Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Huntin' Pander Bears

One of the delights of an endless and otherwise horrific presidential campaign is tracking the depth and width of the pandering. One particular pander is the proposed federal gas tax holiday this summer. On one side ol' John McCain says "let's knock off with this tax from Memorial Day through Labor Day" because, "people are hurting" out there amongst the great unwashed. On the other side of the issue young Barry Obama believes a gasoline tax reduction is one CHANGE he HOPEs doesn't happen. Because, you see, if the feds don't take their tariff the evil big oil companies will just keep the price the same and collect even more horrible, ill gotten profits through their nefarious, gouging schemes. Well, that's how it sounded to me anyway. I admit, anti-capitalist demagoguery is a foreign language for me so sometimes my translations are a tad off.

But then Hillary! (TM) comes in, with the wisdom of Solomon-in-a-pantsuit, and says, "Suspend the tax but 'pay for it' by increasing taxes on domestic oil companies." You can tell someone who has held office too long when you hear them say that tax rate reductions need to be "paid for." That construction reveals that they believe it is the state's money to begin with. Unfortunately, most of them think that way the day they're sworn in-- certainly true in Obama and Hillary's case. McCain on the other hand took a few years to fit in with that mindset, but he's quite comfortable with it now.

So let's grade the plans: Obama gets a gentleman's C-, he got the correct answer but can't explain why. McCain gets his usual D in ECON. The tax rate reduction, if not permanent, will achieve nothing (like the current rebate checks) and will poison the well for real tax reform. Plus, it's a bald-faced pander. Hillary gets the F for obvious reasons. Clueless that Marx and Lenin are on the stinking dung heap of history, she is.

But here's the real howler when we look at our D and F students. While they are proposing this brief respite from the federal gasoline tax, both of these Warmists are proposing enormous increases to fuel costs in the very near future. In fact, the McCain/ Lieberman bill to "reduce greenhouse gas emissions" will add 26 cents/gallon by 2030 and 68 cents/ gallon by 2050. Those numbers, by the way, are in current dollars-- so they will go up with inflation-- way up. Will somebody please tell Green John and Green Joe that the Earth is currently in a cooling cycle. But that ain't all! Electricity rates will have additional federal add-ons of 22% initially and 25% eventually with McCain's legislation. When asked the "What if?" question, as in "What if 'global warming' is a hoax?" He replies that it doesn't matter 'cause the worst that could happen is that "we give a cleaner world to our children." Conservatives learned many years ago just how much liberal poison can be wrapped in the sweet candy of "for the children." John seems to consider trillions of dollars in worldwide economy-crushing regulation and taxation as "no biggee". I'm changing his grade. He gets an F just like Hill. Speaking of Hillary. Her beef with McCain/Lieberman is predictable: it doesn't go far enough and doesn't punish the energy industry with "windfall profits taxes." Because, you know, paying 40 something percent in taxes and fees is nothing.

Who knows, maybe John McCain's gas tax pander will help get him elected President. Maybe Obama will see his pander and raise him two more in October. One thing is certain no matter who is the next President: taxes and regulations will increase.