Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush Karl Rove was a featured keynote speaker at the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention in Denver. He spoke to attendees about the challenges facing the country - touching on the fiscal situation, health care, trade and what he calls a challenge to the American spirit.
"The question is whether we are going have the will to see it through to put the country in the place that it ought to be or whether we're just going to be content to let the people in power dow what they want to do," Rove said. "We've never succeeded as a country because we've turned it over to others, we've succeeded as a country because each and every American feels a personal responsibility to love their country and do what's right for it."
Rove says there are some difficult choices ahead, but he says the bigger question has a very easy answer.
"We can either do what a great country does and that is put its fiscal house in order or we can do what a once great country does and go the way of Argentina or Greece or other countries which have found themselves unable to pay their debts; it's that stark a choice," Rove said. "We've gone from a position where over the last 10 years the debt represented roughly 30% of the GDP, which is a manageable size, to wear it is 62% of the GDP this year and will be 87% of the GDP by the end of the decade. That makes us like Greece on steroids, and the only difference is there is no European Union to bail us out like they bailed Greece out."
Clearly that has an impact on all Americans, including the nation's producers. But Rove recognizes the regulatory environment is of particular concern as well.
"We have had a sensible regulatory environment in the United States when it is understood the realities and practicalities of what you are trying to regulate," Rove said. "What we've got coming out of the EPA now and what we've got coming out of the FDA is sort of utopian, ivory tower, academic thinking and not based in the practical realities of the real world. I mean you get in that situation and what you end up having is adverse impacts, extraordinary costs and little benefit."
Rove says that doesn't make good economic sense for the cattle industry or the country.