank highly on our to-do list of downsizing government, but if we’re ever going to get serious about balancing our budget, the Interior Department should not be awarded sacred-cow status — especially when bureaucratic inefficiency and political gamesmanship is so often the cause of the poor stewardship of the American landscape.

Was last night’s vote on defense appropriations a sign of renewed fiscal conservatism in the GOP?

Flashback: Obama praised welfare work requirements his administration just gutted

Salazar: GOP budget would be a “death knell” for conservation programs

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackback URL

As it is, the National Park Service is asking for donations to keep our parks from falling FURTHER into disrepair.

Why not let us cut out the middleman? Americans would pay to privately maintain our national parks, and probably do a much better job of it than Uncle Sam.

hawksruleva on July 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

…says the man with the ‘Death Kiss”!

KOOLAID2 on July 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I would so like to knock that gay ass hat off this MORON. If we drilled in 1% of the barren lands in this country we could afford not to buy a gallon of oil from savage terrorist and let them rot into the sand dunes like they should. It is liberal toads like this that would rather see farmers die and people starve than to harm a worthless delta smelt. That picture personifies all that is wrong with the world today.

SDarchitect on July 20, 2012 at 3:28 PM

As a Utahan I’d like to tell Salazar to go pound sand.

gwelf on July 20, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Damn you Salazar!

29Victor on July 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Bombshell, Salazar is the worst Interior Secretary we’ve had in living memory.

dczombie on July 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

gwelf on July 20, 2012 at 3:28 PM

As a Texan I’d like to tell that worm to pound sand also! L

letget on July 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Read Full Article »

Latest On Twitter

Follow Real Clear Politics

Real Clear Politics Video

More RCP Video Highlights »