Friday, April 22, 2005

Gas giving you heartburn? The Pres would like to help (give you more, that is)

Bush is starting to put more effort into convincing us to give tax breaks to his oil-company campaign contributors. He's implying that this would lower retail gas prices, but that's a lie (so he'll probably say it straight up pretty soon). Although Bush criticized Clinton for high gas prices, Bush hasn't done what that he told Clinton to do, because he really doesn't want prices to come down.

It's exactly the same strategy as Bush's effort to phase out Social Security:

  • Tell people there's a problem when there isn't
  • Propose a windfall for the rich that will make things much worse
  • Suggest that the proposal will solve the fictional problem.

Pattern of behavior, folks. Another example is No Child Left Behind. Yes, in that case there's a real problem; children need to learn more today than they did 50 years ago. But again, we got a proposal that consisted of a tax break for the very few (if a public school fails to meet standards, tutoring companies and private schools get to suck the government teat) that makes things worse: the Catch-22 structure of NCLB means that every school, rich or poor, will eventually fail! (Hey, that's the goal: The Repos in charge want to eliminate public education.)

Back to oil... Look, this isn't complicated: we're using too much. In 1988 oil was under $18 per barrel and the average mileage of a new car or light truck sold in the U.S. was 26 mpg. Today oil is over $50 per barrel and average mileage in the U.S. is under 25 mpgā€”under 21 if you factor in SUVs, which culturally are passenger cars. (Oil price data here, auto mileage data here.) It's demand that's driving this, not supply. Use less!


At Friday, 22 April, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy cow -- yer blogging so fast my eyes got screen-burn. and that's a good thing.


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