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By Robert Rapier on Apr 26, 2008 with no responses

Please Make it Stop

The pandering, that is. First up, the presidential candidates take turns accusing each other of not having a plan for high gas prices, which the accuser of course has a neat solution for that will be painless for the public:

Obama presses on gas prices, Clinton highlights energy bill

INDIANAPOLIS – Democrat Barack Obama on Friday blamed high gasoline prices on Washington and a political establishment, including his rivals for the presidency, that he says hasn’t stood up to oil companies.

Barack, that’s incredibly naive. Why are gas prices high everywhere else? This problem isn’t limited to the U.S., you know. By implying that standing up to “Big Oil” would have made a difference, you show yourself as either incredibly naive, or you are pandering.

“So what have we got to show for all that experience?” Obama asked. “Gas that’s approaching $4 a gallon.”

You should get out more. By world standards, that’s still pretty cheap. I suppose all of those foreign governments are also incompetent for letting prices get out of hand?

Clinton, who is challenging him for the Democratic presidential nomination, derided his promise to take on special interests.

“When it came time to stand up against the oil companies, to stand against Dick Cheney’s energy bill, my opponent voted for it and I voted against it,” the New York senator said at a rally at Indiana University in Bloomington. “And that bill had billions of dollars in giveaways to the oil companies. It was the best bill that the energy companies could buy.”

Ugh!

The 2005 energy bill actually raised taxes on the oil and gas industry by about 300 million over 11 years, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Please don’t insert random facts into the story that would contradict the pandering.

“I’ve been a strong supporter of ethanol,” Obama said, noting that demand for the corn used to make ethanol is driving up food prices. “Corn-based ethanol is a transitional technology.”

At least we know where to point fingers, then. :-)

Obama’s speech came after Sen. John McCain, the Republican Obama hopes to challenge in the fall, proposed suspending the federal gas tax for the summer driving season. Clinton supports the idea; Obama does not.

Score one for Obama.

Republican Party official and McCain adviser Carly Fiorina disputed Obama’s argument that the average motorist would benefit little from a suspension of the gas tax.

“I think it demonstrates that he doesn’t understand what hardworking Americans are going through,” she told reporters.

I have already addressed this very stupid idea: John McCain’s Bad Idea

In the speech, Obama called for a windfall profits tax on oil companies, with the money used to help consumers pay utility bills. He also said middle-class tax breaks he’s proposed would help families with energy costs.

Can he not see the problem here? How is this ultimately that much different from McCain’s proposal?

“But the truth is, there is no easy answer to our energy crisis — and we need a president who is going to be straight with us about that,” Obama said, a reference to his oft-stated contention that Clinton hasn’t been upfront with voters.

At least he is correct that there is no easy answer. He is correct that we need a president who is going to be straight with us. Sadly, it would appear that none of the candidates are going to do that.

But it doesn’t stop there. We have Nancy Pelosi using Earth Day to attack high gas prices:

Pelosi to Bush on Gas Prices: We Cannot Wait to Act

I respectfully ask you again to work with the Congress to allow the Justice Department to pursue oil cartel price-fixing, allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to investigate and punish price gougers, end taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil and invest those funds in renewable American energy. Lastly, your Administration must use the authority given to it by the Congress to end market manipulation. We cannot wait to act in the face of these prices increases.

Nancy, you may want to consult a history book to see how many times the FTC has done these investigations at taxpayer expense, and what they have found each time.

And the stupidity of this proposal from Pelosi’s letter is just stunning:

The No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act – H.R. 2264

This legislation enables the Department of Justice to take legal action against foreign nations for participating in oil cartels that drive up oil prices globally and in the United States. It does so by exempting OPEC and other nations from the provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act when acting in a commercial capacity; by making clear that the so-called “Act of State” doctrine does not prevent courts from ruling on antitrust charges brought against foreign governments; and by authorizing the Department of Justice to bring lawsuits in U.S. courts against cartel members. This bill passed the House 345-72. You have threatened to veto this legislation.

Yes, let’s sue OPEC because they won’t sell us oil at the price we want to pay. Then maybe they will countersue because we are charging them too much for corn. Or perhaps they will just say “You know what? We just aren’t going to sell you oil any more.”

Our politicians are pathetic. They offer false solutions to problems they don’t understand. They could put us on the right path, but it would require courage. Yet the phrase “courageous politician” would appear to be an oxymoron.