By Jim Barr, Cheyenne
I would like to respond to Bill Sniffin’s column, “2021 Was a Big Loser,” which has appeared in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the Cowboy State Daily, online.
Bill is a longtime journalist, I am not. I am retired military, Republican, a retired Community College instructor, and have quit three jobs in order to stay in Wyoming, since 1974.
I totally agree with Bills opinion that the current Administration has tried to go so far to the left, that he describes their efforts as the “Silly Season”. However, I would like to offer a different perspective on some points in that column.
Most important, is what is not in that column.
Bill makes no mention of January 6th, as if it never occurred. How can you talk about the high and low points of a 2021, and totally ignore January 6th?
Journalists normally lead with the most important information in a story. Bill has left it out. I don’t think by accident. He does mention the feud between representative Cheney, and former President Trump. He describes it as personal. I describe it as the efforts of Cheney, to defend our Constitution and democracy from a defeated former president who is willing to attack and discard our electoral process, in a desperate attempt to maintain power. It is a crucial, and complicated issue.
Bill is glad that the price of oil is way up. I am too. This is capitalism at work. Supply and demand. However, Bill complains about the price of gas at the pump being higher. You can’t have high oil prices, and also expect cheap gas prices. The countries that have that, are socialist countries, where the government artificially keeps the price of gas low. I think that the higher oil prices are better for the state of Wyoming overall, then if we were able to buy cheap gas, at the expense of our state revenues. I think it is a very complicated issue.
Bills column is supportive of fossil fuels. It is also supportive of nuclear energy, although other alternative forms of energy are ignored. If the future nuclear power plant in Kemmerer is very successful, does that spell the end of fossil fuels in Wyoming? Can we have both? I think it is a very complex issue.
The column also addresses”billions”of Biden administration “silly money” coming to the state to help address problems created by the pandemic. Does the column imply, that that money should not be spent? Should the very independent state of Wyoming return that money? I think it is a very complicated issue
Other high and low points mentioned in the column, include the anti-vax / mask controversy, and the tourism industry.
Wyoming was a spectacular success, as it kept students in school last year, based on wearing masks to prevent the spread of covid. Yet, this year, school boards and school administrations are under attack for trying to use the very method that was proven successful last year.
Tourism visits were way up, but tourism Revenue was not. Why? Perhaps tourists were reluctant to expose themselves to covid, not going inside normal tourist locations and spending money, in a highly unvaccinated state.
Were Wyoming workers reluctant to return to work, having to work inside, exposed to covid? These are very complicated relationships and issues.
How about the columns biggest good news story, the increase in value of housing? It was good news if you owned a home. What about the many working-class people in Wyoming who cannot afford to buy a home? Affordable housing is a huge problem throughout the state. Perhaps some of that Biden “silly money” will be used to address that issue. It is a very complicated issue.
Bill did not like the Biden Administrations ” inept abandonment of Afghanistan.” Biden carried through with the Trump negotiated settlement with the Taliban, to leave Afghanistan and end that terrible War. Tragically, 13 service members died, while evacuating 123,000 westerners and afghans. What a monumental success that was, other than the terrible loss of 13 lives. 64 American Service members were killed during the Trump era. Tragically, 13 died during the Biden era. No more military members will die during the rest of the Biden time. The war is over, we are out. Heroically, 13 service members sacrificed themselves to save tens of thousands. Would it be better to still be there, losing more American lives, the longer we stay? Once again, a complicated issue.
Okay, okay, perhaps this is just a humorous column, published in the opinion section of the paper and in the Cowboy State Daily. Maybe I took the casual opinions of a geezer (I am one) coffee group too seriously.
Sorry. Everything is just so complicated.