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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

May 11, 2008


Gas Options

QUESTION: Gordon (to White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe), House Republican Leader John Boehner came out in support of a bill to suspend a federal tax on gasoline during the summer months. Does that mean the White House will now support that kind of a tax holiday?

GORDON JOHNDROE: You know, I think the President has said that we'll look at any number of options that are proposed. And so that's where we are right now. We're looking at options. I know different people are proposing different things, and we'll see.

JOHNDROE: (Dismissing the questioner and the question): Yes, ma'am.

Now, I'm one of those who truly believe that removing the 18.4 cents per gallon tax is a bad idea and stupid scheme. Its only real purpose is to make the American people believe that our current federal government is actually doing something in an attempt to get a handle on soaring gas prices. Indeed, some experts now believe that the next predicted milestone for crude oil prices is somewhere around $250 per barrel, about twice what it is today.

And I see no reason to disbelieve that.

As I have written here before on Note From a Madman, I believe that removal of the tax will only allow the Big Oil the opportunity to increase the price at the pump and inflate their own wallets. It would be foolish to think that the whole 18.4 cents per gallon savings would be transferred to us, the consumer, without the profiteers wetting their collective beaks.

Just how gullible are we?

But the better question is why didn't any members of the press ask a follow up question to Johndroe? If The President is really looking at options, then what are those options? Certainly someone in the White House press corps must have been curious.

I know I am.

According to the statement above, there are "any number of options". We are seeing new gas price records being set almost daily - even hourly - and, yet, none of those other options appear to have been discussed, at least not publicly.


One has to believe that the current situation is just what the Bushies have been looking for. Did anyone actually think that gas prices would go down prior to the Summer travel months? Did anyone really believe that they would even stay stable?

I doubt it.

"If I had a magic wand, I would wave it and lower your price,"
-President Bush

Oh, now there's a plan.

"By now, the only thing as predictable as rising gas prices are the short-term political solutions that come along with them. It seems like every year, as soon as headlines start announcing “Pain at the Pump” and Americans start emptying their wallets to fill up their tanks, politicians revert to their Rolodex of responses, from tax rebates and tax holidays to investigations into price gouging by oil companies."
-Senator Barack Obama

Senator Barack Obama is right. The same old rhetoric of stale solutions is not the way to go in order to ease the pain at the pump. Obama proposes a three-percent increase in CAFE standards which, in a few years, will give us cars with an average MPG in excess of Miles Per Gallon. But the smartest part of his proposal is helping American auto manufacturers weather their large health care bills in exchange for their cooperation in making cars more efficient and hybrids, for now, cheaper and more accessible.

Our current President and his would-be successor, John McCain, have no ideas about how to solve our gas crisis. President Bush still even talks about building more refineries when the gas companies themselves don't even want to do that. Our refineries have even slowed production and are ordering less crude oil because they just don't have the demand which President Bush thinks is out there.

And what about John McCain?

"John McCain Believes We Should Institute A Summer Gas Tax Holiday. Hard-working American families are suffering from higher gasoline prices. John McCain calls on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day.:

Need I say more?

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg