Trump's Interior Dept. pick supports big government control of lands

One of the many ways communism oppressed people was by nationalizing all private property, especially land.  The American government hasn't gone quite that far, but large portions of the American West are owned by the federal government.  That means that private citizens have no inherent right to buy or sell or develop or enjoy this land unless the federal government says so.  For me, that smacks of one of the worst features of communism.

And yet Donald Trump has reportedly picked a person who wants to perpetuate this socialist scheme.

President-elect Donald Trump has offered the interior secretary position to Montana's freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke, an ex-Navy Seal commander, according to two transition officials and someone familiar with the offer[.] ...

Out of all the Republicans on the Hill, Zinke has one of the strongest track records on conservation and public land issues – and he's even voted against his own party at times. He voted against the GOP's fiscal 2016 budget because it sold public lands, and even resigned as a delegate to the RNC this summer because the party platform included language calling for the sale of public lands.

Zinke has also opposed efforts by House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to transfer land and other GOP measures to hand over millions of acres of public land from the U.S. Forest Service to the state.

He's also partnered with Democrats on conservation issues: In October 2015 he was the only Republican to support a Democratic amendment to permanently authorize the so-called Land and Water Conservation Fund. He's also received praise from conservation groups, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Teddy Roosevelt Conservancy Partnership, Friends of the East Rosebud and the Outdoor Industry Association.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is basically a slush fund for the left, and Zinke wants to continue it.

As secretary, Zinke would oversee about one-fifth of the nation's land, including national parks, wildlife refuges, tribal lands and areas ripe for drilling, mining, wind and solar development, and oil and gas pipelines.

You may not think 20% of the nation's land is a lot (I do).  But in some states, it is a much higher percentage; the federal government owns 46% of California, 52% of Oregon, 61% of Alaska, 64% of Utah, and 85% of Nevada.

When the government retains control of huge areas of the country, it is an attack on private property.  It is an attack on liberty.  Our natural resources are here for all of us, but instead of allowing the free market or even states to allocate them according to their best uses, the government is essentially locking us out of much of our own country and our own natural resources.  No one is saying Yosemite or Yellowstone should be privatized, but most of the lands in federal hands are not national parks; they are simply empty, undeveloped spaces.

I wish Trump would nominate some free-market picks for economic cabinet posts.  Goldman Sachs types and statists do not have all the answers.  Remember that once again, personnel often translates into policy.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

One of the many ways communism oppressed people was by nationalizing all private property, especially land.  The American government hasn't gone quite that far, but large portions of the American West are owned by the federal government.  That means that private citizens have no inherent right to buy or sell or develop or enjoy this land unless the federal government says so.  For me, that smacks of one of the worst features of communism.

And yet Donald Trump has reportedly picked a person who wants to perpetuate this socialist scheme.

President-elect Donald Trump has offered the interior secretary position to Montana's freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke, an ex-Navy Seal commander, according to two transition officials and someone familiar with the offer[.] ...

Out of all the Republicans on the Hill, Zinke has one of the strongest track records on conservation and public land issues – and he's even voted against his own party at times. He voted against the GOP's fiscal 2016 budget because it sold public lands, and even resigned as a delegate to the RNC this summer because the party platform included language calling for the sale of public lands.

Zinke has also opposed efforts by House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to transfer land and other GOP measures to hand over millions of acres of public land from the U.S. Forest Service to the state.

He's also partnered with Democrats on conservation issues: In October 2015 he was the only Republican to support a Democratic amendment to permanently authorize the so-called Land and Water Conservation Fund. He's also received praise from conservation groups, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Teddy Roosevelt Conservancy Partnership, Friends of the East Rosebud and the Outdoor Industry Association.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is basically a slush fund for the left, and Zinke wants to continue it.

As secretary, Zinke would oversee about one-fifth of the nation's land, including national parks, wildlife refuges, tribal lands and areas ripe for drilling, mining, wind and solar development, and oil and gas pipelines.

You may not think 20% of the nation's land is a lot (I do).  But in some states, it is a much higher percentage; the federal government owns 46% of California, 52% of Oregon, 61% of Alaska, 64% of Utah, and 85% of Nevada.

When the government retains control of huge areas of the country, it is an attack on private property.  It is an attack on liberty.  Our natural resources are here for all of us, but instead of allowing the free market or even states to allocate them according to their best uses, the government is essentially locking us out of much of our own country and our own natural resources.  No one is saying Yosemite or Yellowstone should be privatized, but most of the lands in federal hands are not national parks; they are simply empty, undeveloped spaces.

I wish Trump would nominate some free-market picks for economic cabinet posts.  Goldman Sachs types and statists do not have all the answers.  Remember that once again, personnel often translates into policy.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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