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Obama’s Land Grab Is a ‘Bad Idea’
The Obama administration plans to have the federal government acquire millions of acres of private land even though it can’t afford to maintain the land it already owns.
H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), points out that the federal government already owns about one-third of the land in the United States, and in some states it owns more than half. But millions of acres of government-owned land are lost to wildfires largely due to federal mismanagement.
The country’s national parks suffer from a $9 billion-plus backlog for repairs, maintenance and improvements, Burnett notes. “Our country was never meant to be a crown colony or federal estate, and in this economy, it hardly seems right to increase funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will be used to purchase private lands,” Burnett says.
Acquiring more land is a “bad idea,” and instead federal lands could be sold to the states, nonprofit groups or private companies, which could use them to generate revenue and help reduce the deficit, the NCPA suggests.
And rather than have the Land and Water Conservation Fund spend money to buy new lands, the federal government could use the funds to improve and maintain the lands it already owns.
Said Burnett: “This would be a win-win for the public, the environment, and the federal Treasury.”
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6. We Heard …
THAT Fox News correspondent Major Garrett will forgo an opportunity to take a front-row seat in the White House briefing room and instead is leaving Fox to join National Journal as a congressional correspondent.
The main reason for the move is the frenetic pace of cable news, the Washington Post reported. Garrett said, “I want to talk less and I want to think more. I always considered myself an accidental TV reporter.”
Fox White House correspondents Mike Emanuel and Wendell Goler will share the front-row briefing room seat the network was recently awarded. It was vacated by Helen Thomas, who resigned under fire for her comments about Israel.
THAT Minnesota’s Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty will go on a national tour to promote his book “Courage to Stand,” to be published on Jan. 11 — a week after he leaves the governor’s mansion.
The book “will focus on his life, his experience as a conservative governor in a liberal state, and his vision for America,” said an aide, Alex Conant.
Pawlenty has frequently been mentioned as a Republican presidential candidate in 2012.
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