"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, April 28, 2006

Denouncing the Oil Industry for the Price of a Gallon

Trying to understand the reasoning behind increasing gas prices can certainly be mind-numbing. That said, I truly do not know all that goes into the prices determination, I do however know a scapegoat when I see one.

I am no defender of "Big Oil" or big anything for that matter, but when our day to day reality is based upon the reality of political rhetoric as it so often is, the root cause of anything is never resolved.

I'm far from rich and I don't want to pay too much for gas, however, that said if gas goes up 34/gallon, my 10 gallons (easier math for my weak mind), I am paying $3.40 more for my tank. Is that really the end of the world? I don't think so.

One reason our elected officials cannot get a whole lot done (at least by most people's standards) is due to the fact that they play the games they do, as noted by National Review below. Rarely do they go to the heart of a matter, it's always based on garbage.

Window on The Week from National Review Online:

And we thought the GOP was the party of free markets. Not this week. Instead, Republicans were jumping over each other to denounce the oil industry. Even President Bush — who should know better, having worked in that industry — promised to look for "illegal manipulation or cheating related to the current gasoline prices." There have been calls for price controls, anti-gouging laws, and windfall taxes on oil companies. (Shall we tar and feather Exxon executives while we're at it?) The reality is that gasoline is expensive right now because of a spike in crude-oil prices that American companies have done precisely nothing to cause. These companies' profit margins are comparable to those of other sectors, and the proposed "solutions" would simply discourage domestic oil production by reducing the return companies can expect on future investments. Only slightly less absurd is the idea of a federally funded $100 rebate to every taxpayer. (Even Manhattanites who ride the subway? And where will the money come from, if not taxpayers?) One of the few sane voices has been that of Rep. John Shadegg, who noted that Congress could reduce the price of gas if it lifted protectionist tariffs on ethanol, a gasoline additive. Ethanol could be imported cheaply from Brazil and other cane-growing countries, but Congress has preferred to keep it expensive to favor Midwestern corn-growers, from whose crops it is also made. Only basic economic illiteracy — or cheap political pandering — can explain the Republican leadership's gaseous rhetoric.


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