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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Repug says something intelligent

News in itself. From a panicky Detroit Free Press article on "high" gas prices (hint: you ain't seen nuthin' yet), filled with hairbrained schemes from politicians desperate to keep voters from knowing how bad things really are until after November:
Kevin Spillane, a GOP strategist in Sacramento, Calif., said he suspects that voters understand that the oil market is too complicated to blame on a single party.

But he said both sides need to compromise.

"What Congress really needs to be doing is working on comprehensive energy solutions and not engaging in these gimmicks," he said. "It is politics at its dumbest and most desperate."
It is, of course, coming from both sides (sic) of the aisle. AWol, Frist and Hastert vow to "look into" price gouging. Sen. Stabenow (D-MI), running for re-election, wants to repeal tax breaks for the oil industry and use the savings to bribe voters with a $500 rebate. How repealing the oil industry tax breaks will help lower gas prices isn't clear (nor the $500 rebate for that matter). Senators Levin (D-MI) and Specter (R-PA) are calling for a windfall profits tax, while state Rep. Robert Gosselin "repeated his call to not collect the state sales tax on gas costing more than $2.30 a gallon." Because the state is just swimming in money, I guess, and because lowering pump prices is an efficient way to reduce demand? Spillane is right: "It is politics at its dumbest and most desperate."

Billmon has more on this BS-fest:
If the Republicans want to try out [letting the market do its thing without government intervention] that's fine by me. They could even try telling the truth: That sky-high gas prices are the product of many forces, including the economic rise of China, our national allergic reaction to conservation, the security nightmare of trying to protect a far-flung global energy infrastructure, and, most of all, the inevitable fact that the supply of light sweet crude is finite, and production is probably nearing its peak.

They could explain to the American people that there is no quick fix, no miracle fuels on the horizon, no package of tax incentives or industry subsidies that is going to make the problem go away.

They could warn them that even if there was such a solution, current fossil fuel consumption trends still wouldn't be sustainable, not unless we're willing to turn most of coastal cities into salt water swimming pools.

And they could try to make our pampered upper and middle classes understand that the sooner they adjust their bloated lifestyles to reflect these unpleasant facts, the better off we will all be in the long run.

But it looks like they want to keep their jobs.
Which is, of course, bad news for all of us.