Monday, May 01, 2006

Clueless

Gasoline prices are over $3.00 per gallon and the nation is in an uproar. Congress has several ideas calculated to prove they will go to any lengths to solve these sticky problems, so long as no sacrifice is involved, especially by them.

The following bills were introduced last week, presumably not as empty gestures:

  1. A $100 tax credit for everyone to offset increased gas prices.
  2. A special tax on windfall oil profits.
  3. A moratorium on the federal gasoline tax for six months.
  4. Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (of course).

President Bush, always willing to appear to do something instead of actually doing it, suspended deposits in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and loosened environmental standards for refineries. (Another big surprise.)

These “actions” provide the empty suits on Capitol Hill opportunities for Clinton-esque “I feel your pain” moments; none will address the real problem with gas prices. Anyone who took basic high school economics class knows this is strictly a matter of supply and demand. As long we remain “addicted to oil,” the oil-producing countries (read: Iran) have our economy’s balls in a vice.

This is when leaders step forward. Harry Truman said, “Leadership is getting someone to do something he doesn’t want to do and making him think it was his idea.” Let’s see how our “leaders” are doing.

Democrats held a press conference/photo op at a gas station one block from the Capitol for the expected Republican bashing. Not that they don’t deserve it, but there’s blame here to go around.

How did some prominent Dems travel the block to the presser? They drove. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) drove in a Chrysler LMS, getting 18 miles per gallon. New York’s Charles Schumer, never shy about telling us how out of touch Republicans are with the average Joe, drove his Hyundai Elantra at 34 mpg, but still, it was a block.

We shouldn’t be too hard on those two. After yesterday’s lunchtime votes, the following senators could be seen driving (or being driven in) these vehicles to their offices across the street:

John Sununu (R-NH) GMC Yukon – 14 mpg

Jim DeMint (R-SC) Nissan Pathfinder – 15 mpg

Ben Nelson (D-NE) Ford Explorer – 14 mpg

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Lincoln Town Car – 17 mpg

Edward Kennedy (D-MA) Chrysler minivan – 18 mpg (In fairness, Ted needs a substantial vehicle to haul him around. The Nimitz was unavailable.)

Evan Bayh (D-IN) Dodge Durango V8 – 14 mpg

Of special interest was Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The Bobster, who just last week ranted about how President Bush “remains opposed to higher fuel-efficiency standards,” scoots around in a Ford Explorer XLT.

We could talk to them about “not getting it,” but why? It’s like talking to furniture. Actually, it’s worse. The furniture doesn’t pretend to listen.

This is the legacy of the Baby Boomers, on the brink of being the first generation whose children cannot expect a better standard of living than did their parents. It had to happen sooner or later? Probably, but the Boomers made damn sure they got theirs before the party was over. For a time it looked like they might just leave it to their kids to turn out the lights; there’s no need to worry about that now. The lights will go out all by themselves.

1 comment:

Desert (Dessert?) Storm Correspondent said...

Due to the US addiction to foreign oil, all of the world’s ultra large crude carriers (ULCCs) are unavailable to transport Senator Kennedy.