Independent Christian Voice

Tuesday

Do as I say, not as I do

According to the Associated Press, President Bush urged Americans on Monday to cut back on unnecessary travel to make up for fuel shortages caused by Hurricane Rita as he prepared to take his seventh trip to the Gulf Coast. Keep in mind that each of these trips involves: a gas-guzzling behemoth Boeing 747 Air Force One, the equally inefficient Marine One (along with its decoy helicopters), a motorcade of more than a dozen vehicles — most of which are fuel inefficient SUVs and armored limos and a whole escort of local law enforcement for traffic control. Is the president cutting back? What is he adding to the relief effort by being on-site that he can't do from the White House? Everytime the president goes somewhere, it takes resources away from the relief effort. Accounts from his trips to New Orleans after Katrina are a testament to that. The president should make a trip to a disaster area — once. Then, after seeing the devastation first-hand, then he can oversee his administrations efforts from his office in Washington and let the people on the ground concentrate on doing their job there rather than accommodating a presidential visit (again and again and again). If the president wants America to cut back, he should heed his own words of advice:

"If it makes sense for the citizen out there to curtail nonessential travel, it darn sure makes sense for federal employees," Bush said. "We can encourage employees to car pool or use mass transit, and we can shift peak electricity use to off-peak hours. There's ways for the federal government to lead when it comes to conservation."

Bush sent a memo to agency and department heads, saying the federal government must "lead by example and further contribute to the relief effort by reducing its own fuel use during this difficult time." He instructed them to report to him within 30 days, describing which steps they took to conserve.

He can start by leading the federal government by example and parking it for a while. We, as citizens, what the president to report back to us on "which steps they took to conserve" at the White House.

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