WASHINGTON: Have you ever driven through the great expanses of the US and wondered why so much of it is wide open? California’s land prices lead the nation in overpriced real estate, where a average family on one income can’t afford to own a home. Have you ever wondered why that is so, when there seems to be so much undeveloped land in California? It’s because the Federal Government owns 45% of all the land in California.
What impact would releasing that land to developers have in housing prices? Keeping this land locked up has artificially inflated real estate prices and made multi-millionaires of developers and contractors in California.
Such is the case in every state in the US, to a greater or lesser degree. The map below details the percentage of real estate owned by the government in each state. The top 10 list of states with the highest percentage of federally owned property are:
- Nevada 84.5%
- Alaska 69.1%
- Utah 57.4%
- Oregon 53.1%
- Idaho 50.2%
- Arizona 48.1%
- California 45.3%
- Wyoming 42.3%
- New Mexico 41.8%
- Colorado 36.6%
The Feds own nearly 30% of all US territory, almost 650 million acres of land. When we think of the US indebtedness (see US Debt Clock in right column), we do not take into account the assets this country owns. Just by selling “public” lands to private investors the US could raise significant capital. Much of this land is mineral laden and oil rich.
This doesn’t count all the offshore property the US owns. There are billions of barrels of oil lying beneath US territorial waters, forbidden to drilling. Does it make any sense that the price of gas at the pump is controlled by the Saudis when we have so much energy here in the US?
Our dollars flow out of the US like oil out of a gushing well, only to be used to prop up illegitimate regimes and to finance terrorist activities. Just think of the wealth the US could retain if we were paying ourselves for all that oil instead of OPEC.
Our roads and national infrastructure in the US lie in shambles while Arabs build skyscrapers that rival the tower of Babel. Airports and highways in Arab countries glisten while airports like LaGuardia look like third world countries. All of the developments in the Mideast are being paid for with US dollars.
The question you should be asking yourself is why does our federal government lock up our lands and oil? Our politicians have driven our country into bankruptcy. It’s time to sell off some assets and bring our debt back into control. While we are at it let’s quit sending our dollars overseas to prop up dictators like Qaddafi and the House of Saud.