Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Congress The Enabler

Recently, Congress has toyed with the notion of offering Americans a $100 rebate to combat high gas prices. This, of course, won't actually bring down gas prices, while the added expenditure will surely add to inflation. But surely you all remember the early days of Bush's first term where he offered Americans a tax rebate of $300, only to take it out the next year's refund by calling it a "temporary refund adjustment". But isn't this just enabling our oil addiction?
Congressman Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX) has a three point plan that he thinks will help Americans struggling between putting food on their families, or filling the tank of their Sport Utility Behemoth so they can continue to drive to work to make more money so they can fill the tanks of the Sport Utility Behemoths so they can drive to work.

First: We must reassess our foreign policy and announce some changes.
One of the reasons we went into Iraq was to secure “our” oil. Before
Iraq war oil was less than $30 per barrel; today it is over $70.
sooner we get out of Iraq and allow the Iraqis to solve their own
problems the
better. Since 2002 oil production in Iraq has dropped
50%. Pipeline
sabotage and fires are routine; we have been unable to
prevent them.
Soaring gasoline prices are a giant unintended
consequence of our invasion, pure
and simple.
Second: We must
end our obsession for a military
confrontation with Iran. Iran does
not have a nuclear weapon, and
according to our own CIA is not on the verge
of obtaining one for years.
Iran is not in violation of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, and has a
guaranteed right to enrich uranium for
energy—in spite of the incessant
government and media propaganda to the
contrary. Iran has never been
sanctioned by the UN Security
Council. Yet the drumbeat grows louder for
attacking certain sites in
Iran, either by conventional or even nuclear
means. Repeated
resolutions by Congress stir up unnecessary animosity
toward Iran, and
create even more concern about future oil supplies from the
East. We must quickly announce we do not seek war with Iran, remove
the economic sanctions against her, and accept her offer to negotiate a
diplomatic solution to the impasse. An attack on Iran, coupled with
continued presence in Iraq, could hike gas prices to $5 or $6 per gallon
here at
home. By contrast, a sensible approach toward Iran could
quickly lower oil
prices by $20 per barrel.
Third: We must remember
that prices of all
things go up because of inflation. Inflation by
definition is an increase
in the money supply. The money supply is
controlled by the Federal Reserve
Bank, and responds to the deficits
Congress creates. When deficits are
excessive, as they are today, the
Fed creates new dollars out of thin air to buy
Treasury bills and keep
interest rates artificially low. But when new
money is created out of
nothing, the money already in circulation loses
value. Once this is
recognized, prices rise-- some more rapidly than
others. That’s what
we see today with the cost of energy.

Of course, while all of this is feasible, it's hardly likely we'll se anyone in Congress actually doing something in support of these ideas. It's much easier to just give the taxpayer a small portion of his taxes back so it can trickle back up into the pockets of big oil, who then won't be asked to pay any taxes on it as asking US corporations to pay taxes on the oppurtunity to participate in the largest consumer market on the planet is, well, unAmerican. As is asking the government to tax the oil companies who are reaping record profits at a time when the rest of the country is costantly being asked to make sacrifices. The oil companies would only raise prices to cover the increased tax anyway.
Of course, we could just reduce our use. Cutting demand would lower prices as well, but asking an American to not use their car is a lot like asking a drug addict not to use their drugs.


Anonymous said...

Of course, we could just reduce our use. Cutting demand would lower prices as well, but asking an American to not use their car is a lot like asking a drug addict not to use their drugs.

Well said. I once visited some friends in LA, and for a dinner we were cooking we needed supplies. I offered to walk to the store to get them ('bout three blocks), and my friend said, "Don't be ridiculous. Nobody walks in LA." This is the pernicious attitude that needs to change.

spooky said...

I'm inclined to agree with you. Iraq, for whatever reason(s) we invaded, has been fruitless. Withdrawal need be slow, but steady.
Iran is not a threat now or in the near future. We can't afford a war with them as we do not have enough soldiers to do another invasion/gov change while still in Iraq. It is not plausible. An air strike is not needed and will be terrorist provoking in my opinion.
I have become obsessed with the idea of corn fuel lately because my government vehicle can run on it, but the only place nearby that sells it is in Greenville, for under 2.00 a gallon. I really don't care about the price so much as I do about getting the middle eastern oil monkey off our backs. It could be $4.00 a gallon and i would use it. I don't think the big company's will move twords something so obvious until there is no more money to be made on strait oil.

Lew Scannon said...

The problem with corn fuel, is that it requires as much petroleum to produce it as is saved. Fertilizers and weed killers are all petroleum based. as are most tractors and harvesting machines. It isn't about replacing one addiction with another, rather it's about changing a lifestyle that isn't sustainable into one that is.

GraemeAnfinson said...

i have always somewhat liked Mr. Paul. I wonder how he can still stay in the Republican party?

Peacechick Mary said...

I really wanted the 100 bucks so I could donate it to anyone who opposes the war. As for walking, we just got sidewalks along a busy highway and I now see a few using it. One small step.

Lily said...

Cut the nonsense, and still give me a hundred bucks in the form of cutting just ONE pork barrel provision from the next spending bill.

Spooky it is ironic that your government vehicle can run on alternative fuels, and my government vehicle (back in the day, before I became a private sector bleeding heart)was a gas guzzling Pathfinder bought by a "liberal". Nice car on the taxpayer's dime, we thought.

Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said...

Wait a second...this guy is a REPUBLICAN?!?

I'm sorry, but isn't treason still a crime in this country?

The Coveted Thong of helen Thomas said...

Rex you creep.

Neil Shakespeare said...

I'm burnin' wood...

Lew Scannon said...

A wood burning car! What a great idea!

romunov said...

" As is asking the government to tax the oil companies who are reaping record profits at a time when the rest of the country is costantly being asked to make sacrifices."
Can you say fascism?

Snave said...

Lots of people used to walk in L.A., or at least take the excellent public transit system they once had there... until GM bought it up and scrapped it, according to what I've read and heard. That paved the way for L.A. to become the land of the automobile.

The last time Bush sent us "tax relief" checks, we spent the money in Canada, on purpose. It would have been better to do as Peacenik Mary suggests, but we weren't thinking then.

The Coveted Thong of Helen Thomas: I think that is one of the greatest names I have ever seen! LOL

I have a great deal of respect for Rep. Paul. I'm guessing there might be a body bag waiting for him somewhere, with the toe tag and death certificate already filled out.